Requiem For Symbian: Let’s Call It A Day And Bury The Bloody Thing!

Don’t get me wrong I am very fond of my Nokia 5800. I can pick up emails, connect to Twitter and Four Square, browse the net, read documents on it, send texts – I have even been known to make the odd phone call on it! However, its day has almost come.

Not Because the phone is physically on its way out but because the operating system that powers it – Symbian – is dead in the water. I remember having a brief spasm of optimism when Nokia released Symbian into the wild as an open source system but earlier this month the head of the Symbian Foundation Lee Williams walked. At Nokia the people behind the Smartphone and MeeGo initiatives fell on their swords and, like Elvis, left the building.

To confirm it’s just a dead man walking look at how many apps are being developed for iPhones and Android phones and then try and find similar ones for the Symbian. A phrase with the words needle and haystack spring to mind.

If Nokia is to survive as the world’s leading phone supplier it is going to have to challenge the likes of HTC and Samsung and adopt Android or Windows new Mobile 7 software. And I’m not too sure about the survival of the latter! Microsoft will be quizzed when it reports its financial results for the last quarter on Thursday.

Microsoft is forecast to produce profits of $4.81bn (£3.1bn) on sales of $15.8bn, up from $4.52bn and $15.3bn in the prior quarter, respectively and eyes are on the mobile sector following the success of the iPhone, Blackberry and the rapid acceleration of Android adoption.

And don’t let’s forget that Microsoft’s Ray Ozzie has decided to up sticks and leave – will it be Apple or Android than snap him up. Read his farewell comments in his personal blog.

That the future of computing will become increasingly mobile orientated is beyond doubt. I may think that Steve Jobs is an anally retentive arse but his business acumen in spotting and developing trends cannot be faulted. iPhones, iPads, slates, tablets – any company with an eye to survival in this recession has to adapt to survive and Symbian is a pair of lead boots not a lifebelt.

So let’s stop faffing about and acknowledge that the future of smartphone computing is going to be Apple, Blackberry, Android and possible Microsoft’s Windows 7 offering. Let’s read the last rites to Symbian and get the damn thing buried and move on.

Kevin Tea is a journalist and marketing communications professional who has worked for some of the leading blue chip companies in the UK and Europe. In the 1990s he became interested in how emerging Internet-based technologies could change the way that people worked and became an administrator on the Telework Europa Forum on CompuServe. With other colleagues he took part in a four year European Commission sponsored project to look at the way that the Internet could benefit remote communities. His blog is a resource for SMEs who want to use cloud computing and Web 2.0 technologies.