Thursday, February 28, 2008

Just make a shell and leave all else to Google

Yeah, that’s what I thought after reading Simson Garfinkel in MIT technology review.

“Android is not the "Google phone" that rumor suggested before the software was launched. Indeed, the company doesn't really want to own your phone. It just wants to be sure that no other company does. If Android succeeds, it will keep the wireless world safe for Google and whatever services it might seek to offer in the future. Today there are a billion Internet users but nearly three billion people with mobile phones. That's a lot of eyeballs, and Google is first and foremost an advertising firm. And so it is not surprising that Google may do more than build a new operating system in its effort to entrench itself in the wireless world. At press time, the company was in the process of bidding for wireless-­spectrum licenses being auctioned by the Federal Communications Commission.

If Android succeeds, it will have a major impact on wireless carriers. A phone running Google's component-based operating system, after all, would treat wireless operators like Verizon and AT&T as just another way to reach data services on the Internet. Such a phone could turn today's wireless providers into commodity data communications networks that also happen to carry voice….

Just as Google's place in the wireless world is a work in progress, so too is Android, which I suspect will not be limited to cell phones. If it's successful, we're likely to see Android as the basis of other handheld devices: digital cameras, GPS receivers, or even lightweight tablet computers. If Android really works, it's going to change the face of mobile computing.”

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