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Google Businesses Communications The Internet Hardware

The Man Behind the Google Phone 95

Hugh Pickens writes "The New York Times is running a story about Andy Rubin, Google's resident gadget guru, and one of the primary architects of the gPhone. You won't find any new technical details about the gPhone in the story, (Google is planning an announcement on Monday about its future mobile plans.) but the story about Rubin gives some clues that indicate that Google plans to do more than merely develop an operating system for cellular phones. One clue to the gPhone is that after Rubin left Apple he joined General Magic, the company co-founded with Mac pioneers Bill Atkinson and Andy Hertzfeld that developed Magic Cap in the 1990s, a PDA precursor years ahead of its time that included a cell phone and email. The Times speculates that Google may also be planning to replay the strategy that Microsoft used to bulldoze Netscape in the mid-1990s by 'cutting off' Microsoft's air supply by giving the gPhone away to handset makers and to put Microsoft Windows Mobile out of business. If the strategy works, it will be because Rubin and his team have successfully developed a vision of the smartphone of the future and a strategy for getting it accepted by the public and by the carriers."
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The Man Behind the Google Phone

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  • UI? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Virtual_Raider ( 52165 ) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @12:49AM (#21229265)
    I sincerely hope they don't confuse "clean interface" with "bare bones". Google's interface is good for what we use it for, but I kinda like the bling on modern cellphones. Cue the "I just want a cell phone that..."-people in 3, 2, 1...
    • Re:UI? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PhantomHarlock ( 189617 ) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @12:56AM (#21229291)
      All I ask is full support for third party development...I was given a free iPhone as part of an awards ceremony thing, and it's currently stitting in my glove box unused. I haven't had much of a desire to pay the extra $20 to put in on my account once the pre-paid account that came with it ran out. I played with it, installed the third party package installer, but quickly realized after they released the new firmware upgrade that Apple is doing it's typical control freak thing. The iPhone is screaming for awesome third party development. I want an IRC client that doesn't disconnect when you switch to another application, and Trillian (which they are trying to release for the iPhone in spite of Apple)

      It's brilliant, but it's a toy. Please Andy, release something awesome that will actually make me want to buy a smartphone. The iPhone is amazing as far as the ergonomics and touch screen, but it's no good when you can't do anything with it.

      --Mike
      • Re:UI? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by devjj ( 956776 ) * on Sunday November 04, 2007 @01:41AM (#21229461)

        You're right in aspiration, but the hyperbole here really gives me pause. It isn't that "you can't do anything" with the iPhone; it's that the iPhone doesn't enable you to do what you want on a "smartphone." The iPhone - like virtually all Apple products, from Mac OS X (and Macs) to the iPhone and iPod - is aimed at the average consumer, while attempting to hit enough high notes for the geeks to be satisfied. The Apple of late has been largely successful in this regard.

        We all want the iPhone opened up as a development platform, and that's in the works. It probably still won't be the completely open ecosystem you desire, but that's just not Apple's way. Apple is extremely good at doing things its way, but unfortunately that means certain (many) people will be disappointed. That's understandable, but don't go around saying you can't do anything with it. That's flat-out false. It does a remarkable number of things really well, and for most people will provide a great deal of entertainment and utility. The implementation of its web browser alone was worth the price of admission for me. I do miss Flash on occasion, but I really respect Apple for focusing on standards-based web development as the initial "SDK" for its first mobile device. A toy? This device makes the mobile web usable for real people. It is not a toy.

        I'm ecstatic at the thought of a future 1-3 years from now when most iPod users (and all iPod newcomers) are walking around with devices capable of truly accessing the web. As a web developer, that inevitability is reason enough for me to appreciate it.

