Google looks like mobile Linux break-out

Google looks like mobile Linux break-out

Summary: While the iPhone has a great interface, but mainly offered Web 1.0 applications, the GPhone will focus on Web 2.0 applications from the start, integrating mapping, email, and search services in its design. The iPhone was a phone with data applications, the GPhone will be an Internet link with voice services.

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Google under the MicroscopeLike Patton cutting across France, Google looks set to give mobile Linux its worldwide breakout with its GPhone announcement, now expected on November 5.

After parsing through all the stories and speculation, it seems Google will announce a mobile Linux reference platform, an initial manufacturer, and an advertising-driven business model for mobile services. Each one of those steps could spark a revolution:

  • While efforts like OpenMoko are laudatory they can't reach critical mass without financial muscle behind them. Google has that muscle.
  • The GPhone could be the best chance China has to take over the mobile device market. An open operating system, Firefox browser and a U.S. brand name lets Chinese strengths in low-cost manufacturing come to the fore.
  • An ad-based business model, with Jaiku social networking as its killer app, puts enormous pressure on U.S. carriers, and policymakers, to open up more open spectrum and loosen rules on existing spectrum.

George S. Patton, from NNDBThis is bigger deal than the Apple iPhone because of its direct challenge to carrier power. Apple eventually chose to work with one U.S. carrier, AT&T, with the kind of proprietary design such carriers prefer, while Google will offer an open design and an alternative to the present carrier business model.

While the iPhone has a great interface, but mainly offered Web 1.0 applications, the GPhone will focus on Web 2.0 applications from the start, integrating mapping, email, and search services in its design. The iPhone was a phone with data applications, the GPhone will be an Internet link with voice services.

So, how big a deal do you think this is? Use the links, which reach most corners of the specula-sphere, and discuss it below.[poll id=56]

Topics: Operating Systems, Google, iPhone, Linux, Mobility, Open Source, Software

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32 comments
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  • Bye bye Win Mobile

    If Google's linux OS is all that, then there will be no reason to put up with M$ bloated and buggy mobile OS anymore.
    DarthRidiculous
    • Oh No, Don't Say That

      According to No_Axe people having problems with Windows Mobile are just stupid and can't learn an OS.

      Then again, according to No_Axe DRM is going to rule the music industry too..
      itanalyst
      • As a person who has a Win Mobile device...

        ...and a BlackBerry as well as an ex-Palm owner, I found that Palm is by far the buggiest of the three. I've had my PPC6700 now for about a year and a half and I can honestly say that I've only had to reset it about 2 times which is even less than my BlackBerry.
        jmiller1978
        • Not Bad

          I've had to power cycle my sanyo mm7400 at least a half dozen times over the last 3 years....not because the phone died, but because the Java section slowed to a crawl.

          I've never used a Windows Mobile device, so I have no idea how good or bad they are.

          Until I see how the google model works in practice, I can't say who will benefit. I'm not sure I'd want give up information to a company like google. Then again, my cell bill is 30 bucks a month for 500mins plus unlim n/w and unlimited data. It'd cost me almost that much for a home phone.
          notsofast
    • Well, except maybie for the fact

      that Win Mobile works, while Gphone will most likely do just enough to make Google some money
      GuidingLight
      • Its works if

        You reset your phone daily...
        DarthRidiculous
        • I only had to reboot my Winmobile phone once

          ... and that was for the free upgrade from Windows Mobile 5 to version 6.
          Confused by religion
          • I'm Waiting For My Upgrade

            I read that AT&T's will be October 19...FINALLY!!
            itanalyst
        • True...true...

          It also works just fine if you don't, as those of use that use them daily know.
          KTLA
      • Thats not a "fact" its "conjecture"

        Unless you have the power to see into the future.
        While your speculation may have sound basis, your comment did not include them.

        I would like examples of how Google's performance as a company points towards doing less than necessary development. I'd also like a base line with which we are to compare the Win Mobile based devices and the Gphone devices.

        Right now I'd speculate its too early to make "factual claims" or "factual comparisons". Some prefer the devil they know, I prefer to wait and see which devil will do my bidding the best.
        starcannon1
    • Spoken by someone who's never used a Linux based phone...

