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Gartner predicts mobile OS war

Magneto squares up to Symbian
Thu Apr 21 2005, 00:31
TWO OF THE Gartner Group's leading analysts, Nick Jones and John Girard, are predicting big trouble for Symbian when Microsoft finally releases its Magneto release of Windows for Smartphones some time in Q3-Q4 2005.

Jones believes that the lead Symbian currently enjoys as a smartphone OS will evaporate when Magneto finally appears. Magneto will effectively fix the bugs and fill the holes in the current version of Windows for Smartphones.

That will mean the difference between the two offerings will be largely down to marketing - an area where the Beast of Redmond is acknowledged to enjoy a lead. The Beast will portray its offering as the obvious choice for corporate users.

The pair were particularly dismissive of attempts by Research In Motion (RIM) to push J2ME as a rival to both Microsoft and Symbian. They claimed J2ME had been hijacked by the network operators who had little feel for software and that J2ME lacked decent software tools.

Girard believes that security will soon become an issue in the smartphone world. He doesn't see a need for full blown virus checkers and fire walls. Instead he believes that corporates will deploy security solutions from the likes of Texas' Whole Security. Their software effectively locks a device down to predefined tasks.

The threat from Bluetooth viruses has also been exaggerated, Girard says. The latest handsets aren't vulnerable to attacks. He joking suggested that hackers could have more fun by labelling their handsets Kodak Photo booth and seeing what photos people send them.µ


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