This is our second installment to the series 'Operating Systems that power your mobile phones'. You can read the previous part here.
- Microsoft Windows Mobile
As they say where there is Operating System there is Microsoft, that however, by any means, doesn't imply that they are great at building one. Microsoft has always there trying to grab a share of embedded devices OS market right from the days of Windows CE. This OS enjoys huge backing by some of the largest smart manufactures of the world like HTC, Samsung, MWG etc, but it still seems to struggle as its market share keeps falling year after year.
Here, you will get the familiar look and feel of the typical Windows interface. Nothing great but isn't too bad either. Some manufactures like HTC offer their own customized interfaces in order to jazz up things and they are truly brilliant. Before zeroing in on one, just make sure that the device has enough material inside it, because this OS has a reputation of making devices run out of steam.
Since this is a Microsoft product, it is pointless taking about security issues over here.
Application support is pretty decent, you get Mobile Office which includes Word, Powerpoint etc. You also get Windows Media Player, Internet Explorer and Outlook. Just don't expect too much variety or out of the box stuff though.
Read more about Windows Mobile on Wikipedia.
- Blackberry OS
RIM has definitely created history with their Blackberry line-up of smart phones. Blackberry(ies) use their propriety OS which again like the iPhone OS case, is exclusive to the Blackberry series of smart phones only. And that means everything manages to fall right on the sweet spot as the tailor made OS really brings the best out of the device. The latest version on offer is 4.7 which powers the Storm. The OS interface on offer is smooth and brilliant.
As far as security department is concerned, its one of the most secure and safest OSes out there. Probably the best.
Application support is pretty decent. You will hopefully get pretty much everything you may want. Since this is a business phone, you also get some decent business/productivity tools for eg. the famous Blackberry email server, also many share broking firms offer share trading client apps for Blackberry(ies) etc. The Blackberry has something called the Owner's Lounge and App World, where you will plenty of stuffs to download and play around with. Also Blackberry has been promoting very hard these days to encourage developers to come out with more and more applications for Blackberry devices.
So, you can't go wrong with a Blackberry. If you can afford it, that is. Read more about Blackberry OS on Wikipedia.
- Palm OS / webOS
The Palm OS, is one of the oldest player in the market. It had its own share of success and a never say die attitude. Recently when everybody thought that it was all over for Palm, it surprised everyone and came out with the drool-able Palm Pre powered by the new webOS. Palm webOS is one of the successor to Palm OS, ACCESS Linux Platform (ALP) being the other. webOS has a Linux core and makes use of new web technologies like HTML 5, CSS etc. The good old Palm OS powered various devices from Palm's own Treo, Tungsten, Centro to few others of Samsung's, Kyocera's, Qualcomm's amongst others. However Palm webOS presently could be found only on Palm's own 2 devices, the Pre and the Pixi.
The webOS sports a brilliant and refreshingly new interface. The old OS suffered with some security issues, but the new webOS is yet to encounter something serious.
Application support for the Palm OS has always been decent, nothing great, though the new webOS promises to change that. But that is something only time can tell. The Pre however features something interesting called the Actvity Cards which are Third party and ROM applications accessible as movable, multi-view cards.