Samsung today confirmed that it is to produce phones using the Symbian OS, as was exclusively alleged here last week, and thus handed Symbian a major and much-needed win in the latest round of the mobile platform wars. Samsung claims agnosticism as regards platforms, and says it will still be working on smartphones in conjunction with Microsoft, but you'll recall that 'twas Samsung that garnered much publicity as a Microsoft development partner a strategy rev or two back, so this one's a big catch for the Symbian crew.
Especially when Microsoft has been hinting darkly about impending defections from existing camp members, and especially when Samsung looks like coming out of the other end of the slump as one of the major volume players in the mobile phone business. And especially when Samsung has just - like Nokia and Ericsson - rolled out a raft of deeply compelling-looking new toys. If the company isn't one of the phone big boys yet, it fully intends to be.
As we pointed out earlier, Microsoft had very much the best of it at Cannes GSM World. It had new plans and reference platforms to show, the Nordics were keeping their toys hidden, and Symbian was somewhat executively-challenged. But Microsoft didn't have a big name manufacturer, still doesn't have one, and the opposition is now at least sharing one it didn't have before. Game on. Still. ®