        It's also worthwhile to note that Google really is going after Microsoft - and not Apple - with its device (whatever it ends up being). That's how I read it, at least. Google and Apple have much to gain from one another, although neither absolutely needs the other, as is the case with most of the great partnerships. I apologize for coming off like an Apple fanboy, but as someone who has come to rely on having an iPhone in his pocket, I couldn't not say anything.
        • Re:UI? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by kripkenstein ( 913150 ) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @02:28AM (#21229631) Homepage

          It's also worthwhile to note that Google really is going after Microsoft - and not Apple - with its device (whatever it ends up being). That's how I read it, at least. Google and Apple have much to gain from one another, although neither absolutely needs the other, as is the case with most of the great partnerships. I apologize for coming off like an Apple fanboy, but as someone who has come to rely on having an iPhone in his pocket, I couldn't not say anything.
          Based on what, exactly? This seems just as much targeted against Apple as against Windows Mobile, Symbian, etc. Or do you see some particular reason why the 'Google Phone' would sell to mostly Windows Mobile users instead of the others? I don't. It seems to be aimed at the smartphone market as a whole, based on the little information we have so far.

          A lot has been said about Google/Apple cooperation in the past; I think that is what makes you assume that Apple isn't their target. But I see nothing concrete to support that regarding the mobile phone market specifically.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by devjj ( 956776 ) *
            I did say "as I read it," and to respond to your question, I'd say based on what I see as them still having plenty to gain from one another. Apple can afford to hit with a higher-priced device because it's profitable in that niche. Google needs a device that really can reach everybody while being as cheap as possible to produce, because they're not going to make money on the hardware itself. The side effect of this is that Google can release an open device and instantly get the support that might be nece
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Mia'cova ( 691309 )
              Windows Mobile targets business customers first and foremost. I don't see the gphone having anything like the outlook/exchange combo that sells those devices. The gphone is going to be targeting kids first I guess with their ad-driven and novel economics + feature set. Just my interpretation of the rumours.
              • Wow, a first post on a story about the gphone leading to a discussion 6 levels deep all modded insightful and interesting. Is there something wrong with slashdot. Is this the end?
            • Ok, now I understand your point a little more.

              Based on what you say, I guess the test will be to see the price point: if Google Phones are priced at a different range than the iPhone (say at least $100 less) then perhaps they won't compete for the same market. Hopefully tomorrow we will know more.
              • by devjj ( 956776 ) *
                Given today's announcements, I'm going to claim this point. It is clear Google is practically giving away everything in the hopes of getting people to use its services through these devices, and it's worth noting that as of yet there is no Google-branded phone. This isn't to say that some companies won't use Android as the basis for a device that could target the iPhone, but it doesn't look like Google is going after Apple directly.
          • by grumling ( 94709 )
            Based on what, exactly? This seems just as much targeted against Apple as against Windows Mobile, Symbian, etc

            The articles imply that Google is going to "battle" Microsoft. This is in line with the current state of tech journalism, where everyone else is good, but MS is bad. I don't mind Microsoft, don't really have an opinion as to their moral compass*, but it seems that journalists need a villain in order to get page hits, and MS is this decade's evil company. See also: IBM in the 70's and 80's. Companies
        • by Per Abrahamsen ( 1397 ) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @06:20AM (#21230353) Homepage
          > It isn't that "you can't do anything" with the iPhone; it's that the iPhone doesn't enable you
          > to do what you want on a "smartphone." The iPhone - like virtually all Apple products, from Mac
          > OS X (and Macs) to the iPhone and iPod - is aimed at the average consumer, while attempting to
          > hit enough high notes for the geeks to be satisfied. The Apple of late has been largely
          > successful in this regard.

          Reminds me of the last days of the "academic Internet". The phone companies were arguing that the anarchistic Internet where everybody could set up a service was fine for geeks, but that the average consumer would just be confused, and therefore were better off with the Phone Company's strictly controlled data network with Phone Company approved services.

          The truth is that the Phone Company or in this case Apple, no matter how smart they believe they are, cannot duplicate the inventive power of a free market. That is why Apple lost the battle of the PC market to the plain IBM architecture (which they eventually adopted), and why the Phone Companies lost the battle of the data networks to the "academic and geeky" Internet.

          Apple did win control of the music player market for now, but then again these devices doesn't need to do much beside playing music.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by JimNTonik ( 1097185 )

            The truth is that the Phone Company or in this case Apple, no matter how smart they believe they are, cannot duplicate the inventive power of a free market.

            The "free" phone market was stuck in UI limbo, with consumers buying primitive phones because there was no alternative. The free market is a great thing, but unless you have a good variety of companies competing within it it's not a useful mechanism for progress. Apple competing in the market is a _very_ good thing for consumers, software SDK or not, as we'll all soon see through competing products.

