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Lee Williams, executive director, Symbian Foundation

Lee Williams, executive director, Symbian Foundation

By far the most popular mobile OS in terms of units shipped—primarily because of Nokia’s market dominance—Symbian is moving into a new phase. Lee Williams is tasked with overseeing this evolution, and ensuring that the new, open source Symbian platform doesn’t lose market share to Apple, Android and RIM.

Just as importantly, Williams needs to bring the Symbian Foundation to a place where it is no longer perceived as a Nokia subsidiary.

Even those within the Symbian organisation concede that this is an issue and one could argue that installing Nokia’s head of S60 (Williams’ previous role) as the leader of the newly independent foundation might serve only to perpetuate that perception.

Williams needs to ensure that the platform developed by the foundation appeals to end users, to carriers and, crucially, to developers and other handset vendors. Nokia’s major competitors are all members of the Open Handset Alliance, which exists to promote Android products. It is the OHA with which the Symbian Foundation will be most overtly in competition and Williams must maximise the benefits available to Foundation members in order to maintain the dominance of the Symbian OS.

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