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April 23, 2008

Android Infecting T-Mobile USA

by Matthew

Linux has been around for for more than 20 years now, yet outside of the enterprise and hobbyist community Linux has yet to make it into many homes. At the same time Linux is often found in surprising locations from TiVo to self-service machines found in most every store. For all that Linux offers and all the progress it has made on the home desktop computer space, it hasn't caught on among average computer users. Linux hasn't caught on for many reasons, one of the biggest being perception. People perceive Linux as some strange OS, something only the fool hearty or hobbyist would dare attempt.

Over the years there have been some great flavors of Linux that are working hard to change Linux's perception. Ubuntu has made great strides on that front making quite possibly one of the best consumer friendly Linux distros in years with . In the last year we have seem the rise of devices the prove Linux can be a viable commercial product, for example Nokia's Internet Table line. Nokia has its share of Linux growing pains but continues to grow the line while user adoption rates increase.

The biggest Linux news without question is Google's announcement of their Android project. Android has caught on like wild fire and continues to spread like wildfire. Word has surfaced a version of Android has been loaded on the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet. At Mobile World Congress many people clamored over at the Google booth in hopes of catching a glimpse of the upcoming release. Some where luckier than others to set their eyes on a prototype unit still ugly and clumsy but something that has captured the world's attention. Yesterday SMS Text News posted an article that one in five handsets will run Linux by 2013. Now today we hear news from CNN, T-Mobile USA will launch Android based devices 4Q 2008. Anyone that has been a customer or knows much about T-Mobile USA, knows they are anything but cutting edge, to put it politely. This news is just another example of the hype and potential Android has to change the landscape of Linux and mobiles devices as we know it today.

What do you think will Linux finally become a reality for the mainstream or is this just another passing phase?

- Matthew Stevens

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Comments

Ms. Jen

Hi Matthew,

Linux has become a very viable alternative. I do think its market share will grow. Not just because a powerhouse like Google is developing with it, but because it has become a mainstay with open source developers who are using it for more than hobby projects and it is being used increasingly in more contexts (Mac OSX is built on linux).

I can only see linux in some form or another continuing to grow and be used out in the wild (or the tamed).

daniel mariner

"At Mobile World Congress many people clamored over at the Google booth in hopes of catching a glimpse of the upcoming release."

Actually, there was no Google booth at MWC, just several private hospitality suites. There may have been Android prototype demonstrations at OHA partner booths (e.g., Texas Instruments), however.

Jim

It is odd that this is the second site I have seen reference the CNN Money article ont he handset and the second time the link is bad on cnn.com. Anyhow,so it is now a Q4 08 release of the Google phone rather than Q3? Is the Google phone from HTC the same as the phone coming out from T-Mobile?

AG

A bit of errata.. Actually, Mac OSX is a close relative of BSD not Linux.

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