I am not a fan of collaborative projects in the mobile OS landscape, and for good reason too. I have seen too many drag on

Collaborations Gone Sour – Tizen Going The Way Of MeeGo?

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I am not a fan of collaborative projects in the mobile OS landscape, and for good reason too. I have seen too many drag on and on without tangible results.

MeeGo was the collaboration between Nokia and Intel. Before then, Nokia had owned Maemo exclusively and seen a handful of Maemo devices into the market. Then Nokia joined hands with Intel, renamed the project MeeGo – and development slowed to a crawl. Collaboration. We never saw a true MeeGo device hit the market before the joint effort was ditched, and Intel hopped off to be a part of Tizen.

LiMo had existed for years before being recently renamed Tizen when Intel came aboard. Another collaborative effort under the aegis of the Linux foundation. Years of work. No devices anywhere. Sounds like MeeGo. Yes?

Collaborations in the mobile industry often go belly up
Collaborations in the mobile industry often go belly up

I cannot forget the Symbian Foundation. Nokia thought it would be great to bring everybody producing Symbian phones under an umbrella of collaboration on the OS. Symbian S80 had been ditched. Nokia bought off Symbian UIQ from Sony Ericsson, and then lumped everybody together under the Symbian Foundation to push Symbian S60. The results? Sluggish as hell kind of progress. You know the kind of OS that came out from the efforts of the foundation. When push came to shove, Symbian was unable to evolve fast enough under the driving of the Symbian Foundation, and eventually, Nokia had to get back in the driving seat, though the damage had been done.

Meanwhile, look at the gains of iOS and Android under the single-minded control of individual entities who knew what they wanted to do and went for it. While MeeGo and LiMo (now Tizen) lumbered, see how Samsung single-handedly pushed Bada OS and had devices in the market in no time. Of course, it appears that Samsung is now abandoning Bada for Tizen. Bad move in my opinion. Watch how fast Jolla Mobile has been able to move in the little time they have hit the ground running. We are already looking at the first Sailfish-powered device showing up soon.

At this rate, Tizen will likely go the way of the Symbian Foundation and the MeeGo joint effort. These collaboration things have an unchecked history of ending up a mess. Collaboration can be a pain in the behind. The bigger the number of participants in the collaboration, usually the greater the pain. Here in Nigeria, we know that you do not setup a committee except you have no intention of getting anything done.

If you really want to get something done, there’s no better way to go about it than to go after it by yourself and hit the ground running with it. You can acquire partners along the way. Just make sure that you stay in control of your dream. This collaboration thing doesn’t seem to be working so well in the mobile OS landscape.

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  1. Even the collaborative nature of the geopolitical entity called Nigeria is akin to the Tizen implosion. Big with out a strong pilot like the American constitution is a recipe for fragmentation.
    I am forced to respect the Apple hub

  2. Some pattern here really. But I would have thought that Android is a kind of collaborative effort with Google being at the helm, similar to Symbian project then.

  3. This article makes a lot of sense. never really gave it a thought till now. I was really looking forward to the TIZEN OS. I hope its still on course though. We need new OSs to driver better features and abilities compared to what Android and IOS offer. Not that I am complaining about them though. There is always room for something better.

  4. Harry,

    While Google also founded the Open Handset Alliance, Android OS isn’t run the same way that Symbian OS was run by the Symbian Foundation. Google is firmly in control of the Android OS. Nokia was not in control of Symbian back then. The foundation was.

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