Sharp article by Jean-Louis Gassée, writing on Monday Note, the blog he runs with Frédéric Filloux:
When we look at what it would take for Samsung to come up with its own mobile OS, the first thing to note is that “operating system” is a misnomer. Surely, iOS and Android are operating systems in the old-school “kernel” sense: They manage drivers, memory, input and output streams, user tasks, and the like. But today, an “operating system” is much more than just a kernel, it includes rich frameworks that support a wide range of applications, games, maps, social networking, productivity, drawing… Building these frameworks is a much harder task than adapting a Linux kernel.
And the OS is just the beginning. What Samsung really wants is its own ecosystem, a set of services that will ensure its autonomy, growth, and lasting importance. It wants its own app store, maps, music/video, cloud storage…
How long would it take for Samsung to build all of this? Three years, four years? Add to this the difficulty of “skating to where the puck will be”, to divine where the industry will land four years from now.
The simple question: what is the track record of software or services from Samsung’s mobile division? It’s poor. And most of the services have been single-purpose efforts: Music Hub, WatchOn, ChatOn. All of them, easier than an operating system. All of them, shut down.
Tip of the hat to Charles Arthur, who runs The Overspill (recommended). He found Gassée’s post and this richest excerpt (but the entire post is good).