“Our fundamental belief is we would have difficulty differentiating. The commoditization risk was very high.” — Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, 2011. “We need to compete with Android aggressively. The low-end price point war is an important part of that.” — Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, 2012. That’s right — Android would have be a race to the bottom, so Elop decided to go with an OS nobody wants and try and dig to the bottom even faster.
In 2007, the Nokia N800 came out. Nokia released Maemo OS 2007, and dropped support for the N770 they had been selling a few months before. The OS2008 / Maemo 4 release wasn’t released for the N770 by Nokia, though hackers released an unofficial distribution. Next came a point release, which was a major pain to install, but added APT support so that the OS could be updated without having to mess with firmware tools.
I bought a Nokia N800. It’s an Internet tablet, about the size of a large PDA or a small thin paperback book; almost exactly the same size as a Nintendo DS Lite, in fact. It runs Linux. It connects via WiFi or Bluetooth. I bought it because I spend a lot of time reading web pages, PDFs and other electronic documents. In particular, my “killer app” was to be able to read the electronic edition of The Guardian with my morning coffee—ideally, in bed.
Earlier this month, PalmSource (owner of the PalmOS operating system) was purchased by a Japanese company named Access. Access has now announced that the death of PalmOS is imminent. As for Palm, they have the right to use PalmOS for another 4 years, and that’s it. So, they’ve started making Windows Mobile devices. So, farewell PalmOS. You were great at first, but like Classic MacOS you weren’t built to withstand the shoddiness of modern software, and your crashes became tiresome.