Saturday, December 11, 2010

Smartphones and Tablets are Spurting OS Diversity

Everyone knows how I’m not happy with the growth of smartphones and tablets because I believe they are cluttering our lives with too many devices that we may not really need. However, I am happy about one thing – they are increasing OS diversity.

Long ago, computing hardware was inextricably linked to software. Every brand of machine came with its operating system. Then Microsoft and IBM teamed up and came up with the idea of IBM compatibles. All the myriad OSes died out and all we had left was Windows, Mac OS and Linux. (Sure, there are others but they weren’t major players anymore.)

But with the advent of smartphones and tablets, the diversity in the OS ecosystem is back. We have the iOS, Andriod, Symbian, Blackberry OS, MeeGo, Windows Mobile and what not. Sure, not all of them are open but at least we don’t run the risk of a Microsoft like monopoly in the smartphone and tablet market.

All is not hunky-dory, of course. I’d really like to see more openness in this market segment. Wouldn’t it be fun to see the iOS run on the Driod X?

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