TechWeekEurope Readers Can’t Wait To Get Their Hands On Sailfish

MobilityOpen SourceSoftwareWorkspace

MeeGo is alive, and still capable of exciting the techies

Sailfish, the Linux-based mobile operating system developed by Jolla, has come top of TechWeekEurope’s “alternative” mobile OS poll.

The promising open source project from Finland has beaten off some serious competition, including both the recently-announced Ubuntu for phones and Mozilla’s HTML5-powered wonder Firefox OS.

Only six out of 4,322 voters wanted to test out Android rival Aliyun, developed by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Mobile wars

It is a fact of life that Google and Apple jointly rule the mobile operating system kingdom. According to Gartner, 72.4 percent of smartphones shipped in the third quarter of 2012 were running Android, while 13.9 percent left the factory with iOS on board.

However, in the last two years, plenty of feisty, ambitious newcomers have been trying to bite off a piece of the tasty mobile pie and break the “duopoly”. In our most popular poll ever, with thousands of you joining in, we asked our readers: “What ‘alternative’ phone OS would you like to try?”

Born from the ashes of MeeGo, Sailfish was launched just a few months ago, but has already managed to attract an impressive following. According to the poll, 41 percent of our readers would like to give the multi-platform OS a try.

Sailfish developer Jolla was founded by several former Nokia engineers, after the promising MeeGo project was abandoned in favour of Windows Phone. The OS is due to appear in China first, thanks to a sales and distribution deal with D.Phone Group, the region’s largest mobile phone retail chain.

Ubuntu for phones, developed by Canonical, was the second most popular choice in the poll, with over a third (34 percent) of our readers excited by the ability to carry a desktop OS in their pocket.

The smartphone version of the most popular Linux distribution in the world will be able to run both HTML5 and native apps, and transform into a fully featured PC once connected to a keyboard and monitor. Despite these brilliant features, Canonical is yet to sign up a single manufacturer to try its OS.

Firefox OS, the open source alternative to Android based entirely on HTML5, came third with nine percent of the votes. The first “Firephones”, made by Chinese manufacturer ZTE, are expected to hit the European store shelves later this year.

The more mainstream Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10 operating systems (classified as “alternatives” for the sake of this poll) haven’t done well, with Microsoft’s latest mobile offering getting just seven percent of votes, three more than the upcoming OS from RIM.

Tizen, another Linux-based system scheduled for release this year, got four percent of the vote, and WebOS, a similar project run by HP, concluded the poll with 51 votes. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Alibaba’s Aliyun, which is being developed primarily for the Chinese market, didn’t perform well.

With one new mobile OS already released, and at least three more coming out in the next few months, 2013 looks like it is going to be an interesting year for smartphones and tablets.

How much do you know about the iPhone’s rivals? Take our quiz!

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