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Google has just announced its much anticipated mobile phone OS named Android and its Open Handset Alliance. Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto.

Google rocked the mobile phone industry just hours ago when it announced the true face of its mobile phone efforts.  The operating system, named Android has been kept under tight wraps by Google, but DailyTech caught wind of it weeks ago.

Android OS, available in the second half of 2008, aims to provide a operating system, user interface and a broad array of mobile applications.  The OS is expected to directly compete with the market leading Symbian OS and Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Mobile "Photon", scheduled for release in 2008.

Software Development Kits for Android will be available in within days -- on November 12.  Early support for third parties is very refreshing, in contrast to smartphone rival Apple Inc. whose mobile version of OS X denies third parties support until February 2008, due to "security reasons."

The Google Software Development Kit (SDK) promises to provide third party applications with robust tools and equal access to all the same capabilities that Google's first party applications enjoy.  Programmers can add capabilities based on the users contacts, calendar, or geographic location. 

Mashups, according to Google, are a must.

The OS also has some powerful industry support.  Thirty-four companies have formed the "Open Handset Alliance," which worked with Google to develop the OS and will continue to aid it is growth and release.  The alliance, of which Google is the founding member, features such communication giants as T-Mobile, HTC, Qualcomm and Motorola.

American carriers can look forward to Android accelerating development of new mobile services and also aiding hardware development by adding a foundation for wireless communication.

"Google has been an established partner for T-Mobile’s groundbreaking approach to bring the mobile open Internet to the mass market. We see the Android platform as an exciting opportunity to launch robust wireless Internet and Web 2.0 services for T-Mobile customers in the US and Europe in 2008," said René Obermann, Chief Executive Officer, Deutsche Telekom, parent company of T-Mobile.

Google's CEO Eric Schmidt also raved about the move, saying, "Today's announcement is more ambitious than any single 'Google Phone' that the press has been speculating about over the past few weeks. Our vision is that the powerful platform we're unveiling will power thousands of different phone models."

While Schmidt attempts to downplay the significance of a Google Phone, the fact that the company anticipated forking over $4.6 billion for the 700 MHz wireless spectrum already confirms some kind of device is in the works.

Google Maps and GMail are currently available on many phones, and will be among the Google first party applications provided by Google.

The news follows a flurry of recent activity from Google.  Recently Google's wildly popular free email service, achieved premier status by implementing IMAP support, and Google also recently announced that it will soon be rolling out second iteration of GMail, dubbed "GMail 2.0".

As Google launches its OS into the mobile phone market, many may speculate how long it will be before the media giant decides to go for the jugular and take on Microsoft's Windows OS in the personal computer OS market.  After all Google has everything else -- news, a trans-Pacific digital lines project, a $30 million dollar moon project, videos, and a partnership with -- so why not a desktop OS?

A mobile phone OS seems to indicate Google phones are all but confirmed at this point.  However instead of a monolithic approach as with the Apple iPhone, impending Google ubiquity will likely come, at least at first, via third-party support.

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It's a Statement, AND a vehicle
By TimberJon on 11/5/2007 4:42:55 PM , Rating: 2
Google is everywhere, but it always seems that it is behind the curtain. The IT people know that google is awesome, and recommend it to everyone. But the average joe knows about Yahoo, and suckers get stuck with MSN and their services.

Android seems to make the statement that Windows Mobile is not the shiyat. Now even I claim that Windows Mobile blows everything else away. I like it, will like WM6, and cant wait until WM7 is built upon CF 6.0. CF is awesome! but nobody really exploits it to add useful things.. Instead it seems that every full-blown or quasi-programmer takes a good idea and turns it into a working (or half-working) little program for the WM device, just to make some bucks off of it.

When you find a guy in a forum that SAYS he makes programs or has evidence of it.. he wont make you a simple program, and he wont even bother to charge you. So theyre a little buttoned up.

The other reason, which is why I call this new OS a vehicle.. is that it launches Google into the public eye, ear and opinion MUCH MORE than any of their current products do. Maybe 1 out of 5 people I know, know that google has its own free email sector. Another 1 out of 30 know that it has alot to do with advertising and offers a plethora of business-grade services. And on and on...

People dont know how deep Googles fingers run. But they will... The OS will help open eyes and DIRECT people to those other services that Google has available. Which is probably partially what they mean by "still looking at how to unobtrusively add advertising".

With as much attention as this is generating, I hope that tons of third party applications and programs will be written right the first time, and become available to the Andriod OS users free of charge. At least the low-level ones.

By TiberiusKane on 11/5/2007 7:51:15 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with Google getting more public awareness and this being a good move, but I'm just adding a bit of a reality-check to your statement about putting Google into the public eye. Yes this does give them more exposure, but "MUCH MORE" than any of their current products? Those people you speak of that don't know about Gmail, they probably won't give two craps about Google's OS in a cell phone (or even what an OS is. and honestly, 1 in 5? They're probably a bit in the dark when it comes to technology). So no, public opinion won't change as much since the people that would be excited about this are the people that already have a good opinion of google. Everything you said about synergizing with Google's other products, I do agree with.

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