            Apple does have a tendency to be authoritarian, but it's not as bad as people usually say. It's more t

          • by ewieling ( 90662 )
            The phone companies were right. The fact that people can't setup routers and PCs in a secure way is the reason we (still) have spam and botnets.
        • by volsung ( 378 )

          It is worth pointing out that OS X is extremely user friendly while simultaneously being extremely developer friendly. Apple has embraced a lot of UNIX culture, bundling an entire BSD userspace, including Perl, Python, (and with 10.5, now Ruby), X, ssh, emacs, etc. While not installed by default, the DVD includes an entire IDE, as well as all the gcc command line utilities. Apple is also pretty good about (eventually) turning features they write for applications into generic libraries that all applicati

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by zopf ( 897522 )
        This is mildly off-topic, but I think interesting nonetheless, so I'll present it: When I read your post I found myself staring at the words "in my glove box", trying to figure whether a GLove box had anything to do with a GMail one. This degree of perceptual priming speaks volumes about Google's growing technological hegemony. While I applaud Google for time and again winning public approval and attention by simply creating great free services with a business model that doesn't detract from their service
      • Wait until February when the SDK will be released.
      • The funny thing is that Apple's statistics will lump you in the "unlocker" category.
      • by gig ( 78408 )
        > The iPhone is screaming for awesome third party development.

        The iPhone is overflowing with third-party development. In fact, one third-party app enables the iPhone home screen to have pages you can flip through solely so you can have room to hold more third-party apps. There were too many apps for this early version of the iPhone interface to accommodate. They overflowed. Some of the iPhone users I know have all the latest apps and tell each other what is new and fresh constantly. And there is an SDK c
      • I was given a free iPhone as part of an awards ceremony thing, and it's currently stitting in my glove box unused
        Please can I have it?
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      As long as it has REAL BUTTONS I will be happy.
    • I wouldn't mind a barebones OS -- as long as it's API is open -- I'd be free to develop my own bells and whistles.
    • Re:UI? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by absoluteflatness ( 913952 ) <absoluteflatness@@@gmail...com> on Sunday November 04, 2007 @01:18AM (#21229381)
      Well, current swooning over the iPhone aside, I don't think people ever factor in the interface too much into a phone's "cool factor", certainly not as much as the physical materials and "case".

      Thing is, a clean interface that allows access to any large number of the phone's capabilities would be astounding, and if it got to a level anyone could call "bare bones" without just ripping features out, I'd strongly consider buying it. The current idea of every screen only having two main functions and then hiding everything else in a menu is ridiculously annoying. There are a whole bunch of screens on a phone where number or text input doesn't make sense, why not make menu choices in a grid corresponding with 1-9 in those cases? It should be relatively intuitive.

      The standard cell phone interface is crying out for change. Touch screens like the iPhone are one path, but the standard phone with buttons is going to survive quite a while, and could do with some positive innovations that Motorola, Samsung, Nokia, and the rest of the industry don't really feel like making.

      P.S. I happen to think Google's bare-bones website is a triumph in user interface design. There's really only one thing someone coming to google.com wants to do, and Google doesn't get in your way with a bunch of interface cruft. You said it yourself: it's good for what we use it for. What else should an interface aspire to?
      • by leenks ( 906881 )

        There are a whole bunch of screens on a phone where number or text input doesn't make sense, why not make menu choices in a grid corresponding with 1-9 in those cases? It should be relatively intuitive.

        Nokia phones have done this for quite some time. Certainly my last 4+ phones have had direct menu function access using the number keys based on either a grid layout on the screen, or the number they appear in the menu. I think Ericsson and Samsung phones are similar?

      • Exactly! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by plasmacutter ( 901737 ) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @02:48AM (#21229705)
        I'm a techie just like anyone else, but phones have gotten out of control.

        Specially coming from the pre-tiger platform philosophy, I believe objects and apps should be designed to perform one function and perform it well.

        Most phone designers have become so preoccupied with trying to turn good phones into crappy laptops they forgot to actually make them usable as phones

        I held onto an old brick from 2001 until it broke in late 2006 because it did only two things: it called people, and it stored numbers in a list which could be both accessed and browsed using a single button. This allowed me to get things done instantly even when heavily preoccupied or even in places where the screen could not be accessed.

