I'm up late, just about to go to bed, responding to comments and reading over the IBM and Nokia announcment and suddenly it dawns on me what's happening. Mystery solved! It was written and in plain view, but I just wasn't really paying attention to what was right in front of me.
I had first assumed the announcement by IBM and Nokia was similar to the announcement not too long ago from IBM and PalmOne and later PalmSource. I thought it was just another licensing deal for the WebSphere Micro Environment (WME or J9). But it's so much more than that! It's a concerted effort to move against Microsoft in the enterprise market. How dumb was I being before? It doesn't have anything to do with the technology (MIDP vs PP and where it came from), it's all about the business!
Symbian the company is just not an influence in the mobile platform wars. Not only is it - one way or another - going to become Nokia's property, it just doesn't have the size, money or resources to compete against the mighty Redmond menace. I've said it before and I stand by it, forget the fact that Nokia is trying to gain control of the company, without Nokia, Symbian would not be on the map. Nokia is the main customer of that OS and surely the main focus of most of its development efforts. Nokia is Symbian. Period. If Nokia really wanted a JVM for the 9500 from Symbian, it could've gotten one.
This is what confused me so much. PalmOne/PalmSource doesn't have the resources right now to create and test their own JVM implementation, so working with IBM is a necessity, especially since Palm seems to have burned all relations with Sun over the aborted J2ME PDA Profile. But Nokia? Nokia has Symbian, and Symbian we know already *has* a Personal Profile technology. Or Nokia could've gone right to Sun, like it did for it's Monty KVM in the 6600. Nokia had lots of options.
But it signed up IBM instead. Brilliant! I get it! I haven't figured out just yet who's in the driver's seat - IBM or Nokia - but it's my suspicion that it's Nokia making the moves. There is the case that IBM is doing what it can to spread its technology to all of Microsoft's competitors - PalmSource/PalmOne, Nokia/Symbian - but I don't think it's part of a master plan. I'm sure IBM is just quite happy to provide competition to Microsoft as a matter of practice. Nokia, however, wants to hit Microsoft in the corporate market before it can establish itself. How is it going to do that? Well, how about signing up the might of IBM? All it takes is plugging in IBM's well-regarded Java tech into their new brick phone (and since that phone isn't anything but vapor right now, all that took is a signature on a contract so far. I'm sure there's developers out there coding furiously as I write integrating the technology). Signing some other paperwork and Nokia is also using some DB code and integrating into Lotus tech and other such stuff. Poof. Nokia has become, overnight, a force in the enterprise market.
Duh! Right there in front of my face! Very cool. Now, let's see how long it takes for J9 to show up on the Series 60 phones...