A Mobile Monster

The Mobile World Congress currently being held in Barcelona is the place to be if you’re interested in what the next generation of mobile phones will look like. Each year, companies from all around the world unveil their latest efforts with the hope of gaining some early positive publicity.

This year, however, the biggest news of the Congress may have actually come a few days before it with the announcement that Nokia – one of the world’s biggest mobile phone manufacturers – and Microsoft will be joining forces for all of Nokia’s future mobile releases (the Microsoft operating system is still available for use for other manufacturers).

Accordingly, Symbian, the world’s biggest smart phone operating system is being shunted to one side. Originally, Symbian was the biggest and brightest of all mobile operating systems, but it has since lost significant market share to both Apple and Google’s Android system.

So will the new Nokia-Microsoft partnership be able to achieve together what both have failed to do separately? Nokia undeniably have incredible hardware expertise, and it’s no secret that Google were also wooing the Swedish manufacturer but were beaten to it by Microsoft, yet, they are losing ground in an extremely competitive market place with the likes of Android, BlackBerry, and the iPhone all appealing to new markets.

The ultimate success of any effort will undoubtedly be whether developers find the Microsoft operating system easy to use, if the developers can work with it, then there’s a chance they’ll make apps, and its apps which seem to dominate the market place. If Microsoft can’t get their balance right and no one is willing to design for it, then all the hardware in the world is going to struggle to make too much of an impact on the competition.

That said, even the rapidly rising Android is struggling with developers who are adapting various different versions of the operating system to make it unique to them (like the HTC Sense). This is leading to different apps having to be developed for the same operating system, and that is only going to happen for a relatively limited period of time before developers are going to get frustrated and throw their efforts into something else.


For all the talk around operating systems, however, there was one release that definitely made waves at the Congress – the first 3D telephone (operating on Android). With 3D TV all the rage at the moment, could we be watching 3D TV – Sky’s pioneering 3D TV channel is leading the way here – on our phones before we get round to doing it in our homes?

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