|By Tim Negris||
|November 8, 2010 01:00 PM EST||
Symbian, the open source mobile OS spun out of Nokia and once the Big Kahuna of smartphones OSs, announced this week that it would be participating in new projects funded in part by the EC and run through the Artemis Industrial Association R&D combine, to the tune of some twenty-two million Euros. But, there are some things about this event that are odd and make one wonder what is the real story.
€22M is about $31M and that's a lot of cabbage, especially for an open source project that has seen harder times since losing the love of its birth mother Nokia and the support of two if its biggest handset partners, Sony-Ericsson and Samsung. According to Garnter, though, as of the first quarter of this year, Symbian's smartphone market share was still 41% and only slightly less than RIM, Android and iOS combined!
North Americans may find those numbers startling, because we do not see many Symbian devices in phone stores here. But, in Europe and Asia, and other regions where buying a phone and engaging a carrier are largely unrelated, Symbian-powered smart phones have long been available from more than a dozen manufacturers.
But, as good as 40% market share looks right now, a year ago it was 50%, and Android and the iPhone have barely started in those populous places where Symbian has found its primary strength in the past. All things considered, recent rumors of a coming collapse for the project have not been hard to believe. Look at Palm, another once and future king that is now a mere captive consort.
So, Symbian raising big money is certainly newsworthy. Unfortunately, the way the news has come out is confusing, strange and painful.
The news first appeared two days ago in a Symbian blog entry penned by a Symbian "Technology Manager" named RichardC (Collins), and did not as actual news on the Symbian.org site. The blog post announced that 24 major technology and research organizations had formed a consortium "to propose development projects that will enhance the Symbian platform for the benefit of the entire Symbian ecosystem."
It went on to say that this would be happening under an EC-sponsored initiative and with the endorsement and support of the ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking, and that the EC has granted 11 million Euros toward project funding and another 11 million would be forthcoming from consortium members. Oddly, the ARTEMIS site does not mention Symbian or SYMBEOSE anywhere at all as of this writing.
TheSymbian blog post includes the statement, "Broadly speaking, the proposed advances to the Symbian platform will focus on radically improving the basis for new device creation on Symbian. Additional work will concentrate on a set of core platform enablers that will support the types of mobile services that will be most prevalent in the near future."
Elsewhere in the post, it mentions mobile some more and also points to "asymmetrical multiprocessing" and "cloud computing" as key project themes. But the name of the consortium, SYMBEOSE, and the ostensible focus of the ARTEMIS group seem to seriously belie the blog's suggestion that the project is about making the Symbian mobile OS better.
Embedded, Mobile, or Both
SYMBEOSE stands for "Symbian Embedded OS for Europe" and ARTEMIS stands for "Advanced Research & Technology for EMbedded Intelligence and Systems". While not unrelated, mobile and embedded are two very different universes, so which is it?
Then, on the Symbian.org site, there is a hard-to-find 4-page presentation from September that summarizes the status of the SYMBEOSE proposal to ARTEMIS. It perpetuates the confusion by asserting that the goal of the project is to make Symbian "the focus for future European mobile technological development" and going on to use the word "mobile" four more times in the four pages of the presentation. The presentation answers the rhetorical question, "Why Symbian?" with these bullets:
- Combat mobile device and service homogeneity exemplified by Android and iOS
- Symbian is a natural technological focus for European centric mobile software development
- 20,000 jobs in Europe depend on Symbian (est)
- SYMBEOSE can take advantage of the rich Symbian eco-system
Outside its role in the SYMBEOSE acronym, the word "embedded" only appears once in the presentation, as a theme under "Platforms Beyond Mobile."
The excellent site unwiredview.com contains the only detailed reporting seen so far on this whole business, by someone fluent in Euro-Bureau who can decode some of the organizational details of the relationship between Symbian Foundation, SYMBEOSE, and ARTEMIS. The report also includes a more detailed breakdown of the project, and it is mostly mobile-oriented and looks like what the Symbian Foundation would have done on their own if they had the money.
