Android is an open source operating system for mobile devices. It’s being developed collectively by more than 30 technology and mobile companies, including Google. The organzation is called the Open Handset Alliance. (I think Google actually bought Android back in the summer of 2005.) Android was unveiled last month (Nov 5).
The goal behind Android is the get better products to the customers faster. By opening up the code, they figure people will come up with cool things and they can work collectively to perfect and deploy these cool thing. (I loved their video explanation so much I had to add it here.)
From a Broadband perspective, this ties in so closely with Google’s interest in the Spectrum Auction. From an economic development perspective, I think it’s a great example of the modern business plan. I think information used to provide a huge competitive intelligence (and really it still does) but making that information available to everyone leads to the next generation or product and business development where it’s the knowledge that becomes valuable – not just the information.
One of the reasons I think that the US is falling behind in the technology arena is that so many people refuse to embrace this new way of thinking about information and business development. I think we see it with all of the debate about trying to get base numbers of current broadband speeds and accessibility.
I think too many people feel that info is proprietary – when if they would open that info up we could all work together to create a better situation.