April 30, 2009 at 11:07 pm
While much of the talk surrounding Linux-based operating systems has been focused on Google Android, Symbian is looking to remind us that it could be a dark horse in the netbook OS wars. Both operating systems originated on smartphones and are now looking beyond handheld devices, to a raft of new consumer devices including netbooks.
Lee Williams, executive director of the Symbian Foundation, was at the Nokia Developer Summit on Tuesday and gave his views on what a Symbian-based netbook should look like. It was his blog entry recently that brought to light the work Symbian engineers had done in porting the Symbian OS to Intel’s Atom CPU.
“I want the device to [have] a heartbeat,” meaning “always on,” [and] I want a device which doesn’t even require you to close its lid,” Williams said. He feels that netbooks should be similar to phones in terms of technology. If you close the lid on a netbook you lose your presence online, which doesn’t happen with a phone. In his view, a netbook should be ‘always online’, easy to use and have at least a few days worth of battery life.
There is no doubt that a possibility to port the Symbian OS to netbooks has created a big buzz. “There’s a lot of interest in netbooks,” said David Wood, a strategist for Symbian Foundation. “I’ve never been as busy and rushed off my feet in my entire life. We are seeing a lot of early experimentation.”
The Symbian Foundation is currently “in discussions with multiple parties,” according to Williams, who declined to elaborate. Check out the video below, where Lee Williams talks of his views on what a Symbian netbook should look like.