- Windows Mobile
- Xandros (Eee)
- moblin 2.0
- Andriod (beta, perpetually)
- Ubuntu Mobile
- etc. etc. etc.
One thing must happen for mobile Linux to thrive: The distribution sponsors must create a consistent application pool and installation experience. They must provide developers with ease and incentive to create applications for the platform. If this is not done, every mobile Linux device will be relegated to a small pool of hobbyists and dedicated fans.
Windows Mobile and Symbian provide the developers with incentive: There are just so many darn phones of theirs out there and the owners are known to pay for the application. Both platforms are lacking dedicated (and sponsored) application directories with easy on-device browsing and purchasing.
Apple came in with the solution to that: The iPhone application store is easy for users and provides the ability to browse, download, and purchase applications directly from the device. Apple now has enough phones in the marketplace to attract a purchasing audience for the software. However, they punish developers by telling then what can and cannot be sold there. They are also under strict non-disclosure clauses in participating in the iPhone application store.
Linux has the opportunity to learn from these competitors and blow them away. Since Linux systems are fewer and most are newer and more nimble than their competiors, they can rise above the shortcomings and dominate. The problem: It would delay launch of ALL the systems and stock holders would be mad. As a result, manufacturers and mobile Linux sponsors will cave to the stock holders' demands to release early and be the "first to market."
It's a shame. I will miss the excitement of mobile Linux systems. I hope some company is strong (or wealthy) enough to provide developers with the tools, distribution channels, and incentives to provide a rich application directory for their devices. Failing that, mobile Linux is doomed.