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Open vs Closed ‚ the big question

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As smart phones continue their upward trend in market penetration, more emphasis is being placed on mobile operating systems. A variety of operating systems are currently available in the market, but a clear trend is emerging favouring Open Operating Systems ‚ a trend which will ultimately count in the favour of the consumer. This is the view of BRETT LOUBSER, Product Manager at Samsung Mobile South Africa.

‚Closed or Proprietary Operating Systems trade off flexibility for predictability and are ultimately designed for maximum efficiency with a very specific set of hardware in mind,‚ says Loubser. ‚Open Operating Systems on the other hand are generally designed to perform on a range of hardware, which allows for a lot more flexibility.‚

A further difference between the two varieties of Operating Systems is that an Open OS will have some kind of software toolset available, enabling developers to customise and/or create applications for the Operating System. ‚This is a direct opportunity for the development community as they are now able to develop applications that meet the needs of the consumer,‚ says Loubser. ‚Without question, this is the key differentiator for an open Operating System as it creates a true platform for creativity and innovation,‚ he adds.

According to Loubser trends over the past few years show a move toward Open Operating Systems. ‚It is difficult to predict whether alternate, manufacturer specific Operating Systems will be brought to market, but one thing is clear and that is that smart phones are the future and they naturally require an open operating system,‚ he says. ‚I believe in time that all phones will be smart phones and that the Open Operating System will become the defacto standard.‚

Samsung recently launched their own Operating System, bada, globally. ‚As an Open Operating System, we have made bada available to developers world-wide to allow them to develop applications for our Samsung handset users,‚ says Loubser. ‚This, in conjunction with our upcoming launch of our second Android handset, means that we can provide our consumers with a variety of handsets to meet every possible need.‚

The range of handsets that are now available in the market, could lead to confusion around the unit that best meets your needs as a consumer. ‚The world we live in changes at such a pace these days that I would always recommend as flexible an offering as possible,‚ says Loubser. ‚Smart phones deliver one consistent feature to a customer ‚ flexibility,‚ he concludes.

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