For kicks and giggles, the Symbian Foundation ported their platform to run on Atom, the Intel chipset which seems to be powering these popular NetBooks. Engadget wrote:
“the only question left to be answered is whether there’s a place in the world for a Symbian-powered netbook.”
The irony here is that the Symbian OS first appeared on small PDA-like and in some cases, NetBook-alike devices. The real issue (and what Engadget means I think) is whether the proliferating number of NetBooks and potential operating systems (Windows XP, Windows 7, Mac OS X “Hackintosh”, several flavours of “desktop” Linux, Android), is there any point in chasing the NetBook market.
It won’t be for me. I found it very hard to use a NetBook and ended up giving it away to family who wanted a tiny laptop.
And with Nokia’s current revenue issues it might service them better to address their current markets. For last quarter their operating profit was only $72 million (down from $2 billion in the year ago quarter). They shipped only 80% of their 1Q08 numbers as well. In the smartphone market, their shipments dropped from 14.6 million to 13.7 million over the last year as they content with strong competition from RIM and Apple. They are pinning a lot o hope on their 5800 touchscreen phone, the only touchscreen phone in their arsenal.
I wish they’d pay more attention to their Maemo platform though. Mine (an N800) is feeling neglected as the last release I loaded was sluggish and had horrific usability bugs.