So, at last we the Google fans have something to celebrate as Google recently bought or rather launched Android: An open source cell phone platform, which will allow developers to build applications that can run on Android.
According to the official Google blog:
Despite all of the very interesting speculation over the last few months, we're not announcing a Gphone. However, we think what we are announcing -- the Open Handset Alliance and Android -- is more significant and ambitious than a single phone. In fact, through the joint efforts of the members of the Open Handset Alliance, we hope Android will be the foundation for many new phones and will create an entirely new mobile experience for users, with new applications and new capabilities we can’t imagine today. Android is the first truly open and comprehensive platform for mobile devices. It includes an operating system, user-interface and applications -- all of the software to run a mobile phone, but without the proprietary obstacles that have hindered mobile innovation. We have developed Android in cooperation with the Open Handset Alliance, which consists of more than 30 technology and mobile leaders including Motorola, Qualcomm, HTC and T-Mobile. Through deep partnerships with carriers, device manufacturers, developers, and others, we hope to enable an open ecosystem for the mobile world by creating a standard, open mobile software platform. We think the result will ultimately be a better and faster pace for innovation that will give mobile customers unforeseen applications and capabilities. We see Android as an important part of our strategy of furthering Google's goal of providing access to information to users wherever they are. We recognize that many among the multitude of mobile users around the world do not and may never have an Android-based phone. Our goals must be independent of device or even platform. For this reason, Android will complement, but not replace, our longstanding mobile strategy of developing useful and compelling mobile services and driving adoption of these products through partnerships with handset manufacturers and mobile operators around the world. It's important to recognize that the Open Handset Alliance and Android have the potential to be major changes from the status quo -- one which will take patience and much investment by the various players before you'll see the first benefits. But we feel the potential gains for mobile customers around the world are worth the effort. If you’re a developer and this approach sounds exciting, give us a week or so and we’ll have an SDK available. If you’re a mobile user, you’ll have to wait a little longer, but some of our partners are targeting the second half of 2008 to ship phones based on the Android platform. And if you already have a phone you know and love, check out mobile.google.com and make sure you have Google Maps for mobile, Gmail and our other great applications on your phone. We'll continue to make these services better and add plenty of exciting new features, applications and services, too.
Views from around the web after the jump.
Windows: Why is everyone paying so much attention to this dumb press release?
"Their efforts are just some words on paper right now, it's hard to do a very clear comparison [with Windows Mobile]" , CEO of Microsoft, to PC World
We'd like change, but aren't holding our breath
"In recent years there have been many grand alliances in the mobile-phone industry. These have often been formed in order to neutralize a market leader, but as often as not have failed to achieve anything… The heavyweights— Nokia, Vodafone, AT&T, Verizon Wireless, not to mention Apple and Microsoft— are conspicuous by their absence." , The Economist
Consortia and open alliances are for losers
"Whenever you see companies start talking about being "open," it means they're getting their ass kicked. You think Google will be forming an OpenSearch alliance any time soon, to help also-rans in search get a share of the spoils? Me neither." (of Forbes),FSJ Blog
Google, this is crazy. Make your own damn phone
"People don't want FEATURES … what they actually want is ease-of-use… Ditch those other 33 companies, put 20 of your smartest people on it, and you stand a fighting chance." on his eponymous blog
"We're extremely excited for what Google intends to do for the mobile industry. From where we sit, assuming it can deliver (and really, when doesn't Google deliver?), everyone seems to benefit from openness and standards: handset manufacturers, carriers, component makers, developers, and most of all, consumers." , Engadget
A word on naming
"Can you please tell me how Google could simultaneously use such a cute sci-fi OS name as Android and on the same day also roll out such a dorky and named-by-committee moniker as the Open Handset Alliance? Was this designed to establish some sort of equilibrium on the cool/uncool naming scale?" , eWeek
Could be better even than the iPhone
"I think Android could be what I initially thought Apple's iPhone might be— a product that slaps some sense into the cell-phone market by catering to the wishes of phone users, not wireless carriers." , The Washington Post