Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mobile Phone Operating Systems - Open or Closed ? - Part I

Today I attended a great panel session at PARC hosted by the Wireless Communication Alliance (WCA). I have been going to WCA events for many years, especially when they were closer to home at HP in Cupertino. This was clearly one of the best WCA meetings I have attended. The PARC Pake auditorium was almost packed to capacity. Andy Seybold was the moderator and the panel consisted of the top players in mobile operating systems - Symbian, Microsoft, Monta Vista, Nokia, Research in Motion (RIM) and the latest entrant, Google. RIM and Symbian were represented at the VP level ! For a complete list of the panelists, check the WCA link above.

It was a very lively panel, as was to be expected with some strong competitors in close proximity and Andy as a moderator. I was on a panel he moderated a few years back at UC Berkeley and there clearly was no lack of strong opinions :-) The Valley mobile phone company conspicuous by their absence was Apple. That was a pity, but they rarely show up for events except their own. Though, you could almost sense the industry responding to the challenge of the iPhone. Nokia explicitly mentioned that they had been beefing up their presence in the Valley. So, the Mercury News column on Sunday was close to the mark. The Valley is seen as a center of innovation and every major player wants a piece of the action. The panel discussion did touch upon this as well as the impact of emerging markets and globalization.

There were a range of interesting topics covered during the session and I want to mention the highlights, at least. However, I will save this for my next post later in the week. Stay tuned.


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