The Windows CE operating system and Windows Mobile middleware are widely spread in Asia. The two improved variants of this operating system, Windows Mobile 6 Professional (for touch screen devices) and Windows Mobile 6 Standard, were unveiled in February 2007. It has been criticized for having a user interface which is not optimized for touch input by fingers; instead, it is more usable with a stylus. However, unlike iPhone OS, it does support both touch screen and physical keyboard configurations.
The Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad all use an operating system called iOS, which is derived from Mac OS X. Third party applications were not officially supported until the release of iOS 2.0 on July 11th 2008. Before this, “jailbreaking” allowed third party applications to be installed, and this method is still available. Currently all iOS devices are developed by Apple and manufactured by Foxconn or another of Apple’s partners.
Google’s Android :
Android was developed by a small startup company that was purchased by Google Inc., and Google continues to update the software. Android is an open source, Linux-derived platform backed by Google, along with major hardware and software developers (such as Intel, HTC, ARM, Samsung, Motorola and eBay, to name a few), that form the Open Handset Alliance.
Symbian has the largest share in most markets worldwide, but lags behind other companies in the relatively small but highly visible North American market. This matches the success of Nokia in all markets except Japan. In Japan Symbian is strong due to a relationship with NTT DoCoMo, with only one of the 44 Symbian handsets released in Japan coming from Nokia. It has been used by many major handset manufacturers, including BenQ, Fujitsu, LG, Mitsubishi, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sharp, and Sony Ericsson. Current Symbian-based devices are being made by Fujitsu, Nokia, Samsung, Sharp, and Sony Ericsson.
On February 15th, 2010 Microsoft unveiled its next-generation mobile OS, Windows Phone 7. The new mobile OS includes a completely new over-hauled UI inspired by Microsoft’s “Metro Design Language”. It includes full integration of Microsoft services such as Windows Live, Zune, Xbox Live and Bing, but also integrates with many other non-Microsoft services such as Facebook and Google accounts. The new OS platform has received some positive reception from the technology press.
Palm’s Web OS
Palm webOS was Palm’s next generation operating system, and was acquired by HP. Several new devices are anticipated in 2011.
Linux:Linux is strongest in China where it is used by Motorola, and in Japan, used by DoCoMo.Rather than being a platform in its own right, Linux is used as a basis for a number of different platforms developed by several vendors, including Android, LiMo, Maemo, Openmoko and Qt Extended, which are mostly incompatible.PalmSource (now Access) is moving towards an interface running on Linux.Another platform based on Linux is being developed by Motorola, NEC, NTT DoCoMo, Panasonic, Samsung, and Vodafone.