Mobile operating systems: Which mobile device platform fits your strategy?

Mobile operating systems (OS) and mobile device platforms can be confusing for mobile managers. These unbiased stories aim to help you choose the platform that's right for your company.

Mobile managers face a tough choice when weighing which mobile device platform or choosing a mobile operating system to deploy to mobilize the workforce.

There's BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Palm OS, Symbian, Linux and J2ME. How do they choose? Which platforms perform which functions well, and where do they fall short?

We at SearchMobileComputing.com want to make that choice a little easier. We've assembled a team of experts and asked them not only to weigh the good and bad of each mobile device platform. With this series of stories, we hope to help you choose the mobile platform that's right for your company and help you cast aside those that may not fit your needs.

BlackBerry -- mobile email's 'gold standard'
Part 1: BlackBerry. BlackBerry is among the most popular mobile device platforms. Experts say it's great for mobile email, but its functionality as an application device needs some fine-tuning.

Windows Mobile -- not quite there yet
Part 2: Windows Mobile. It's Microsoft, so it will gain its share of the market on name alone. But when it comes to functionality, Windows Mobile may have a little house-cleaning to do before it goes truly mainstream

Palm OS -- not the best for the multitasker
Part 3: Palm OS. Palm makes a fairly popular mobile operating system. And as Palm's Treo smartphones continue to sell like hot cakes, it may become more widely used. As an operating system, it's pretty simple to master, but the mobile device platform's inability to multitask may prompt some users to close their fists.

Symbian -- that 'European operating system'
Part 4: Symbian. As a mobile operating system, Symbian is huge in Europe, but it has yet to really catch on in the U.S. Some experts attribute that to the limited number of Symbian devices available here.

Linux -- a land of misconceptions
Part 5: Linux. Not so much an operating system as it is a kernel, Linux has a loyal following and is bound to take mobility by storm -- if mobile purists allow it.

J2ME -- looking for its place in the enterprise
Part 6: J2ME. As a platform, J2ME, or Java ME, is used on mostly consumer devices. It has gained minor traction in the enterprise, but its many flavors can create headaches.

This was first published in November 2006

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