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« Nokia Under Elop - His 3 Years: Performance Review - Worst CEO of All Time - All the Facts - In Pictures | Main | Its Now Official, Nokia Shareholders Approved the Deal »

November 15, 2013



"after all, you want to enjoy those great Google/Microsoft/Amazon/Apple apps/content/services, do you?"

Indeed. In the end, people voted with their feet to cheaper services. MS DOS on PCs was horrible, but mere humans could actually afford it.

OpenStreetMap might be not as good as Google Maps, but if it saves me money, why should I care?

Email/Calendering services etc come a dime a dozen. Most are perfectly suited for consumers. I could go on.



"In the end, people voted with their feet to cheaper services."

Correction: "to cheaper _standard_ services". Till the end of the 1990s, early 2000s, when Windows NT and 2000 finally made serious inroads into the corporate market, you would develop programs, control processes, or manage large applications with SGI, Sun, HP or IBM. Not with Microsoft stuff. Full commoditization that enabled this took a long time: CPU, busses, I-O, storage, and OS (linux), networking (all IP) -- all pieces must fall into place. We are not at this stage in mobile, and Apple/Microsoft/Amazon, Samsung and Google less consistently, are fighting this off.

"I could go on."

Which is exactly why Google is stepping up its efforts in ubiquitous computing (glasses, watches, dashboards, you name it), Nokia in camera and imaging, Amazon in e-content, and Apple into advanced computing components for fancy "lifestyle" apps. All of which you will not get on other hardware. Or at best with years of delay.

There are conflicting, sometimes completely opposed trends in technology. But to get to the point where we have a mobile Wintel situation, commoditization of hardware (common ARM designs are not enough), networking (we are almost there, as US and Japanese are abandoning their local proprietary standards), and software (we have a few partial standard pieces like PIM or maps, but no genuine open-source OS, for instance) must take place first. And again: the big players do not want that, want to preserve their margins/business and are trying to move towards a different model, which we lived through in the 1980s-1970s.

Sander van der Wal


The IT business has up until now been oscillating between doing everything on a server/mainfraime, or doing everything on a client/pc. It is a good trick, every twenty years there's a new generation that believes they know everything, and can therefore be fleeced just like the ones before them.

What is new is that this cycle both the server amd the network are owned by different parties, the server by the cloud providers, and the network by the network providers. Which means to anybody with any kind of strategic sense that you can now be blackmailed by two parties over access to your own data.


@Sander van der Wal

"you can now be blackmailed by two parties over access to your own data."

This is, quite succinctly and, huh, cogently put. Tying into this, the debate around net neutrality has largely to do with how much blackmailing power network operators will manage to grab for themselves.


"Yes, a few million nerds scattered across the world, but a drop in the bucket to the 1.5 billion mobile users."

One billion of which run on the Linux kernel. So much for "tiny".

Let alone most of the Internet and cloud platforms as well as 90% of all supercomputers.

In short, there is no "Open Source" versus "Companies".


"Those leaving in yesterday will never accept tomorrow. Fact is, we are living in an Android world. Its the OS number 1 by wideee margins. It tops every alternate. Windows? That is past and so is iOS. TODAY already. Just by looking at that already old numbers. There is no point in arguing with baron-windows-95 like minds who still live in a pre-internet era. Lets move beyond that. Its Android, today and tomorrow."

I agree with what you say about Windows and iOS but I don't think the future's going to be Android either, it will more likely be Tizen. I believe we are now seeing the major manufacturers readying themselves to migrate from Android just as they did Symbian when NOKIA moved to take control of it. Google are showing Motorola too much love and they're moving to seize complete control of the Android 'ecosystem' too.

Tizen already runs Android apps and NOKIA have now joined the Tizen Association which will offer it the best mapping/navigation platform available. It's usage is not tied to a particular set of services in the way Google does with Android either making it more appealing to manufacturers and carriers. Interestingly, NOKIA's Advanced Technologies division is currently working on self-driving, self-navigating cars in conjunction with Mercedes Benz.

It's rumoured Samsung's Tizen phones have been delayed so they can be launched simultaneously with Samsung's own services, 'S-Cloud'. Samsung are working on Tizen TVs, cameras, fridges, washing machines, etc... too.


"There is no successful open source tablet, desktop os or phone os in advanced economies.


Android, as sold and used in advanced economies is not open source. It is very tightly controlled and licensed and has tight requirements including a total prohibition on forking it and excluding the Google Services that Google alone decides need to be included."

Well Google can't make Android completely open source, they need somewhere to hide the NSA back door don't they?

Could you define an 'advanced economy' for me? Is it one that's up to its neck in debt to China?

I guess the mass migration to Ubuntu of various public sector institutions in the EU has passed you by.

ashok pai

"Well, if Nokia could die the Microsoft death, why not Microsoft itself?"
the beast that destroyed nokia , finally tamed in our lifetime. I hope the advantage is driven to its logical end - seeing the demise of microsoft or see to it that it's severely crippled.


"Android, as sold and used in advanced economies is not open source. It is very tightly controlled and licensed and has tight requirements including a total prohibition on forking it and excluding the Google Services that Google alone decides need to be included."

