|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.
"I think that everyone recognizes that for IoT to really realize its full potential and value that it is about creating ecosystems and marketplaces and that no single vendor is able to support what is required," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Feb. 25, 2017 08:30 AM EST Reads: 979
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
Feb. 25, 2017 08:00 AM EST Reads: 5,690
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Feb. 25, 2017 07:30 AM EST Reads: 5,902
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Steve Wilkes, CTO and founder of Striim, will delve into four enterprise-scale, business-critical case studies where streaming analytics serves as the key to enabling real-time data integration and right-time insights in hybrid cloud, IoT, and fog computing environments. As part of this discussion, he will also present a demo based on its partnership with Fujitsu, highlighting their technologies in a healthcare IoT use-case. The demo showcases the tracking of patie...
Feb. 25, 2017 07:30 AM EST Reads: 1,044
SYS-CON Events announced today that SD Times | BZ Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BZ Media LLC is a high-tech media company that produces technical conferences and expositions, and publishes a magazine, newsletters and websites in the software development, SharePoint, mobile development and commercial UAV markets.
Feb. 25, 2017 07:15 AM EST Reads: 1,777
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
Feb. 25, 2017 07:00 AM EST Reads: 8,964
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
Feb. 25, 2017 05:30 AM EST Reads: 1,469
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
Feb. 25, 2017 05:00 AM EST Reads: 5,140
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, director/senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Feb. 25, 2017 04:15 AM EST Reads: 4,150
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
Feb. 25, 2017 04:00 AM EST Reads: 11,848
910Telecom exhibited at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which took place at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, in November 2016. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and exchanges.
Feb. 25, 2017 03:15 AM EST Reads: 1,932
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Feb. 25, 2017 03:00 AM EST Reads: 4,300
"A lot of times people will come to us and have a very diverse set of requirements or very customized need and we'll help them to implement it in a fashion that you can't just buy off of the shelf," explained Nick Rose, CTO of Enzu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Feb. 25, 2017 02:00 AM EST Reads: 6,690
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
Feb. 25, 2017 01:45 AM EST Reads: 4,637
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, discussed the impact of technology on identity. Sho...
Feb. 25, 2017 01:45 AM EST Reads: 5,947
China Unicom exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which took place at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, in November 2016. 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 FDD, TD-LTE), fixed-line broadband, ICT, data communica...
Feb. 25, 2017 01:30 AM EST Reads: 1,470
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
Feb. 24, 2017 11:30 PM EST Reads: 6,524
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
Feb. 24, 2017 10:30 PM EST Reads: 1,916
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Feb. 24, 2017 09:15 PM EST Reads: 1,719
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place in November in Silicon Valley, California.
Feb. 24, 2017 09:00 PM EST Reads: 2,241