In my mind, there are different types of OS platforms, created for one of several reasons, broadly separated into monetization, control or shared workload. Monetization - as shown by Microsoft - is that if you control a platform that becomes popular, you can charge money for it indefinitely as it's the basis for many other people's work. Control is what Apple and Blackberry do, where they don't license the platform, but use it to ensure they control everything about what happens on their platform and devices. Shared workload is what the Linux folk are about, where even though they lose control and get no fees, they still derive benefits from not having to do everything themselves, and the platform improves and is used more broadly as well with less investment on their part.
Symbian it seems has attempted to do all of this ...
July 05, 2008
Russell Beattie on Nokia'a Simbian acquisition.