Mobile phone service providers are apparently unhappy about supporting so many different kinds of device software, According to today’s New York Times piece on the call for fewer mobile operating systems. With approximately 2 billion handsets in the world, providers have something of a leg to stand on, as every operating system requires understanding and support on their part. Late last year Windows Mobile was chosen along with Symbian and Linux as the only operating systems Vodafone will sell on handsets in the future. The issues of content delivery, configuration, and technical support are all very real concerns, particularly as more handsets are become ‘smart.’ The flip side of this coin though is the conservative nature of the service providers. Rather than focusing on how to enable potential customers to utilize their networks with whatever device they choose, the end user will be presented with diminished choice. While we’re happy to see that WinMo will be safe on networks like Vodafone for years to come, the strategy here is questionable. We would rather see genuine innovation from the providers rather than moves to protect their existing way of doing business.
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