Can Linux Survive (Or Thrive?) On The Handset
Carlo Longino, over at TheFeature, is talking about the “Linux question” on handhelds, and whether or not it’s a credible alternative to Microsoft or Symbian. It’s certainly received a lot of attention and hype, but lots of things get attention and hype without any marketshare. Longino points out that Linux has that huge community of developers to work on applications, but is worried that they aren’t known for writing consumer applications. I’m not convinced that’s a huge issue at this point. If the platform is there, more user friendly applications will be built. We are already seeing more such applications show up on Linux for the desktop, and it’s likely that that trend will continue. From the handset maker’s view of things, it would be wise, then, to take some developers and have them devote their attention to creating a few key user-friendly Linux-based apps for mobile phones to jumpstart the process, but to then get out of the way once others start piling on.