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Monday, November 5, 2007

GPhone Isn't a Phone, It's an Android

The much awaited announcement did actually happen today, it just wasn't what everyone was expecting. Google announced the Open Handset Alliance (OHA). While the gadget freak in me would have liked to have seen a shiny new device, this actually is a great announcement. Read on for more analysis.

The Open Handset Alliance has definite potential to be a market changer. Let's all admit it: cellphones are currently a game where you decide what deficiencies you're willing to live with. Things like:

Windows Mobile: Microsoft has been steadily proving to us that they are incapable of producing a decent quality mobile OS. They always have all the checkboxes (fast processors, great screens, etc.), and always come up short.

iPhone: The device that makes Apple look like IBM in the bad old days.

Blackberry: not quite as powerful or featureful as, say, Windows Mobile

I've long thought that Linux would be great for mobile devices, once they hit a certain level of CPU/Memory capacity. The main downfall with Linux is that nobody seems to go the extra mile to make something that "just works" (and kudos to Apple for doing just that, unless you want decent bluetooth support).

If the OHA can figure out how to put out a bunch of devices that "just work" but are also an open platform that actually invites developers to produce software, we may just have a winner on our hands. It is about time for someone to apply bazaar development practices to the traditionally cathedral mobile market.

As these devices become more powerful, the PC will begin to lose its dominance, and having an open platform upon which to make that transition is a huge win for consumers.

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