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Windows Compact / Symbian

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Hi, I'm new to the concept of smartphone OS's etc. hence the basic nature of this post I'm very keen on getting my hands on a smartphone, with the intention of developing software on it. It seems people are divided over whether symbian or windows is better for phones, with symbian clearly having market share, and windows having better computer syncing (which I would also want), and symbian having a better interface to program for, and windows apparently being less buggy (which I naturally find hard to swallow) and even linux appears to be in the running with motorola. I am possibly coming at this from a completely 'computing' perspective, but is it not possible to install whatever OS you choose on the phone? could I for example buy a windows phone and 'reformat' (again I'm coming from the computing perspective) it to be symbian... or linux? .... I mean, the OS must be firmware or something, not ROM... so presumably further OS's could be written for them?.... apoligies for the basicness of these questions, but all of the comparisons I've seen tend to focus on 'mp3 playing abilites' , 'can it run word/excel' etc. rather than with devlopment in mind...

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Quote:
Original post by Tile
and symbian having a better interface to program for, and windows apparently being less buggy

In my experience, this is the other way around. Programming for Symbian is an absolute nightmare. Primarily because of the way memory management is handled, especially strings. Two-phase constructors on almost every object. I hated it and ended up writing a custom allocator to handle this for me. It does, however, make Symbian very robust. On my Windows CE/Windows Mobile(/Windows Catchphrase Of The Week [tm]) device, I have to put up with crashes of the applications or the entire system every few days of use. In the 9 years that I've had Symbian devices (6 of 'em, all used much more extensively than the Windows ones), I've never ever had a single crash.

Quote:
I am possibly coming at this from a completely 'computing' perspective, but is it not possible to install whatever OS you choose on the phone? could I for example buy a windows phone and 'reformat' (again I'm coming from the computing perspective) it to be symbian... or linux? .... I mean, the OS must be firmware or something, not ROM... so presumably further OS's could be written for them?....

Well, Windows and Symbian tend to be run on a different category of devices and they often need a lot of drivers to match the hardware. Linux has the advantage of being compilable by the user to deal with that. That said, there are not that many Linux distros available for handhelds and one may not exist for whatever device you're buying. So, although it's often theoretically possible to switch to another OS, in practice you're pretty much locked in.

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