Thursday, June 19, 2008

Nokia: Open source developers should play by our rules

Fatal Exception | Neil McAllister
Nokia could be following Google's example. Instead, it has allowed itself to be bogged down by notions inherited from a computing model that's rapidly becoming outdated. As Jaaski himself admitted, "As an industry, we plan to use open source technologies, but we are not yet ready to play by the rules."

Tsk tsk Nokia.

I've worked in mobile phone stuff in the past and it still fascinates me. But Nokia's attitude is less fascinating and more cringeworthy. While the overall quality and competitiveness of Nokia's handsets has plumetted over the past 18 months, other manufacturers are becoming better and more savvy. Nokia need a lead-in. They need something that will make their handsets must-have devices.

To do that, they need to open them up. They need to allow us to write apps that will work on their phones. They need to make them the most customizable (Nokia 5110 anyone?) phones available. They need to allow their phones to be the device that changes the way people interact with each other and the world. Phones are capable of this -- they've already done it -- and they are capable of bringing it along much, much further.

The open-source community are innovative, keen and clever. They are the end-users so they know what they want. Why the suits at Nokia feel they need to be telling the community how to operate is a question, but for those of us familiar with the feebleminded execs who head up most of these companies, it's not a tough one to answer.

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