With Android it's the software stupid

If it's easy enough to build an Android application, many iPhone developers will do them in their spare time and get them out, just to register a little displeasure with Apple.

Google Android phone closeup
Those of a certain age will remember the Clinton campaign mantra from 1992 -- it's the economy stupid. Focus on one thing and you may get things right.

The same is true for the Google Android making its debut today. But in this case it's the software stupid.

The key to the software, meanwhile, doesn't lie in what you see. It lies in the tools used to build applications or "stores," their simplicity, and their openness.

If it's easy enough to build an Android application, many iPhone developers will do them in their spare time and get them out, just to register a little displeasure with Apple. (Those who don't fear the Wrath of Steve, that is.)

Keep this in mind as you read today's press clippings, which are very likely to ignore this important fact. Instead you're likely to read about obvious features, the T-Mobile "alliance," or (worse) whether you should rush out and buy one. (Answer: no.)

This story is not about HTC, it's not about T-Mobile. It's about Google, it's about open source, and whether Google really can use open source to build a mobile ecosystem which rivals that of Apple's proprietary system.

In other words, these are early days.

Google will be unfairly compared with Apple, which released its proprietary iPhone only after preparing the ground in marketing, services, and alliances.

In this case, all that work will follow the launch. Will it happen? Or will potential allies be discouraged by a few negative headlines from reporters who don't understand the game?

Watch this space.

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