Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android have a lock on the two top spots in mobile operating systems, and their dominance isn’t going to fade.
However, cementing third place would be a significant victory for a second-level mobile operating system (OS) vendor. Big companies such as Microsoft and BlackBerry are competing. So are small players, such as Firefox and Jolla.
The big news is that, according to CNET, a new player, Acadine Technologies, is emerging as a contender. It is the brainchild of Li Gong, who left Firefox to head up the startup at the end of March. The new company, whose OS is called the H5OS, is being bankrolled to the impressive tune of $100 million.
Writer Stephen Shankland positions the other third place contestants as having come up short. Firefox and H5OS are open source, so the usual intricacies and limits of bringing the approach from one company to another are presumably much less, if not eliminated.
The introduction this month of Windows 10 is also exciting news for mobile OSes. Windows Phone to this point can only be described as a disappointment, and indeed, that’s a charitable description. CIO’s take is that there may be an opportunity for the company to make some headway:
A key plank in Microsoft's strategy to drive adoption of the newest version of Windows Phone – called Windows 10 Mobile – is the idea of universal apps. These app packages can be tailored to run on desktop, tablet and phone hardware running Windows 10 operating systems (and Microsoft's Xbox) with substantially the same code used on each platform.
The commentary in the story casts some doubt on the efficacy of the approach. It is, in any case, a step away from the strategy that has saddled Windows Phone with low, single-digit market share.
The third piece of news is a bit more subtle: Jolla, maker of the Sailfish OS, has split into hardware and software businesses. This, according to the company, will enable it to narrow its focus. Jolla Ltd. will develop and license the Sailfish OS, while the other business, which has not yet been named, will focus on building devices.
None of the third-place aspirants seem to be making too much progress. At the same time, though, Gong and Acadine were able to raise a tremendous war chest. This suggests that some very smart people believe that there still is a game to be won.
Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at email@example.com and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.