        The contrast can't be any greater between that trusty old brick and your modern bloated phone. The simplest means to access that same contact list now requires delicately tiptoeing around unusably small buttons (built for form over function) and digging through 3 menus ostensibly designed the same way banners and popup ads are, to trick you into unintentionally selecting "extras" which will show up on your bill.

        Whereas it was feasible to use the old brick to, say, safely check up on or get corrections for driving directions in transit, the requirement on new phones to dedicate constant attention to the screen to make sure you're making the proper selection from their cluttered menus means the phone is no longer "mobile", it's a "roadside" or "parking lot" phone.

        Heck even the color screen is arguably form over function. Black and white lcd's can be accessed in full sun without any required input for basic information such as time and date, while color screens can at times be unreadable and often require you to remove the key guard to view relevant information.

        I carry a macbook with me, I don't need a portable tv, or a portable wifi browser, or a portable aim client, or a pack of dancing girls to fly out, or my own personal butler-in-a-box. I want an utterly bare bones phone that's small enough to be unintrusive but large enough to be usable. Nobody, not even apple, produces this.

        • by cycoj ( 1010923 )
          Didn't Motorola have a similar phone. Forgot the name of it, but if I remember correctly it was build mainly with 2nd-3rd world countries as target audience. IIRC it had a monochrome OLED as a display.
          • I think you're referring to the Motofone F3 [reghardware.co.uk]. And it uses a small e-ink display, not OLED.
            • Yup, that's the one. It's a damn nice phone - dirt cheap, small, sturdy, with good connection and long battery life. The thing is that the display is segmented, and this hinders usability a lot (specially when trying to SMS). I considered getting one just for the sake of it but this put me off; if they offered an upgrade with a dot matrix display i'd get two in a heartbeat.
          • Didn't Motorola have a similar phone. Forgot the name of it, but if I remember correctly it was build mainly with 2nd-3rd world countries as target audience. IIRC it had a monochrome OLED as a display.
            You're thinking of the Motorola F3 [motorola.com]. It has an e-ink [eink.com] display.
        • by thynk ( 653762 )
          or a pack of dancing girls to fly out

          And where are these phones, exactly? I can imagine these would be rather popular with the /. populous *grin*

          And back in the land of reality... I'm one of those people who wants a phone that does it all, it's the one device I take with me at all times, and honestly, I like being check email while waiting to pickup the kids from school, and being able to look up the nearest IHOP while on the road, and better yet, using the GPS to find where the hell I am. I've even been
        • Nokia 1100 [wikipedia.org] I've used one as my personal phone for quite some time. Bare bones. Fits in the palm of my hand. Good reception and call quality.

          Picked it up, unlocked, for $30 on eBay. It's been to hell and back again. I did lie a bit.

          It isn't *just* a phone. It has a LED on the top of it, probably the most useful addition to a cellphone ever. I use it all the time when I drop my keys in my car. You can turn the 'flashlight' on or off rather easily.
        • Most phone designers have become so preoccupied with trying to turn good phones into crappy laptops they forgot to actually make them usable as phones

          Ack... sorry. I am the reason these phones are being made. :)

          I see things from a completely opposite perspective. I've been slowly getting closer and closer to my ultimate phone (following from Kyocera 65-something or other, to a treo 650, and now an E-Ten Glofiish X500+). My ultimate phone has everything - so much, that I don't need to lug my laptop aro

    • by HobophobE ( 101209 ) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @02:31AM (#21229647) Homepage
      Mere phones (especially the conspicuous consumption dreck they're hocking these days) are past their usefulness.

      A Google tricorder, now that's something I'd like to see. Scan e-mail for spam, scan the milk in the fridge to make sure it's not past expiration, an end to the puzzles of moderating on slashdot as the little gizmo beeps and says "-1, Borg".

      Come on Google, another cellphone? Too many people expect their phones to be a damn orgasm. I don't want that. Give me a tricorder.
      • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

        A Google tricorder, now that's something I'd like to see.
        Me too, using a tricorder to find things in supermarkets would save me a lot of time.

