How openness and Linux are unlocking innovation [Part 3]

Thanks to Engadget for this one. The gadget site writes:


A dedicated duo of hackers has been hard at work porting Google’s other operating system to x86, and they’ve just released an .02 version of their Android LiveCD build.

That means you’re now free to boot and run the ‘droid from your optical drive, install it in a virtual machine, install it for real on your old laptop, whatever — just don’t get upset if it bugs out on you. Anyone gonna do some ‘sploring?

The read-me file for the download

limo-shikiar-thumbnail-thumb-118x102-41086.jpg Andrew Shikiar, Director of Global Marketing, LiMo Foundation


Part I of this series on how openness and Linux are unlocking innovation outlined the many definitions that can be applied to the term “openness” and examined how Linux is impacting the evolving mobile ecosystem, while Part II examined the critical building blocks needed to build a truly successful open mobile ecosystem. This final segment will discuss how each of these factors is interrelated as Linux continues its role as the catalyst for innovation in the open mobile ecosystem.

Perhaps the most critical question for a developer is the size of the target customer base – for developers, the ideal platform would allow them to sell to the whole base of mobile phone users, not just a single brand or model.

Currently, iPhone developers are able to make money, as the number of developers is still relatively limited. However, even with the launch of new iPhones such as the 3G S, it is unlikely that the Apple subscriber base will grow at the same rate as the developer base and therefore, developing for the iPhone may no longer be financially viable for a hungry developer community.

Openness, in conjunction with mobile Linux will have a transforming effect on the mobile industry. It will open the doors to millions of legacy Linux developers, facilitate portability of their applications from the desktop to mobile, and will significantly reduce application time-to-market.

Shared APIs will provide economies of scale for the developer community since developers will be able to write applications for both the desktop and mobile environments with only minimal duplication of effort. It will also offer developers the flexibility to choose the commercial terms and application development platforms that they are most comfortable with.

Given that Linux in the mobile environment is supported throughout the handset value chain and across all global regions, developers will no longer be constrained by the dominance of one single major player.

This will not only provide them with a choice of partners but also opportunities to negotiate more favourable deals as they can pitch their applications to a larger number of OEM and operator application stores.

Last but not least, an open ecosystem will not support just one brand or device model but a multitude of them, giving developers a significantly larger targetable user base for their applications that can better justify the return on their investment.

Openness, bolstered by Linux, holds the promise of unprecedented benefits for consumers, developers, operators, and manufacturers of mobile services and devices.

Openness will also allow handset manufacturers and wireless operators to bring to market innovative new products faster and at a much lower cost.

Developers will have better access to key handset capabilities and robust tools enabling them to build more compelling and user-friendly services, bringing the Internet developer model to the mobile space.

Finally, consumers worldwide will have access to less expensive mobile devices with deeper, more compelling services, rich Internet applications and easier-to-use interfaces – ultimately creating a superior, more satisfying mobile experience to the benefit of all.

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