Google has launched an open operating system for mobile phones, called
Android. It has also formed an Open Handset Alliance with 33 partners,
promising "better, cheaper" mobile phones.
What is Android?
Android is a series of software tools built by Google designed to
power a next generation of mobile phone handsets.
The tools are based on Linux - and so are open source and free to use.
It means any one can develop software for the platform and that
Android itself can be tailored for individual phones, networks and
What is the Open Handset Alliance?
Thirty four companies, including Google, have formed an alliance to
promote Android and to develop features and handsets to take advantage
of the platform.
Companies include handset manufacturers such as LG, HTC, Motorola and
Samsung, chip firms such as Qualcomm and mobile networks like T-Mobile
and China Mobile.
What is different about Android?
Google is stressing the open nature of the platform. Operating systems
on current phones - such as Windows Mobile, RIM, Symbian and Palm -
are proprietorial and have to be licensed for use. Google believes it
will be easier and quicker to develop new applications for Android
than the other systems.
What kinds of features and phones will we see?
That is the big question. Google and its partners believe that the new
phones will make the internet experience on a mobile "better than on a
But they have given little details about how this will be achieved,
except to say Android includes an advanced web browser.
- - - - -
Expect Micro$oft to redouble its efforts to exterminate
the Linux system through intimidation, frivolous lawsuits
and wild claims about intellectual property that would
make the old Soviet "We Invented EVERYTHING" propagandists
blush . The mobile netphone biz is BIG biz now ... tons
of $$$ in play. Hurting from the suckiness of 'Vista', MS
will be keen to kill off some of the competition. They
want offer you the generous choices of Windows, Windows
or Windows on your mobile devices ......
However, Google is a giant now and seems to have strong
backing from other industry giants. MS may be powerful
but not ALL-Powerful. An open platform means that mobile
devices can spread out in every conceivable direction
without impediment - kind of like PCs in the early 80s.
The best ideas will be retained, refined and become
Does all this mean that Googles stock will double in
price yet again ? Careful now ... so far this is a
sight-unseen product, vaporware. If it's not quite
clearly "better", or at least cheaper, than what the
others are offering then the hype will go out of its
sails (well, "sales") and the googlephone will become
Just Another Phone.
On the other hand, if it IS really good, maybe someday
Google will buy-out Microsoft - and kill it. :-)