Symbian Tertulia: App stores and Patents

As twittered and blogged here before, we hosted a Symbian Tertulia in Barcelona last Friday. The venue, “Dulcinea” in the old town of Barcelona, provided the most appropriated environment for the discussion, including superb “Chocolate con Churros”.

tertulia

From Left to Right: Jose M., Xavier and Victor (David taking the photo) at Dulcinea

The attendance consisted of David Caabeiro (co-funder of SequencePoint), Xavier Montalvo (Engineer at Sugrañes patent firm) and JoseM. Herrero (Developer at Visual Engineering) and myself. Thanks to all the guys for attending!

We had a very productive 2 hours, and here is my summary of the most interested topics:

App Stores – The next fragmentation frontier for developers

As most developers, they guys at the tertulia wanted to be able to port their apps and sell them through whatever channel will provide them the most reach to customers.

Some striking comments were the perceived slowness of most application stores publishing processes, including rejections to publish due to discrepancies on menu wording and look and feel (Not mentioning names here 🙂 ).

As OEM and Operators/Carriers want a piece of the app store pie, the speed of which new stores need to be deploted seems to be affecting the stability of their implementation.

Hence, it seems that the diversity and volume of application stores is the new fragmentation problem for developers. This validates the good timing of Symbian Horizon initiative.

Patents and Membership

We also had an enlightening discussion on what would be the likely outcome of the European Union on Software Patents. It also made me realise that patent threats are real for smaller companies like the guys at the tertulia.

As you probably know EPL contains some statements about software patents, but by becoming a member of the foundation you are additionally covered by our patent policy, which regulates patent licensing between our members for software and hardware combinations applicable to the Symbian Official release. Taking into account that we now have +150 members , I think this is a great reason to join (although not the only one)!

More opportunities to talk to us at SEE09

In the same spirit of the Barcelona Tertulia, we are running a Birds of Feathers session at SEE09. You can find more detail on our BoF at the developer.symbian.org forums. Look forward to see you there!

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