nullstream weblog - Open Handset Alliance

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Open Handset Alliance


November 5, 2007 09:30 AM PST

Ok so Google releases an open source phone platform with 34 members in what they call the Open Handset Alliance. It's free and will be put on phones ranging from HTC to Samsung. The OS is based on Linux and licensed under the Apache v2 License. Companies can develop custom functionality without contributing the source code back to the community. This is obviously aimed directly at Windows Mobile, Symbian, and Palm. The SDK for developers will be available by November 12.

I hope it isn't lost on anyone that Google just released the long awaited GoogleOS. It has been predicted that before long the majority of access to the web will be done through mobile devices such as phones. Conservative estimates claim there are between 2.5 and 2.7 billion mobile phones in the world and that mobiles outsell PCs at a 4-to-1 ratio. If this new platform takes off, Google is likely to have the dominant OS on the planet within a few years.

Comments (2)
J, November 5, 2007 07:36 PM:

The most interesting thing about the announcement is how big a deal they made about the phone browser. They really emphasized that it was a full blown browser, which the mobile world really needs (other than the iPhone). Is the browser going to be the main UI, or are they going to implement something like GTK for the mobile? It will be interesting since Linux isn't really known for having a great UI platform.

In the call they emphasized that this wasn't just for smartphones, but also for other phones, but their minimum requirements of 200mhz will really push up the hardware in basic phones.

Although other groups like OpenMoko have aimed Linux for the phone, so it will be interesting to see what the marketing weight of Google and the partners will do for this. It will also be interesting to see what the SDK adds to Linux, and what browser they based the mobile one on.

John, November 12, 2007 10:12 AM:

Apps are written in Java. I'm surprised. I thought I had read somewhere that they were looking to fix the problems Java has running on multiple devices. I guess what they meant was that they were fixing Java.

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