        "Captain, I'm detecting Cheerios in this direction."
      • by thynk ( 653762 )
        Too many people expect their phones to be a damn orgasm. I don't want that.

        I do!
      • So howsabout a company releases a tricorder with cellphone capabilities... and a vibrating attachment for those who really do want their phones to be a damn orgasm.

        I don't see why an open platform couldn't allow mobile devices to become all things to all people. It might not be that out-of-the-box, but if you can buy a handset that has all the hardware features you want and then can customize it with software that suits your needs, you've got a vision for a mobile computing device.

        Biggest limitation I see
    • I sincerely hope they don't confuse "clean interface" with "bare bones". Google's interface is good for what we use it for, but I kinda like the bling on modern cellphones. Cue the "I just want a cell phone that..."-people in 3, 2, 1...

      You've clearly never used a Verizon phone. It takes skill to come up with such an awful interface.

      I've used a few Sony Ericsson phones that I like quite a bit -- they seem to be the last major handset maker who seems to 'get it' in terms of design, by offering a pretty broa

  • A Bay Area legend... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PhantomHarlock ( 189617 ) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @12:51AM (#21229273)
    Andy's an old timer from the Bay Area BBS scene...I believe he used to run Spies on the Wire...he still has the domain as his personal page. www.spies.com. I believe I had an account there at one time or another. Glad to see he is still doing well.

    Any old Spies members feel free to speak up...
  • So they wouldn't embrace "Gphone design" and risk beeing delegated simply to make commodity hardware (?)
    • by Soko ( 17987 )
      So they wouldn't embrace "Gphone design" and risk beeing delegated simply to make commodity hardware (?)

      10 BEGIN TANGENT
      20 Heh.

      Anyway, that's exactly what Microsoft has done to the PC hardware makers - if it doesn't run Windows it ain't SHIT. So, hardware margins go to zero and Microsoft reaps all the benefits. Who pays to develop and support hardware drivers on Windows? All the kit makers who PAY Microsoft to get that fuckin' little "Designed for Vista" sticker, that's who.

      Yup, Google is using Microsoft ta
      • by sznupi ( 719324 )
        Fighting with Microsoft on the mobile market - I can live with that. But I'm not sure if succesfull Gphone leaves a lot of place to tech which isn't bad...just different (Symbian or Opera come to mind)
  • It would be a blessing were the gPhone to stir up a field mired in lack of purpose and direction. I'm tired of seeing phone companies busy building elaborate business models instead of better phones. Almost the opposite -- consider AT&T's attempt to kill GPS in its Blackberries. I wouldn't worry about UI... There is precedent for having both a robust, no-frills terminal interface for jocks AND elaborate KDE, Gnome or what have you GUI interfaces for the spoiled :-) The gPhone might
  • That's right... Magic cap had a business desktop metaphor including a full-function phone, like you'd have at an office. (HOW did I forget about that?)

    I wonder about the timing ... Migit it be prior art for any patents Apple or Microsoft get for their phones and/or perhaps for some of the patents the various cellphone companies are deploying against Vonage?
  • by DECS ( 891519 ) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @02:13AM (#21229573) Homepage Journal
    Magic Cap offered some interesting ideas but didn't offer a mobile phone--it produced a PDA OS. The General Magic company (mostly Apple employees spun off in an internal battle between Magic Cap and Newton) ended up licensing its technologies to Microsoft in 1998, which turned Windows CE from a laugh-out-loud joke into a mild embarrassment.

    Microsoft didn't start shipping a phone product until 2002, the same year the Handspring Treo arrived (which combined the older Visor+phone back pack.) There were no real PDA phones in the 90s.

    The Egregious Incompetence of Palm [roughlydrafted.com]
    The Spectacular Failure of WinCE and Windows Mobile [roughlydrafted.com]

    Google is very unlikely to produce its own phone, and if it did, it would be nothing like Apple's iPhone, because Google is good at very different things. It has no experience in consumer hardware, retail, and couldn't even beat YouTube at serving videos.

