Behind The Scenes In Symbian's Development Hell

Many in the mobile industry have wondered for years what exactly Nokia was doing over there. With the iPhone and Android taking huge bites out of them and reinventing UI on a yearly release schedule, Nokia seemed to have tied itself to the anchor of legacy systems, while still ostensibly researching and designing a true next-generation OS. It can’t have been both, right? As it turns out, it kind of was.

The Register has an interesting behind-the-scenes look, partially based on info from a longtime Symbian developer, Mark Wilcox. He explains how the enormous bureaucracy of Nokia produced pet projects and internal fragmentation, paralyzing the development process while producing an illusion of progress to many middle managers. It’s an interesting read so I won’t over-summarize here.

In the meantime, lets hope Nokia uses its billion-dollar “research grant” a little more wisely.