|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.
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
Dec. 20, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,245
ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...
Dec. 20, 2014 12:30 PM EST Reads: 2,082
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 20, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,945
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
Dec. 20, 2014 11:30 AM EST Reads: 2,382
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
Dec. 20, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 2,282
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
Dec. 20, 2014 10:45 AM EST Reads: 2,238
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 20, 2014 08:00 AM EST Reads: 1,306
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
Dec. 20, 2014 07:00 AM EST Reads: 2,108
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. 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 development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Dec. 18, 2014 09:45 PM EST Reads: 1,138
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 18, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,356
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
Dec. 18, 2014 06:00 AM EST Reads: 894
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
Dec. 17, 2014 11:15 PM EST Reads: 1,385
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 17, 2014 11:00 PM EST Reads: 1,441
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 17, 2014 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,426
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Dec. 17, 2014 06:30 PM EST Reads: 1,336
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
Dec. 17, 2014 11:45 AM EST Reads: 1,551
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Dec. 16, 2014 11:45 PM EST Reads: 1,381
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
Dec. 15, 2014 11:45 PM EST Reads: 1,727
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Dec. 15, 2014 10:30 AM EST Reads: 6,908
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...
Dec. 15, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,983