Who remembers Maemo, imode, MeeGo or, for that matter, Windows Mobile?
To counter Stephen Elop's remark that by joining forces, Nokia (nok) and Microsoft (msft) were going to make it a "three horse race" -- implying that Apple's (aapl) iOS and Google's (goog) Android were the only other viable mobile ecosystems in the running -- Asymco's Horace Dediu did some digging and produced the chart at right.
It shows the lifespan of 16 major mobile operating systems, several of which have died and two more -- Symbian and MeeGo -- that Nokia seems ready to put out to pasture.
"What I find noteworthy," writes Dediu, "is that there is an implied peculiar fatalism about the market when only two platforms are considered viable, neither of which are more than 3 years old. While visiting the Mobile World Congress, I sensed this jumping to conclusions about platforms was eerily similar to that of a few years ago when new entrants like Apple and Google were declared dead on arrival."
For the rest of his post, click here.
Also on Fortune.com:
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]