      [b]If Google's linux OS is all that, then there will be no reason to put up with M$ bloated and buggy mobile OS anymore. [/b]

      As the owner of a Linux based phone - a Motorola A1200 - I think I know what I'm talking about.

      The Gphone will only succeed in being a Windows Mobile OS killer IF it can do pretty much everything WM6 can do - and then some. It'll have to be able to retrieve email, take a Word or Excel document, load it, edit it, save it and be able to send it off to it's next destination.

      It'll have to be 100% rock solid in the stability department.

      And, of course, it's gonna have to do the most important cell phone tricks - it's gotta make crystal clear calls.

      If it fails in any of those three areas... It'll be just another phone on the market.

      As it is now, Mobile Linux ain't quite there - YET. My A1200 is far from perfect. But it's tolerable. I can view most smaller Word or Excel documents. But I can't edit them. There have been times when my phone's spontaneously rebooted itself - mostly in areas where there was nothing or next to nothing in the way of a signal. Like a reboot would make the radio stronger or something?

      We'll have to see what Google's got next month. Until then, it's so much vaporware.
      Wolfie2K3
      • Two things

        [i}It'll have to be 100% rock solid in the stability department. [/i]

        Well we already know Win Mobile fails in this catagory.

        [i]There have been times when my phone's spontaneously rebooted itself - mostly in areas where there was nothing or next to nothing in the way of a signal. Like a reboot would make the radio stronger or something?[/i]

        Don't blame Linux for this, blame Motorola. Motorola has been cranking out the crappiest of phones for some time now. The main reason I left Nextel was to get away from the onslaught of crap phones that Moto was releasing.
        DarthRidiculous
  • RE: Google looks like mobile Linux break-out

    Hopefully with Google's backing Linux will reach a wider audience, and in turn will lead them to discover desktop/laptop Linux.
    bricar2
    • I tend to doubt that it will

      People use mobile phones for telephone calling and more recently for MP3s. I seriously doubt embedded linux will do anything at all for the desktop linux movements since most people I know don't know and don't care about their phone's OS.

      Only those who seek specific features know what the OS is on their phone (such as seeking an Exchange compatible phone = Windows Mobile for example). The majority of people look to the phone price, the carrier and the bundled service option costs. OS is an insignificant factor for those people.
      Confused by religion
    • Tend to Agree with Milly

      Linux/Unix has been around a long time, used in many commercial ventures, its desktop market will not likely benefit from yet another great device.

      What will help desktop linux is for those companies like Dell, who sell laptops and desktops with Linux pre-installed to start advertising it, to make it readily apparent on their main page that it is available, to give it the same amount of hype that the other OS enjoys on the same page.

      Ubuntu and others have conquered the ease of use dragon, the next battle will be marketing.
      starcannon1
  • And what of the 900mhz band

    No doubt the phone will spur competition. But a carrier is still required. If the FCC does open the 900mhz band AND Google acquires a license, then we have a new gorilla in the jungle.
    Sagax-
    • The 700 MHz auction

      The FCC has refused to change the rules of the coming 700 MHz auction, requiring that any government-licensed equipment be allowed on. Verizon is fighting that decision in court, which may delay the auction, but the days of absolute monopoly are going to end, and perhaps before the Bush Administration leaves office.

      The argument for it is that compelling.
      DanaBlankenhorn
  • RE: Google looks like mobile Linux break-out

    Make it in the WEST!! China is a communist(non-capitalist)nation. We in the west need the business. Besides like Japan did in the past they (china) wants total ownership, but unlike Japan they want to control the world through ownership of our resources, i.e. manufacturing,financil holdings, etc.

    So Google Get it made in the USA or some other western nation that has free enterprise

    Thanks,

    J.beall
    JWBeall
    • That ship has sailed...

      China is part of the world trading system. It has a thriving stock market. It's growing faster than nearly any other country.

      When you continue to call China Communist, you imply that communism does a better job of creating wealth than capitalism.

      I don't buy that. I'm not a defeatist. I think communism lost the Cold War, and that the changes in China reflect that fact.
      DanaBlankenhorn
      • Message has been deleted.

        croberts