We Don't Need No Stinking Smartphones
So, what is happening here? Virtually all the ARTEMIS funded projects for 2008 and 2009 pertain to vehicle telematics, manufacturing automation, energy systems, health care devices, large scale multi-core computing, embedded systems architecture, sensor networks, and the like. There is nothing about smart phones, multimedia streaming, online payment systems, or anything else related to Symbian's to-do list. Why is ARTEMIS, in conjunction with the EU, funneling over $30M to SYMBEOSE, which, according to the Symbian Foundation, seems to be about embedded systems in name only and all about smartphones otherwise?
My guess is that the Symbian foundation and ecosystem are unknowingly or knowingly being coopted into repurposing the Symbian OS from running PDAs and smartphones to serving as the basis for a multi-purpose embedded OS sponsored and controlled by the EU and its primary industrial and academic organizations.
Such a thing could limit exposure to industrial malware, like the Stuxnet virus that recently invaded Siemens SCADA power plant control systems. It could limit dependency on and cost from "foreign" embedded systems software from Microsoft, Texas Instruments, and other non-European concerns. And, most importantly, it could provide a single standardized pan-European platform for a wide range of public safety, industrial, logistics, transportation and energy control, and health care applications.
All of those things are coming to be grouped under the rising rubric of "machine-to-machine" (M2M) computing and communications and it is my belief that, although the term is not being used in relation to the SYMBEOSE project, that is what it is all about.
Keep 'Em Typing, Tell 'Em Later?
Either the Symbian Foundation leadership is in the dark about SYMBEOSE's real purpose (doubtful), in denial about it (possible), or they are being a bit duplicitous with the Symbian community (hard to believe but also possible), keeping them coding by letting them believe that mobile meme is somehow at the core of the project, and that it remains a key to their collective future together. They can be weaned away from that notion over time, a process that will become easier, as the iPhone goes global, RIM hangs in there, and with each new Symbian OEM departure to Android, proprietary homegrown OSs, like Samsung's Bada, or even Windows 7.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
Sep. 26, 2016 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,586
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
Sep. 26, 2016 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,071
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, will discuss the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports. The session will include a working demo and a technical d...
Sep. 26, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,715
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
Sep. 26, 2016 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,557
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...
Sep. 26, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,166
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Sep. 26, 2016 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,307
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the protocols that communicate data and the emerging data analy...
Sep. 26, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,615
SYS-CON Events announced today that China Unicom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd ("China Unicom") was officially established in 2009 on the basis of the merger of former China Netcom and former China Unicom. China Unicom mainly operates a full range of telecommunications services including mobile broadband (GSM, WCDMA, LTE F...
Sep. 26, 2016 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,738
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Sep. 26, 2016 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,414
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
Sep. 26, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,671
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...
Sep. 26, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,797
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
Sep. 26, 2016 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,002
SYS-CON Events announced today the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp, being held November 1-2, 2016, in conjunction with 19th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but with hands-on demos and detailed walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of real world use cases prototyped using Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark, and Intel Edison. Y...
Sep. 26, 2016 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,874
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
Sep. 26, 2016 11:06 AM EDT Reads: 188
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, will discuss how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your...
Sep. 26, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,001
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Sep. 26, 2016 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 907
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
Sep. 26, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,701
Big Data has been changing the world. IoT fuels the further transformation recently. How are Big Data and IoT related? In his session at @BigDataExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will explore the interplay of Big Data and IoT. He will anatomize Big Data and IoT separately in terms of what, which, why, where, when, who, how and how much. He will then analyze the relationship between IoT and Big Data, specifically the drilldown of how the 4Vs of Big Data (Volume, Variety,...
Sep. 26, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,007
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
Sep. 26, 2016 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,880
WebRTC adoption has generated a wave of creative uses of communications and collaboration through websites, sales apps, customer care and business applications. As WebRTC has become more mainstream it has evolved to use cases beyond the original peer-to-peer case, which has led to a repeating requirement for interoperability with existing infrastructures. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Graham Holt, Executive Vice President of Daitan Group, will cover implementation examples that have enabled ea...
Sep. 26, 2016 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,532