    The Great Google gPhone Myth [roughlydrafted.com]
  • by Iloinen Lohikrme ( 880747 ) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @02:28AM (#21229629)

    When reading continues flow of articles talking about iPhone that and gPhone this, I just get a feeling that what is the point? What's new? What's revolutionary? And when I think about it more, all I get it is pretty much nothing. The only explanation that I can find for this phenomenon is that as US lacks behind the rest of the world both in available cellular networks and phone models, and so anything new, even if it's been available for the rest of world for years, seems exciting. I can understand this from the consumers as they don't know any better, but why is the same true with the management of international corporations that should have a larger view on the matter?

    I can understand that Apple wants to break into mobile phone businesses and deliver a phone with their touch. I can't understand why Google would ever want to do that. Google is concentrated on information and information deliverance business, they are not an hardware company. For Google it would be better to make an integrated Google mobile suite of applications, starting from blogging and imaging tools to email and calendars. Then they would work out a deal with leading smart phone vendors, Nokia, Samsung, Motorola and Sony-Ericsson, so that they would include the package with their phones including an Google icon in the main menu of a phone. This way Google, if they wanted it enough badly, they could make an world wide penetrations to mobile markets quick and effectively. Also if for some unknown reason, Google would really want an phone carrying their name, they could just re-brand a phone from one of their partners.

    Of course this all with gPhone could be just a byzantine styled political battle with the telecoms where Google tries to intimidate telecom operators to open up more and develop their services and offerings. Thought bringing a new phone to the markets doesn't actually do this. The only way for Google to open up US mobile markets would be to make Congress and FCC open up the mobile networks for other companies and thus allowing virtual operators to enter the stage.

    • by Dr. Evil ( 3501 )

      ...so that they would include the package with their phones including an Google icon in the main menu of a phone....

      The problem here is when the target platform is Windows mobile.

      This is something that the article gets very wrong. Even if Google gives the platform away for free, it won't be as powerful as what MS did to Netscape... which was to not only give it away for free, but to include it with every machine and enforce non-installation of competitor software... and yet, even then, Microsoft has ma

      • ...but who even uses Windows Mobile? It has an abysmal market share of 6.1% of all smart phones. Even Linux based smart phones have bigger market share compared to it (13.3%), and Symbian with its' 72.4% is over the top. This situation won't be changing for the benefit of Windows Mobile. There is no way Nokia would turn its back on Symbian. Also Microsoft has tried to push Windows Mobile to mobile markets for almost 10 years with out success. They could have succeeded by tying the Windows and Windows Mobile

        • by cuby ( 832037 )
          One other thing... Net based OS for the phones. Think about what will happen to those phones when a problem with the GSM or WI-FI network happens. Or what happens when you are in a area without network at all? And, here in Europe, when you go out of the country, and the roaming sucks all your bucks? Net base services should never be critical, at the OS level...
        • by gb506 ( 738638 )
          ...but who even uses Windows Mobile?

          Those of us forced to work in companies where the IT department is so incompetent and risk averse that they won't look beyond Microsoft products. It's a cascading effect; they choose Exchange for a messaging solution, it all takes a big, loose, smelly dump from there.
      • by cuby ( 832037 )
        I think most of the people underestimates Windows Mobile (WM). They (M$) may have a small market share, but is the corporate share. WM comes with the expensive phones, and developers really use it to do things. I've said this to oblivion and I will continue: Currently, there is now real alternative to WM and Symbian if you want to develop a corporate application. They have good APIs, good IDEs, and yes Visual Studio is a good IDE, even if smartphone development is full of bugs. The above requirements are f
  • What Phone?
    Google doesn't have a phone.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    WM users are primarly Exchange (Enterprise) users, and they are not going to use gphone, or anything linux. For your statistical geeks there are more in the work force using WM than there are linux users in total.
  • by nicolaiplum ( 169077 ) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @04:46AM (#21230035)
    "... cut off their oxygen like Microsoft did to Netscape.."

