02/26/2013, 02:10 PM
WebOS wasn't a bad platform... That being said it really wasn't given the development attention it needed to grow and become vibrant. When open WebOS came out, its available on android devices such as Galaxy Nexus [phone] and Nexus 7 [tablet], it wasn't made available for existing WebOS devices. Not a swooft move. So how do I see mobile OSes moving forward?
iPhone - love em or hate em.. they have a pretty product and its solid and holds solid market share.. proprietary and yuppieish imo but nevertheless a top player.
Android - soon to be if not already king of the mountain. Also holds solid market share.. open source but allows manufacturers freedom to keep their proprietary blobs (mostly drivers). They will not be unseated for awhile. Google owns Motorola's tablet division (or part of).
WebOS - its been around.. I don't know what the change in ownership (from HP to LG) will bring but given the statements that they'll be revamping it for some kind of multimedia entertainment os.. it has plenty of functionality for such cause. Doubt it will be a player in market share on mobile devices even though LG makes the new flagship android device and will probably see increased sales in devices as a result of this (HTC & Samsung both benefited when they were in similar position).
Tizen - An attempt to bring a purer linux like atmosphere to the mobile marketplace. Many are jumping on this one.. especially Samsung stating they will fold their dead Bada OS into the existing Tizen framework. This one has promise. They have the most influential manufacturer's backing and a good community of support. I consider this one to most likely to emerge as the "third contender."
Firefox OS - Another mobile OS geared toward lower end devices. They will have some phones out this year, but I look to this one to be no better than WebOS; although, it does boast an open html5 development platform. The trouble with this one was their target was lower end phones, and their code base was ice cream sandwich (android) or better.. well, most lower end devices didn't make the cut to ics.. So you have to wait for new low-end devices to be built, then develop.. If they could have forked off of gingerbread, their development would be eight months ahead.. but they are starting to get there. Another drawback is Mozilla, although a well-known and respected open source company, doesn't have any device holdings or backings. They will work with those that will work with them.. In the crowded marketplace, this approach might get squeezed out. I could see this being a rival to WebOS in the multimedia playback type scenario, but they aren't targeting or thinking that yet; so, they'll have to go through the exercise of trying (and most likely failing) in the mobile arena first.
Ubuntu One - This one is like the motorola atrix .. should be able to dock and run a full distro of ubuntu from your phone or mobile device. Well, that's a neat trick.. but in my experience, the more hardware needed.. the more stuff I could possibly lose.. So, if I were to utiliize it, I'd need to buy multiple docks for the phones/tablets I ran it on. Still in its infancy as well and I'm not sure that docks are manufactured yet for the devices it could possibly run on (galaxy nexus and nexus 4 to start).. but I'm sure someone will start making them soon enough (if they haven't already). I think the tizen one will win this lil linux race; as, they already have samsung's support.
Who else is left? Lots.. but they won't make it for one reason or another.. Blackberry continues to decline (proprietary); as, I believe all proprietary OSes over long haul will.. Nokia's Meego.. they'll be most effected by the Firefox OS attempt.. This one will probably die further as well.. New OSes will emerge and recede.. but openness means more developer friendly which in turn means more apps, more functionality. Some of the new breed, especially Tizen, have more open avenues than some of the existing OSes.. So we'll have to wait and see.. Will Tizen step up and pound android overnight? No way.. Android didn't overtake Blackberry overnight.. but it did (the NSA revamp of android's security didn't hurt).. It'll be 2015 before we see results of where these OSes are headed.. Sure we'll see devices before then.. even in the upcoming months. But we are all lil rats on the developers' wheels there... its fun to be involved, but advancement doesn't come without growing pains, bugs, and reshaping the wheel from time to time.
Anyway, hope you guys enjoy the ride, and I look forward to seeing the WebOS of the future.