Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Pedantry Rules

OK, I may be wrong, but I think there's an attempt to add authoritative context to this short Reg article on Symbian buying UIQ which manages to get a number of key facts wrong:

"Most famously, Nokia made just such a move, and developed the precursors to its current Series 60 and Series 80 - aka S60 and S80 - UIs, both of which..."
Maybe just poor phrasing, but the latest OSs are S60 and S80 and their precursors were Series 60 and Series 80. Ambiguous but we'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

"UIQ remained as the UI for Symbian licensees unwilling to develop a user interface of their own. Siemens was originally a UIQ fan, but its support went the way of all flesh when it sold its mobile phone division to BenQ, never a vociferous Symbian supporter."
BenQ developed the P30 and P31 using UIQ, though it shifted to Windows Mobile for its successors like the P50. Motorola also created some hefty UIQ 2.0 bricks which could be useful to have on your side in a fight. Siemens on the other hand released the SX1, a Series 60 phone, but nothing on UIQ that I ever spotted (could be wrong though). Of the remaining Symbian licensees, DoCoMo have created their own UI layer used by six manufacturers and Samsung have toyed with a handful of Series 60 handsets (one of which may even have been launched), but only SE and Nokia have really pushed the OS and so purchasing UIQ makes sense for SE.

"That's left Sony Ericsson as the major UIQ licensee, adding to its P series of smart phones, its M600 smart phone and a number of its higher-end Walkman-branded handsets."
Well, one is unambiguously a number but I think most people would read this sentence and assume more than one Walkman handsets run UIQ. Actually, ten Walkman phones (not including those pesky i/a/c variants) run the SE proprietary OS, leaving the W950 as the only UIQ Walkman.

Not a bad mistake rate for four paragraphs. Now some of this is nit picking, for sure, but I think if a respectable news outlet is going to go to the effort of providing some background detail, they should go to the extra effort of actually getting that detail right, especially when they are more than happy to lay into the minutiae of other people's statements.

That said, they'll continue to be my main general technology news source, so I can't be taking this slip up that seriously ;)

UPDATE: of course I criminally forgot to mention that Nokia have also licensed UIQ, though I would tend to view this as a Chinese market anomaly and quite why they bothered escapes me when the phone is so old...