You are right, of course. At least if you redefine:
- "Legal right" to include being able to use marketing and having business deals in place
- "Software" to include server hardware plus online services run on that hardware
- "Open Source Software" to include the unlimited right to use other peoples servers and services
- "Operating System" to include all and any user applications

Furthermore, I like it how you are able to make sure your criteria exclude the "wrong people" from your considerations. Somehow, poor people seem to be not human in your eyes.

But, if we stick to the normal definitions of things, Android is an Open Source Operating system:
- Open Source definition:
- Operating System:

Open Source Software is a legal concept. Legally, and in practice, the Open Source nature of Android is demonstrated on a daily basis by CyanogenMod, which is a completely legal distribution of Android that can be installed on all handsets that can run stock Google Android. There are many such distributions.

It is also demonstrated by the fact that around a quarter of all phone shipped with Android run a version that is not delivered by Google. Also, the Amazon Kindle runs a version of Android that is not blessed by Google.

This is completely different from OSX and iOS. If you try to spin your own OSX or iOS distribution, you are hauled into prison as fast as Apple can track you down. Your comparison is very disingenuous.

The fact that Google is able to control Android has nothing to do with the question whether it is Open Source. Actually, it is not even impossible that someone, eg,, succeeds in pulling Android out from under Google and takes over the complete "ecosystem". There is absolutely no legal obstacle against that.

What the Android story shows is that a successful mobile phone OS needs online services to be successful. But services have just as little to do with software as plastic molding and touch screens.


"@Winter - what happened, has someone hijacked your account? You used to make sense, but lately you are just speaking like a fanboy. "

Old age is setting in?

"Google Android may run on "linux" but that doesn't equate it to cyanogen mod. iOS is ALSO built on linux-like kernel - BSD."

But I get imprisoned if I try to distribute my own copies of iOS. I am free (ie, out of prison) to make my own version of Android and sell it to whomever I like. That is the difference between Open Source and Proprietary.

"None of that matters to users."

Why should I care what users think what matters? Many people think astrology matters, or some hare brained alternative medicine therapy cures cancer. That does not mean I should base my own actions on their believes.

"Folks who root their system, install Cyanogen mod, then locate and reinstall the google apps that came with their phone are going to be a very tiny tiny drop in the bucket."

You still do not understand, do you? Cyanogen Inc is going to directly deliver to specialist and cheap handset and appliance makers for shipment on the appliance itself.

"Folks who get a Jolla phone or a Firefox phone or any of the other non-Google Android phones (outside of China) are a drop in the bucket. Those in China are going to be "whatever came installed on my phone" versions of Android."

It seems Baron95 and you consider the Chinese as some kind of non-human aliens we should forcefully ignore.

"None of them are going to rise out of "other"."

We'll see. Firefox OS seems to have a window of opportunity and just might get a hold in the low-cost market. Or not. We should not forget that the low-cost market is 4 billion handsets. That might become more than "other".


The misunderstanding between Winter and others results from the confusion about an operating system vs. a platform.

Platform =
a) operating system (managing device resources) +
b) run-time environment (to run third-party software) +
c) system library (to access OS+UI services from programs, can include server-side API) +
d) user interface (CLI, GUI, ...) +
e) standard user services (which make a device usable out of the box, can include server components).

Linux = OS + system libraries.
Android = platform.

Standard services, the UI, and the special run-time environment for Android are not open, and are not included in a linux core. The UI can be procured as OSS, but it is not a standard part of the linux core (see the proliferation of shells and UI for desktop linux).

Even then, you cannot get the entire OS as open source: the device drivers are proprietary, and this is a major stumbling block for an open-source mobile platform. This has been known for quite a long time. Remember the situation with Maemo: it was open-source, with a thriving community -- which alas utterly depended upon Nokia for the low-level device drivers, and therefore had serious difficulties becoming self-sustaining. Cyanogenmod has the same problem with device drivers: they are usually excised from commercial Android products and re-integrated into Cyanogenmod distributions (the rights to do this are contentious).


Indeed. Totally correct.

Device drivers are an eternal problem, not only for OSS. Most device manufacturers do not own the rights to the firmware and device drivers they ship with the hardware. And many device drivers and firmware images are actually based on OSS drivers and break their OSS licenses.

One reason no one cares about the copyrights of firmware and device drivers is that the device manufacturers are not the copyright holders and cannot sue (and do not care), while the software house that has the IP is ignorant about what happens with the hardware. If they would like to sue, those who wrote the drivers and firmware are generally unable to prove they own the copyright. Or it is found out they copied some OSS code.


As expected:

Nokia shareholders approve Microsoft deal


"@Winter - Cyanogen hasn't a prayer to make a meaningful dent in the market. It takes Google services to make a compelling Android offering. "

He wants to try it, so why should I "deny" him that chance? That is what Free markets are for.

"Take out Maps, Gmail, Google Now, etc. and you don't have a compelling mobile offering."

Maps: OpenStreetMap
Gmail: There are hundreds of free email services that are just waiting for customers
Google Now: See Gmail

"Keep in mind that services are not the same as source code."

