Software Holds the Key to Mobility's Future

TheFeature has a great story that sums up the state of increasingly complex wireless OS space. Basically it’s an all out battle between Microsoft, Symbian, Palm and mobile Linux company MontaVista Software. Personally I think the mobile device market is big enough for all of these players to grab a decent slice of the market since each brings something different to the table. The most direct battle is going to be between Microsoft and Nokia (with their Symbian variant, Series 60). The real fight is between each companies’ approach. Microsoft would like to extend the PC model where users choose software first and then hardware. Nokia and the handset makers are all about the hardware which is enabled by the software. Complicating the issue are carriers who want to transcend the hardware and software all together and hook users with services. In the end the winning model will be the one that is able to build the most momentum and provide users with the most value. Microsoft has a good track record on this front. But it has rarely faced such powerful players such as Nokia and wireless carriers. TheFeature rightly points out that it’s too early to tell which players are in what position, but that should change in 2003.

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