CeBIT 2000: MobileLinux can't compete with Symbian

Symbian consortium says Transmeta's MobileLinux will need an additional chipset to emerge as a dominant mobile Internet platform
Written by Justin Pearse, Contributor

On Thursday at CeBIT, the Symbian consortium dismissed as hype Transmeta's claim that MobileLinux would establish itself as the dominant platform for the mobile Internet.

The message from the Symbian camp is that MobileLinux, backed up by the hype that surrounds the Open Source OS, would first need to convince the development community it was a viable bet. Then it would need to beef up its wireless capabilities. In short, while Transmeta talks a good fight with MobileLinux, in reality it has little hope of competing against Symbian in the emerging Wireless Information Device arena.

Symbian executive vice president marketing, Juha Christensen, did not mince his words on the future of MobileLinux, citing its lack of integration with the wireless protocol stack, which he says makes it "useless for wireless". The addition of an extra chipset to add wireless functionality is the only solution, says Christenesen.

MobileLinux also suffers from a lack of global developer support, according to Christenesen: "When I was at the Intel Developer Forum last week, everyone was talking about MobileLinux and asking where the third-party developers community was," he says.

Despite Christenesen's assertions, on Friday Samsung launched the world's first mobile device based on MobileLinux. Read about Samsung's 'Yopy' later today.

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For full coverage, see ZDNet UK's CeBIT 2000 special.

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