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Android: Who Hates Google Over the Phone?

Google's Android makes a splash in the telephony software field

After Google’s Android announcement , at least four big guys should be irritated:Sun Microsystems, Apple, Adobe and Microsoft. Google approaches telephony from the open source side – Linux-based platform uses Java but does not care about sticking to Java ME – they are planning to use fast OpenGL libraries and are not afraid to be hardware-specific.  Check out the Youtube videos at the android site. Performance-wise that device looks pretty impressive.  Google has created an alliance of more than thirty parties – phone manufacturers and service providers.  Google knows how to do things right.

Obviously,  Android is a direct outside threat to Java ME, which makes it two now. The first one is Sun’s own JavaFX which should become a commercial product for creating visual telephony applications around the same time when Android will be officially released – next Fall.

The Apple’s beauty, the iPhone, has started as closed proprietary platform, which originally did not even allow any third-party to develop applications for iPhone. The situation is changing now, they are going to do us a favor and allow writing software for their hardware. Thank you very much!

Adobe’s Flash Lite is a new kid on the block that is moving into multimedia telephony mainly competing with Java ME, and here comes another bully…Man, it sucks! Will they offer the version of Flash Player 9 for Google's Linux version? Maybe, if they''l figure out the way to protect Joe-with-GPhone1 copying the legal version of Flash Player to the GPhone2, which does not pay royalties to Adobe.

Microsoft is irritated just because Google exists. Period. Whatever Google does makes Microsoft unhappy.  Microsoft has a modest chunk of this market with its Windows Mobile. Besides, now Bill Gates goes into the world of voip servers and has announced Microsoft Office Communication Server. Yes, this is not exactly about writing software for the phone devices, but still, it’s telephony, and having Google playing there does not help Microsoft.

Competition is healthy, and consumers should applaud Google for entering the stage in an open source way. Maybe the day will come when people will be able to switch from one cell phone service provider to another and the same software will work on all phones?

I personally use Skype a lot. I have my laptop with me all the time anyway, why waste my cell phone minutes? I also keep an eye on Ribbit, which will allow creating rich internet application for making calls.

And you know why Google's offering may win? No licensing fees to the vendors. Interesting, very interesting…

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a co-founder of two software companies: Farata Systems and SuranceBay. He authored several technical books and lots of articles on software development. Yakov is Java Champion (https://java-champions.java.net). He leads leads Princeton Java Users Group. Two of Yakov's books will go in print this year: "Enterprise Web Development" (O'Reilly) and "Java For Kids" (No Starch Press).

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