Five years of Microsoft versus Symbian
Mobile device platforms are proliferating faster than ever, but we are still no closer to the original vision of a single, universal platform standard.
Back in 1998 it all seemed so simple. Mobile handset technology was about to explode; therefore, to pre-empt any interoperability problems, the industry needed a standardised operating system for the new breed of "smartphones". This would allow developers to write compelling applications for a wide range of devices. There was a brief but exciting tussle between Microsoft and Psion over who would contribute the core technology. Psion's EPOC won, and Symbian - an operating system controlled by a consortium of device manufacturers - was born. Is this the end of story?
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This was first published in March 2003