There is little chance that I will ever forget that.

"Those commercial entities are not going to be targeting "the poor"."

Ask for takers and you can bet any amount of money on that. And you already lost. See OpenStreetMap.

"Cyanogenmod on a phone - without Google services - will be no cheaper to produce than an Android phone with Google Services and will be far less compelling a choice."

Indeed, but they will be shipped on devices and use cases Google refuses to supply to. Gaming is one area Google is blocking optimization for.

Also, there are people who for any number of reasons do not want to use Google services, or any USA based services at all. Secured and hardened Smartphones are sold for thousands of dollars each. That is a market that is screaming for a special Android spin.

You must think outside of the current markets. There is a huge demand for a universal, free, open software platform to cater to the lowest price hardware and to all kind of appliances that are not tablets or smartphones.

As you write, Android is a well known platform with an UI used by a billion people. No reason to stick to Smartphones. You can build computers running it. See, e.g., the Dell Android PC on a stick:


"Nonsense. Anyone is free to use the same open source BSD Kernel and recreate all the APIs and services and optimizations to make iOS and OS X compatible distributions."

Words matter. A kernel is not an OS is not a functional platform. Software is not a service run in a data center, iOS is not Google Maps or Gmail.

This type of word twisting is a Halmark of the Con-man. It is one more example of your insincerity.

However you try to spin these words, there are people who produce legal Android distributions that can be loaded onto normal phones to make a fully functional Smartphone. Nothing like that can be done with iPhone nor WP8.

And it works. Android handsets outsell iPhone 6:1 worldwide. More people buy a non-Google Android version than an iPhone. And they prefer to buy an Android phone over an iPhone out of free will.


"It takes Google services to make a compelling Android offering. Take out Maps, Gmail, Google Now, etc. and you don't have a compelling mobile offering."

I live in an 'advanced market' and I would love to have an Android device that's not infected with Google's cr4p. At this moment if you want a genuine smartphone Android is the only game in town, it's biggest negative is all the Google sh1t you can't uninstall without rooting your phone.

I hope Tizen / Ubuntu Touch / Sailfish will put the user first and make all such worthless cruft uninstallable.

"Linux has made pitiful progress in all these years replacing windows on the laptop. And that's with an offering that is technically superior in many ways and is FREE whereas Windows is expensive."

When you buy a new PC it comes preloaded with lots of crapware - a 30 day demo of x, a lite version of y, etc... The vendors of that crapware pay the manufacturers for the privilege of being preinstalled and cumulatively that adds up to more than an OEM license for Windows so effectively Windows is cheaper than Linux.

"And in all these years Linux has never come up with a consumer friendly version. It remains a bastion of computer geeks...or places where an employer or govt agency uses it with the 2 or three custom apps they allow employees to use (plus the web)."

What utter bunkum! A fortnight ago I installed Ubuntu on my retired mother-in-law's PC as Windows had been snuffed out by a virus. She's ecstatic about it, she finds it a joy compared to Windows. She is just the latest in a multitude of converts I've made in the last few years. All manner of software a consumer's heart could desire is available free from the Ubuntu repositories too.

The issue is awareness, each person I've demonstrated Ubuntu to is blown away by it. My sister-in-law simply did not believe a computer could work without Windows.

"But as of now, newer Google-Android handsets and forked circa-2.2 Android Handsets (virtually all Chinese) are playing in vastly different markets."

Actually virtually all Chinese Androids are now running 4.x and you don't have to 'activate' them either. Just check AliExpress or PandaWill.


"It looks like 99.7% - NINETY-NINE POINT SEVER PERCENT - of the owners of Nokia (shareholders) completely ignored Tomi's rant and recommendation to vote against the deal, and were very happy to approve the Balmer/Elop deal.


Now Tomi has to write 10,000 words to describe how not only Elop and the board are stupid and criminal, but also 99.7% of the owners of Nokia - shareholders - also are stupid."

I would vote for that too, it's as good as things are going to get now. Getting rid of Elop/Microsoft will inevitably make NOKIA more valuable just like shoes are more desirable if you scrape the dog sh1t off them.

cpa in boca raton

Awesome! Its actually remarkable article, I have goot muxh clear idea regarding from this post.



> Standard services, the UI, and the special run-time environment for Android are not open

UI (Skia) is open, run-time (Dalvik atm) is open. Facebook isn't and there is an Android Facebook client and even launcher but that doesn't make Android itself unfree. So what?

> and are not included in a linux core.

There is no "linux core". Even the Linux Kernel itself is not a fixed set but modular up to the point that there is are no two Linux distributions using the exact same Kernel.

> The UI can be procured as OSS, but it is not a standard part of the linux core (see the proliferation of shells and UI for desktop linux).

There is no standard part, no linux core. That is on purpose. That is actually THE advantage and it is wanted!!!

Or do you really like to argue its only Linux if it uses the ksh and KDE? Your argument is then that servers without X11 are not Linux. By extension there is soon nothing Linux when every classic distribution replaces X11 with Wayland? Is that your argumentation? Come on.

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