Just the other day, I was doing a bit of spring cleaning around my house and I came across my “museum” of devices. I may not have an extensive collection like many others do around this site, but I can safely say that I have “enough” devices. Aside from sending me on a one way trip down memory lane, finding and turning on my old Wallaby, my Blue Angel, and my Vogue (all of them fully functional) got me to think back on how much I loved and enjoyed playing with my old devices. More specifically, it made me realize (now that I am an Android user), that many moons ago, I was using a different breed of operating system in my phone. Back in early 2000 and up to 2009, Windows Mobile was the OS of choice for anyone outside of the Blackberry culture (and Apple’s as of mid 2007). Applications were as abundant as the day is bright and xda-developers was the cradle of life/fountain of youth for any device running this OS as well as any of its older iterations.
Over the last four years, we saw something that many of us did not expect. A sudden boom in popularity fueled by Apple’s iPhone. Because of this (not saying that this was the sole reason, but probably helped an awful lot) a new titan emerged from the shadows. Google released a new OS called Android, which promised to be the true iOS killer (after many failed attempts by Microsoft). After a while (read sometime last year), Microsoft decided to take the battle to a whole new level and finally released the fabled Windows Phone 7 operating system, which had been rumored for almost 2.5 years prior to its release (and delayed a fair bit as well). Its release was the final nail on Windows Mobile’s coffin as no more devices would be released with this OS (the last device to ever see it would be the HTC HD2).
So, history seems to be pointing at the fact that the cultural switch was done because of the continued development of technology, but what pushed this switch? It certainly seems that companies competing against each other were responsible for this. However, companies have other much larger driving factors, namely consumers.
The question for my readers is the following: If you were a pda/smartphone device enthusiast prior to the “boom”, did you switch OS because:
- the OS that you switched to was better?;
- because of availability / continued support by the manufacturer?;
- reduced amount of development on it (devs moving on)?;
- you figured that you could start developing yourself?;
- the whole “uhhh, shinny and new… I want it!” mentality?;
- or something else?
We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences as to what the real driver behind this switch was. So, please leave us your comments below. Thanks for reading.
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