Monthly Archives: March 2011
I can’t be the first one with this idea, so if someone feels I stole this, I apologize, but I didn’t.
When I look through the current crop of cellular phones, I am struck not by their differences, but by their similarities. When you take the operating system out of the equation, these phones are more alike than they are not. The innovation with phones is not the hardware, but the software. After years with a Blackberry, I moved to Android. I love it! But it leaves me wanting to play with other phone OSs. If these were developments on a PC, I could dual boot or reload a new operating system – but they’re not. It leaves me wondering why we couldn’t do this.
Carriers want us to buy new phones – sure – but they also want us to sign long term contracts. I’d be much more willing to do both if I knew I could get the upgrades and operating systems I wanted. What’s to stop HTC from putting out a phone every 6 months with upgraded hardware and then sell a ROM on a microSD card that I can pop into a slot and run? If the phone had 2 slots, I could keep my data on one and the OS on the other. We have a similar setup with computers now, and it works (mostly). We could be looking at a new source of revenue for the carriers, even, if they’re the ones selling the ROMs.
Sure, people would be pirating the software, but they do that now, and Microsoft still makes billions of dollars on Windows. There would definitely be some complications in terms of hardware compatibility, and such, but it would be easier than a PC. On a PC, the hardware is modular, so you have to load drivers or build them in. With this setup, the ROM knows exactly what phone it’s going in, so the hardware support is taken care of.
You’ve got a lot of other benefits of this – you could subscribe to software updates via new memory card, for example. You could try a new operating system without risk. Third party developers could pop up with their own versions or modified versions. I would gladly pay for a memory card upgrade for my Droid running a custom, known-functional version of Cyanogen Mod.
So, there you have it. Somebody get on this before I try cutting pieces out of my phone and doing it myself. Get my cell phone a modular operating system!
Paywall – A Doomed Mobile Strategy for Media Publications
A few weeks ago I was at a local chamber of commerce event that was held at a newspaper office. I was excited to go, as they promised to show everyone the workings of the press they had in house. It was an interesting event, and I met some nice people, but I was overwhelmed by the force a 10 minute presentation had on me. The word paywall thrashed around in my head the entire time.