Monday, September 22, 2008


Google releases an operating system tomorrow. No, not those rumors about a Google PC, but an operating system for phones.

The goal of Google (really the whole Open Handset Alliance, including a diverse group of folks from intel and nvidia to Qualcomm and T-Mobile), is to make it possible for us to configure our mobiles in the same way we configure our computers. Sure, Apple has an app store so you can customize your iPhone, but it's locked down. So when somebody writes an alternative mail client to the one Apple developed, with useful features like those in gmail, Apple can shut it down for an arbitrary reason to keep people using their products. (True story.)

The Android isn't just an iPhone killer, though. The OHI could be eyeing the turf over at Research in Motion. The war between the iPhone and the Blackberry has been pretty hot, but they've each hung on to different segments of the market because they're geared towards different sorts of users. Android's openness and presence on a variety of devices might be the bridge between the artist and the boardroom, and stand a chance of doing for handhelds exactly what the PC did for, well, PCs.