"You can't call a platform Brian!"

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A bit of background for Nokia fans, as Andrew Orlowski looks back at Project Hildon... or was it Brian? Anyway, Nokia's "missing" operating system which showed up in the Nokia 7710 (and lurking in the Nokia 9500 as well). Orlowski has form in these longer historical pieces, so settle in and take yourself back to a time when a 512MB MMC card was a huge amount of storage, the Newton was Apple's last PDA, and Symbian had more than two partners...

A decade ago, Nokia developed an advanced software platform light years ahead of the competition, only to neglect it, and eventually abandon it. The platform would have allowed Nokia to bring more sophisticated devices to market more quickly, and the company may have avoided much of the difficulty that enveloped its software development. The story is a microcosm of issues that enveloped Nokia, and the mobile industry, in the past decade.

The Nokia 7710 Web Browser
Steve's 3-Lib site on the Nokia 7710

It's certainly a tale from the history of electronics, but like many tales, there could well be lessons to learn for the modern day smartphone industry. And if you fancy a snapshot of the time, we reviewed the Nokia 7710 on All About Symbian back in 2005. As for the name:

There was just one problem. Psion’s working codename for the project was Brian.

“You can’t call a platform Brian,” Matt Millar, who became the technical lead, and today is CEO of Live TalkBack, recalls saying.

The team cast around for inspiration, but drew a complete blank. They fell back on the ubiquitous bottled mineral water on the table in the conference room. With Sulenski given a £10m budget and a challenging 18 month deadline, Project Hildon was underway.

Source / Credit: Andrew Orlowski (The Register)