Google prepares to launch its new mobile phone OS to compete with Windows Mobile.

Verizon Wireless, number two provider of mobile phone service in the U.S. and Sprint Nextel Corp, number three provider of mobile phone service in the U.S., are wrapping up a series of serious talks with Google.  According to The Wall Street Journal, this will lead to a significant announcement from Google within two weeks.

The talks center on the mobile phone OS platform that Google has been developing.  This platform was reported on by DailyTech earlier last month.

The news sent Google shares rising to an incredible $700 USD per share on Wednesday NASDAQ trading, only three weeks after the media gorilla crossed the $600 mark for the first time.
Sprint has already made some commitments to Google, stating that it will offer on its new Wi-Max powered network Google Web search and communications services.

Additional reports indicate that Google has also gained "significant traction" with T-Mobile USA.  T-Mobile is America's fourth largest cell phone service provider.

If Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile indeed announce that a Google based OS will be powering some or all of their next generation smart phones, the move has the possibility to seriously shake-up the Operating System industry.

Furthermore, the Google OS would likely square off in 2008 with Microsoft's next iteration of its Windows Mobile operating system, presumably Windows Mobile 7.0. 

This would be a significant development as it would be the first example of Google directly challenging Microsoft in its largest business sector -- the OS market.

With the support of three of the four largest American mobile providers, many may wonder if Google will look to market its own phones branded under them, similar to the iPhone, as many rumors have suggested.  While no definitive word has been given, the likely answer is no.  Google is traditionally a software company, and hardware can be a much more volatile market.  Also, Google would have to tread the waters of exclusivity contracts.

Instead, Google may release its OS on as many major carriers as it can get on board.

Google has discussed in the past offering the OS for free, something that Microsoft has been unwilling to do.  Google is currently exploring how to incorporate advertisements unobtrusively into its OS.

The OS Google is designing is a modified version of the Linux operating system.  This excites many, as Linux has a strong community of contributor, due to its open source policies.  Also, Linux based operating systems typically run leaner and more efficient, something which would be highly desirable on mobile phones.

Third parties will have full access to develop applications for the OS from the start, and will not have to wait for special software development kits.

Google is also preparing to bid in FCC's upcoming 700 MHz wireless auction.  The company poured lobbying dollars in hopes to change rules to give mobile operators less control over the devices and data applications their customers can use.  Advances in these two campaigns may yield additional cards in Google's hand, which it can use to work out a favorable agreement with America's top wireless providers.

Google sees mobile phones as its next big business sector.  Let's face it; Google has the internet market cornered.  Its name has become synonymous with internet searching, and it offers arguably the most premier free email service, soon to be upgraded to a second iteration.

However, in order to continue its growth, Google must work its way into new markets.  And with a big announcement reportedly coming in less than two weeks, it appears Google is poised to "carpe diem" and boldly venture into this new market.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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