04:24 PM
Jake Widman
Jake Widman

New Moves in Mobile OS Wars: Android, Linux, and Microsoft

InformationWeek, CNET News, CNET News

Several new developments in mobile phone operating systems give a boost to open phone systems without doing much to clarify future market directions.This week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, sponsored by the GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) Association, has seen the first prototypes of mobile handsets running Google's Android development platform. Android is an application framework that, should it be widely adopted, will enable speedier development of new mobile features and hardware.

At the same Congress, however, the LiMo Consortium, which supports mobile Linux, announced two new supporters: the Japanese Linux company Access and France Telecom's Orange. LiMo is developing an application platform, expected to debut in March; Orange announced plans for a "fully open, Linux-powered handset," while Access came out with a software development kit that will make it easier to port thousands of existing applications to the new LiMo platform.

Meanwhile, back in the States, Microsoft announced that it will acquire Danger, manufacturer of the T-Mobile Sidekick. Microsoft, of course, has a Windows Mobile operating system, while Danger uses yet another mobile OS.

The net result of all this should be to spur the arrival of one or more open mobile application platforms--good news for consumers and businesses--though we may be no closer to a "standard."InformationWeek, CNET News, CNET News

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