Make no mistake, Google dropped a bombshell all over the mobile industry today with today’s Android announcement. Since the dawn of the handset we’ve seen little more than one proprietary device, system, and application environment after the next; when we’re lucky, maybe some of those systems deigned 3rd parties worthy of developing something more than Java code for ’em. Even despite the endless promise of Linux and years of tilting towards open source cellphones has resulted in effectively nothing for mainstream wireless customers — but all that changes today with the announcement of the first free, open, standard (and standards-based) mobile OS.
It’s no surprise that Apple, Microsoft, Nokia, and RIM were absent participating in Android and the OHA; each of those power-players has built its mobile business around its own separate mobile platform: OS X, Windows Mobile, Symbian, and BlackBerry, respectively. But the cellphone company we expected to be first in line for Android and the Open Handset Alliance, the one manufacturer that is truly desperate for a powerful, pre-developed, open Linux mobile OS, is nowhere to be found. We are, of course, talking about Palm.
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