Mobile Operating Systems: At a Glance Author: Eric Everson, Founder MyMobiSafe
Since posting my blog exposing the security Google G1 security issue, I have received a few emails asking about MOPS (Mobile Operating Systems) basics. When we start throwing acronyms like MOPS, OSMOPS, and pMOPS around it can get confusing quickly, so here’s a stab at simplifying the mystique.
Simply put all Operating Systems for mobile handsets fall under the MOPS umbrella. Every handset has a MOPS. Digging into this, there are two types of MOPS: pMOPS (proprietary Mobile Operating Systems) and OSMOPS (Open Source Mobile Operating Systems).
pMOPS: These are the traditional MOPS that the mobile industry was built on. pMOPS are proprietary in nature and have been developed by handset providers over the course of many years. The SDK’s (Software Development Kits) of pMOPS are not generally available to the public, which creates a greater overall level of mobile security. While security is better in pMOPS the abundance of third-party content is also very limited. Examples of these pMOP’s are mostly found on the less sophisticated (non-smartphone) mobile handset platforms. The Nokia and Motorola OS are examples of non-smartphone pMOPS while the BlackBerry Operating System is also considered a pMOPS.
OSMOPS: These are the MOPS that are shaping the foreseeable future of the mobile industry. These MOPS are Open Source by nature and their SDK’s are readily available to the public. Examples of OSMOPS are Symbian, Android, and increasingly Microsoft Mobile. There are obviously increased vulnerabilities with OSMOPS, though there is a harbinger of increased mobile content coming from third-party developers.
As it stands today, OSMOPS offer less in the way of security (thus requiring mobile security solutions) while pMOPS offer less mobile content. Deciding which kind of MOPS is best for you really depends on your own mobile needs. If you are all about the business, an OSMOPS may create more risk than reward. If you are in it for the fun of it, the pMOPS may have you starved for mobile content.
I hope this helps clear the mystique surrounding MOPS, as always feel free to comment or email me.
Your friend in mobile technology!
Eric Everson “MobileTech” Founder, MyMobiSafe.com