As smartphones develop ever more into computers that happen to make phone calls there has been a pleasant move towards OS interoperability and cohesion. But it is a move which many handset makers still appear to be fighting...
Surprisingly joining this group today is Motorola - a company which has seen its fortunes transformed by adoption of Android. It has completed the purchase of Azingo, a niche Linux-based mobile phone operating system, according to Azingo CEO Yogish Kulkami.
Motorola has yet to confirm the move, but the company's big cheese Sanjay Jha recently said during its Q1 earnings call that: "I’ve always felt that owning your OS is important, provided you have an ecosystem, you have all the services and you have an ability and the scale to execute on keeping that OS at the leading edge. And I continue to believe that at some point, if we have all of those attributes, that owning our own OS will be a very important thing."
As which point I want to scream "No! No! No!" You don't see Dell, Acer or Lenovo saying it is important to own your own OS in the PC space, it would complicate life for software developers and consumers alike and this is increasingly true of mobiles. It is also a criticism which has been strongly (and we'd say rightly) levelled at Vodafone 360 and Samsung bada.
With RIM, Apple and Palm (now HP) having founded their businesses on proprietary software I'd argue that sector is already saturated and the smartphone landscape shouldn't be fractured any further. Instead we should be looking to open, hardware neutral platforms to provide competition, commonality and familiarity for consumers.