When Windows Mobile 1.0 was first released in 1996, Microsoft was saying it had ambitions to not just have the OS in mobile devices but also in anything from phones to cars to petrol pumps. Microsoft tried hard and there was even an automotive version of the OS at one time. In fact, I still occasionally come across Windows Mobile in non-pda and non-phone devices, especially in point of sales terminals.
Conversely, I have commented several times on how Symbian seems too tied to mobile phones and how there aren’t even any rugged devices for use by enterprise customers. With Symbian OS going open source, we will hopefully see a greater range of devices.
The ‘open source’ affect of encouraging a greater range of devices can already be seen with Android. There’s already talk of using Android to power NetBooks. I can foresee a time where we might possibly see Android being used in a wide range of devices.