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"Google with Android and the Open Handset Alliance, however, may blow open a marketplace through a common open platform that can then provide a lot more content, apps, data, media, and services. And that will feed the demand by developers, users, and ultimately advertisers that open platforms be provided on mobile devices."

Gardner speculates that the atmosphere around Android reminds him of the early days of Java with its idealistic goal of write once, run anywhere. He adds that the connection is more than coincidence as Google CEO Eric Schmidt lead development of Java while at Sun prior to 1997.

We certainly have no shortage of gripes with US mobile carriers: reliance on a mishmash of standards that are largely incompatible with the rest of the world; coverage that is arguably inferior to that of any other developed nation; and restriction of choices that trap customers by linking hardware and software to carrier and wireless plan. As compute platforms opened up, the market for software exploded; the emergence of smarter mobile platforms combined with new bandwidth could certainly work similar wonders in the mobile space.

But lets get off our soapbox for a moment and back to reality. Google simply announced an open source mobile platform yesterday. It's not the first time that an open platform has been proposed for the mobile world (recall the Javaphone?).

We feel that the excitement over Google's announcement yesterday was a bit overblown, as there is no assurance yet, FCC decision or not, that a Google-style open mobile market will actually materialize. But the measure of the excitement over this rather modest announcement reflects the reality that there is significant pent up demand for mobile service beyond the gimmicks like your circle of five.

This article originally appeared in onStrategies.

Copyright © 2007, onStrategies.com

Tony Baer is the principal with analyst onStrategies. With 15 years in enterprise systems and manufacturing, Tony specialises in application development, data warehousing and business applications, and is the author of several books on Java and .NET.

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