    That's just not going to happen. MS managed to kill Netscape because the browser they suffocated was most of Netscape's business. Windows Mobile is only a tiny part of MS, and if Google tries to suffocate WM they may well succeed, but MS won't thrash around and die. If you want to kill all of MS, you have to suffocate Microsoft Office (at least, maybe Exchange and SQL Server too).
    If Google tries to use their piles of cash from other parts of their business (advertising) to suffocate Windows Mobile, Microsoft will simply use piles of cash from other parts of their business (MS Office & friends) to support Windows Mobile.
    Google could offer an all-encompassing Google-software-pack for Symbian and Windows Mobile to direct a lot of mobile traffic to them in a lot of the world (maybe not the US where handsets are too locked down, but the US is not most of the mobile world) without having to fight WM or have their own hardware.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DECS ( 891519 )
      You are right that Microsoft makes all of its money elsewhere. However, its profits are all related to selling an OS and applications for PCs, and that market is mature. PC sales are not going to explode again, they're going to migrate into more mobile devices and other form factors.

      Microsoft sits in an enormously powerful position, but its platform needs to grow and diversify. That's why it's been spending billions for over ten years now to develop WinCE, first to create a Newton-like small PC, then to cop
  • by giving the gPhone away to handset makers and to put Microsoft Windows Mobile out of business
    Er, Isn't this what Linux is about? I mean, what's so innovative about this approach of "giving away"?

    In any case, I don't believe that ths sole fact of being free (as is beer) will be enought to motivate handset maker to jump into it, mostly when there are other initiatives for linux based mobile devices including phones.

  • by icepick72 ( 834363 ) on Sunday November 04, 2007 @06:00AM (#21230287)
    and to put Microsoft Windows Mobile out of business

    I'm sorry but from a developer's perspective the fact that I can create an application on the PC (.NET) and also run it on a Windows Mobile device without modification, means the Microsoft's mobile solution is not going away anytime soon. That statement in the article summary is cursory. Google is going to need something deeper than web-based APIs to unroot developers. Even the iPhone hackers want something deeper than some tom-foolery promoted by Apple, supposedly coming in the new year.

    • I'm sorry but from a developer's perspective the fact that I can create an application on the PC (.NET) and also run it on a Windows Mobile device without modification, means the Microsoft's mobile solution is not going away anytime soon.

      And from a user's perspective you're part of the problem. Cramming PC apps onto 3-inch screens leads to a sucky user experience. Mobile usage on a small screen requires original thinking.

      My Windows Mobile phone did me a huge favor when it died. Never, never, never again wil

  • As if I'd want a phone with commercials.
  • I'm sorry... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    ... but all ideology aside, Windows Mobile (while bloated) is actually a fantastic product, when it's configured right. In terms of business oriented features (and 3rd party development), it does actually make the iPhone weep.

    Can Google make it so I can press my touch screen two or three times while tethered and be sharing a HSDPA link to my laptop via bluetooth or WiFi? Can they make it so I can debug my apps in an emulator or deploy them over USB for real device debugging in an IDE on my PC? Can they even
    • Can Google make it so I can press my touch screen two or three times while tethered and be sharing a HSDPA link to my laptop via bluetooth or WiFi?

      That depends on the contract, I'm sure. For example, if I had a Windows Mobile phone on my current contract I'd be in violation of my contract if I did that.

      There's some pretty good software in Windows handheld package, though every new version I've seen has had more restrictions put on it... though now Palms self-destructed maybe they've quit trying to make thei
  • they don't tag a (beta) to this one :/
  • Google's stated aversion to conspicuous consumption.

    The day before Google went public in 2004, Wayne Rosing, then the vice president for engineering, stood on a stage during a companywide meeting and brandished a baseball bat. He threatened to use it on anyone's car in the Google parking lot that was anything flashier than a 3 Series BMW.

    Did Markoff actually take a walk around Google's parking lot today? There are a lot of very nice cars there, and there have been for many years. He also somehow missed the
  • We've come a long way from the days when programmers like Rasterman & Mandrake laboring away in their cubes were elevated to celebrity status. Now the middle manager is the driver of technology revolutions.

  • Absolutely ludicrous quote from the write-up:

    The Times speculates that Google may also be planning to replay the strategy that Microsoft used to bulldoze Netscape in the mid-1990s by 'cutting off' Microsoft's air supply by giving the gPhone away to handset makers and to put Microsoft Windows Mobile out of business.

    Is this phone going to somehow end Microsoft's dominance in the office productivity suite or PC operating system markets? If not, then there's no way on earth it can interfere with Microsoft's "a

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