Maemo at OSiM - people centric and commonalities

Published by Rafe Blandford at 13:05 UTC, September 22nd 2009

Ari Jaaksi (Vice President, Maemo Device at Nokia) recently gave a presentation at the Open Source in Mobile (OSiM) conference entitled 'Taking open source forward' with the tag line 'Can't open source become more user friendly?' (via Maemo Talk). The presentation explained that big part of the Maemo 5 story is how its is 'inspired by people', but also outlined some of the thinking behind Nokia's open source strategy. Read on for more.

The presentation outlined how Nokia had used customer and consumer insight to build a detailed understanding of 'what consumer value in our products', help 'improve and redefine the user experiences of our devices' and 'develop insight into concrete solutions'. One of the highlighted users in the presentation was All About Symbian's Ewan Spence (who will also be contributing to All About Maemo).

An underlying theme of the Maemo strategy is that Nokia wants to concentrate on the user experience and integration of services while working together on common components ('generic'). Open source offers Nokia an opportunity to take part in collaborative software development. Ari Jaaksi's presentation noted that Nokia has had to learn about the different technologies, about 'how to work with the community' and how to balance the competing factors of 'openness and differntiation'.

It is worth noting that the strategy of building commonalities to reduce costs is not just limited to the Maemo Platform. Last year Nokia bought out Symbian's others shareholders, and subsequently transferred the Symbian platform to the Symbian Foundation, which has a robust open governance structure and is committed to taking the platform open source. The underlying reasoning was to share, with others, the costs involved in the future development of the Symbian platform and try to expand the base of those using and contributing to the platform.

In a similar vein Nokia is creating commonalities across its developer strategy, which sees both the services (Ovi), and app layer (Qt and WRT) shared across its software platforms, although clearly there are still platform specific elements (native development).

Here's the presentation from OSiM (embedded from slideshare.net):

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