Document Actions

The Lurching Landscape of Mobile

The Standards Blog - Andy Updegrove - Anyone paying attention to technology news lately knows that the Titans are clashing for control, or at least a share of the monetary rewards, in the mobile marketplace.  When technology historians look back on this era, they'll likely see this as a time when the tectonic plates suddenly shifted, wrenching apart corporate monopolies and rearranging the terrain upon which the next great age of technical innovation and adoption will play out.  These sudden shifts have predictably sent tremors reverberating across the competitive landscape.

The least violent of these actions have involved acquisitions of patent portfolios at eye-popping valuations (the Nortel and Novell patent sales provide prominent examples).  They have also included large cross license agreements, such as the recently announced deal between Microsoft and Samsung.  More forceful shocks have emanated from several recent lawsuits between vendors, such as the one launched by Oracle against Google.  One immediately notes a common thread in much of this seismic activity:  it's all about the operating system.  Why?  Because whether on OS is open or closed, and in the latter case who holds the keys, dictates so much about whose forces will prevail on a computing platform landscape increasingly dominated by smartphones, tables and other mobile platforms.