Huzzah! The Nokia N9 has finally arrived in a genuinely consumer-oriented package. Granted, it is not step-five-of-five given the February 11th announcement to abandon Meego as Nokia’s smartphone future, but it is getting rave reviews even from the likes of engadget - usually the first to take a pop at Nokia’s hubris in pursuing alternatives to Android/Apple. The problem the N9 faces is that in editorials up and down the land there exists the question; why get excited about an abandoned platform sat on an orphaned handset. Fair question, the N9 must persuade on merit that it is a proposition with value. This blog takes no issue with that, what it does wish to raise to prominence is the false meme of disaster that has arisen from people who are too busy hyper-ventilating over an emotional calamity to engage brain and sieve facts.
Having grown bored with pointing out the same facts to the emotionally incontinent, over and over again, here is a FAQ:
This post has been filed under politics for a reason; because it is widely believed that there can only be three mainstream smartphone ecosystems, in addition to niche platforms such as RIM, and with Android and Apple IOS occupying two of those positions the race to be the third depends massively on the perception of momentum. Consumers and developers will follow the perceived trend, and so creating a vision for where your platform will go is as much an art of political manoeuvre as it is a science of engineering prowess.
Nokia want to be (a part of) that third platform and they didn’t have confidence that MeeGo could take them there.
This blog has long hoped that Apple would produce an 11.6” macbook, judging it to be the perfect compromise between portability and power, and now one has arrived to a largely positive response. As a tech enthusiast one can admire the streamlined and powerful design of Apple OS’s, conversely, as an open-platform geek one can reject the walled-garden Apple likes to enforce, thus leaving an abiding respect for the excellence of their hardware design. Where Apple treads consumer demand often follows, and in this instance the ill-defined mobile-tech market is about to coalesce, the results of which will be seen in the second half of 2011.
The tablet/netbook crossover is about to have a much sharper edge.
Convergence devices are forever promised, a device that fits comfortably in your pocket, can make phone-calls, plays all manner of media from books to music to video, will play games, handle basic office tasks such as documents, email and PIM tasks, as well as acting as a hub for your various groups of online friends via social networking and IM, with a vibrant development community and a non-restrictive platform, but has such a device ever arrived? Arguably not, most notably because of the conflicting challenges of making a device big enough to both display a lot of information information and house some serious power, and then small enough to remain pocket-able in a way that allows it to be always at hand. Will we ever reach this Nirvana?
Probably by the start of 2011 is this blogs best guess:
In the previous article this blog discussed the value of PC gaming in bringing Linux to the mainstream home user, and in particular the importance of stable drivers as an enabler of this revolution, but what about the other technologies that will underpin a truly first-class linux user experience? In many cases the mainstream user won’t be aware of the technologies that provide this user experience, and even if they did they really wouldn’t care, because the limit of their interest is that the computer and it software environment work seamlessly to meet their user needs. This does mean however that those technologies, and their progress towards maturity, are not of interest to those with a nerdier bent.
This article will pick up a few of the technologies that this blog deems key to bringing linux to the mainstream user.