Overdue Innovation in Mobile
Collaborative source provides a unique opportunity
By: Yann Dietrich
Jun. 13, 2008 03:15 PM
Why is the “collaborative source” development approach uniquely suited and required to drive innovation in the mobile-communications software stack? What are the early fruits of its impact?
Out of the principles of open source and the particular market and legal constraints of the telecom world, a best-of-two-worlds approach is being forged: the collaborative source development model that is spawning overdue innovation in mobile. Openness in development, networks, and devices is encouraging wider, collaborative participation in accurately assessing real-world requirements and honing effective software solutions. At the same time – in an industry that until very recently was fully focused on proprietary software and heavily engaged in patents discussions, especially around 3G and 4G – major mobile players are now willing to engage in collaborative development within an intellectual property (IP) safe harbor created to foster contribution and innovation.
The mobile software environment, consequently, demands a new and innovative development approach based on open source principles while being inclusive of all business models. A collaborative source development approach is emerging against the backdrop of these divergent forces.
Mobile’s prospects on the consumer front are intriguing. The buzz at February’s Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, for example, was focused on how entertainment is evolving for mobile’s proliferation – filmmakers’ rethinking their craft and pop-star makers’ packaging their clients for tailored delivery over the handset.
Businesses, too, are eager to explore the possibilities of mobile. How might business applications be optimized with the handset availability of Internet capabilities that have been traditionally associated with the desktop PC (search, live chat, location-based services, and video streaming, for example)? And how will it be possible to reduce fragmentation among software platforms, in turn reducing costs to access these new capabilities and foster development of new services?
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