Riding the Wave
These days, if something is increasing faster than the global temperature, it is the number of smartphone users. Their exponential growth can be seen in statistics all over the internet. We will not boggle your mind by going into that, but just remember, in these times, the ‘Mobile OS’ makes one hell of a market. You will find lots of consumers craving for one or the other OS without much regard to the Handset manufacturing company, but you will find none who says, “I need a Samsung phone, no matter what OS it runs”. Several players have stepped in to take a ride on this humungous wave, some like the Android and the iOS have made it big and some like the Bada (Samsung) couldn’t, while some others like the WM7 are trying hard. There are also some like the PALM-OS which have become obsolete and some others like the Symbian that are struggling to Survive. What do you say – amidst such hot competition, is there room for new entrants?. Well, NOKIA says “Miksi ei!”(that’s the Finnish for why not!) as they come up with their brand new open source OS, The Maemo.
Maemo is more than an Operating system, it is a mobile computing platform and is also the name of a community of developers who have designed it. Nokia already has a Mobile OS of its own – The Symbian which has brought great success to Nokia, in-fact it is one of the first OS to be developed for the mobile devices. It showed the world the face of a smartphone. But given the current market scenario, the Symbian is nothing more than non-existent and one who creates something good, must also learn to let go of it when its time is done. We aren’t saying Nokia should bury Symbian but it should also not cling to it forever. Nokia seems to have realized this and hence this time it has decided to go open-source.
Maemo is based on the Debian Linux distribution and is primarily developed by the Maemo Devices, a child community of Nokia.
It borrows most of its GUI from the GNOME project. The latest version of the OS i.e Maemo 5 supports four home-screens which can be customized with widgets and shortcuts. Sounds familiar? Well that’s because these days, every other OS features such UI. Though there are certain well thought out variations in it, like the integrated menu bar on the home screen and window minimizing options just like the windows on your desktop, it still remains to be seen whether it is good enough to fight it out with the likes of Android and iOS? It will rely on Nokia’s flagship Ovi store for its app requirements but thanks to its open SDK, this time we can expect more number of apps in there.
Lets hope these changes bring Nokia out of the turbulent times back to its glorious days.