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Mobile Computing from Nokia

Nokia’s development of the 770 and N800 based on its Maemo platform could be testing tools for a future strategic shift to mobile computing, writes Michael Mace at

“Not smartphones, not converged devices, but full-on mobile computers intended to replace both PCs and mobile phones. Nokia says it expects these devices to eventually sell in the billions of units, and to become the world’s dominant means of accessing the Internet.

“Even though these future devices will still be mobile, if you take all of Nokia’s statements at face value the changes from mobile phones will be so extensive that it’s fair to call it a new business.”

As an open source fan, I am glad to see this. When Linux (or other open source)-based devices define a new market category from its very beginning, there will be almost no chance for proprietary software and monopoly control to get its foot in the door (analogous to the web server market, where Apache started early and holds about 70% marketshare).

Collaboration on the base platform is logical, and allows for faster and better innovation on top of and around it. I’ve long thought the Maemo platform, and the web tablet concept, are headed for significant future growth. Yes, we will see them replace many of the current uses of laptops and desktops and other small devices, though of course not every one.

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