Google launches operating system
THE world’s largest search engine company, Google, on Monday launched an open war against Microsoft by entering into the operating system space. The company launched Android – an operating system for mobile phones — in alliance with T-Mobile, HTC, Qualcomm, Motorola through the Open Handset Alliance. The mobile operating system will also give tough competition to Symbian, Nokia’s operating system for mobile devices. Microsoft has a similar product called Windows Mobile for mobile devices. The launch of the operating system may also be a precursor to Google’s entry into the mobile devices arena – with an ‘expected’ launch of Gphone. The company said the first phones based on the Android platform to be available in the second half of 2008. Thirty-four companies have formed the Open Handset Alliance which aims to develop technologies that will significantly lower the cost of developing and distributing mobile devices and services. Some of the other companies in the alliance include Broadcom, China Mobile, eBay, Intel, LG, NTT DoCoMo, Samsung, Telefónica and Texas Instruments. With nearly 3billion users worldwide, mobile has become the most personal and ubiquitous communications device. “However, lack of a collaborative effort has made it a challenge for developers, wireless operators and handset manufacturers to respond as quickly as possible to the ever-changing needs of savvy mobile consumers. Through Android, developers, wireless operators and handset manufacturers will be better positioned to bring to market innovative new products faster and at a much lower cost,” Google said in a statement issued from its Mountain View (California) headquarters. Next week the Alliance will release an early access software development kit to provide developers with the tools necessary to create innovative and compelling applications for the platform. “This partnership will help unleash the potential of mobile technology for billions of users around the world. A fresh approach to fostering innovation in the mobile industry will help shape a new computing environment that will change the way people access and share information in the future,” said Google chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt.