First, we saw the MacOS go the *nix route to make sure it go strong enough to compete with Windows.
(not strong in terms of features, etc – but strong in terms of support and independent developer backing)
Then we heard about PalmSource planning to steer Palm OS towards Linux.
Now, the latest round in the battle … Nokia might be looking to move from Symbian to Linux!!!
I cannot start plotting timelines just yet, with these being speculative comments. However, what makes it all the more believable is the fact that Apple did do this with the MacOS … use *nix as a means of strengthening it in areas where MacOS fell behind Windows. The #1 area being developer support and tons of third party applications.
PalmOS had such a nice lead over Pocket PC (Windows CE et al) for a long time; when the only Pocket PC development option was embedded VB (eVB) and embedded VC (eVC). However, with the work and energy put into the .Net Compact Framework, it is interesting to note how M$ has used a single tool to close this massive chasm.
Does Symbian need something like this to compete with and overcome the various challengers? I think so.
Symbian applications written in Java (J2ME) are still too few and too weak. Writing native Symbian applications is still a pain … Sure there is CodeWarrior … but can you even compare the ease of development in the Visual Studio .net IDE with anything for Symbian/Palm/Java development? I cannot.
And even though I might sound like it, I am not a fan of everything Microsoft.
Just of the things they get right.