It appears that the light-weight powerhouse that is Android has either been embraced by OEMs at the very instant that the planets aligned and created the need for a cheap, high-quality, open software stack for mobile devices, or that it has, in fact, helped to carve out and designate the perfect moment for an open source revolution.
Linux evangelists have looked long and hard for a sign of the End Times, and I'm happy to proclaim that Armageddon is nigh. However, the battles which are about to ensue will not be heralded by the furious, zealous rants of mouth-breathing dufi (plural of dufus) like myself. Rather, by the corporate-backed updates and roll-outs of the only mega-name entity it's still cool to love; Googs.
The meeting point between smartphones and laptops - the netbook, or in the case of Archos, the Internet Media Tablet - will become a new standard in the next two years. And you can bet that your carrier has something in mind. Take for instance, T-Mobile - the company that introduced a baby-faced Android to the world a mere six months ago.
Gizomodo has it that they are releasing an Android tablet and Verizon Hub-like device in 2010. That may seem a ways out considering other expected releases, but I hope that means rock-solid performance and killer new feature-lists. Whatever the case, it shows satisfaction with, and confidence in, the Linux-based OS. The time frame also leaves room for adoption and advancement.
Tech columnist and author John C. Dvorak writes over at PCMAG that Google will be releasing their own netbook at some point. How great would that be? I would expect absolutely flawless performance and integration with a myriad of Google services - life in the clouds. He also mentions the possibility of a Nokia netbook running Symbian. Yeah. Yeah. I have the same question as Mr. Dvorak: "WHAT?!?" Maybe there is a new Series under development. There would have to be. But if you run into problems, Nokia, it's never too late to embrace the robotic penguin.
Now let's consider the other emerging Linux-based netbook OS; Moblin. It was recently turned over to the Linux Foundation by Intel, and is sure to be the FLOSS blogging community's favorite MID darling. We've already seen a good number of Linux distros cooked up specifically for netbooks: Ubuntu's Netbook Remix, gOS, a bunch of different flavors for the EeePC... but we haven't seen a concerted effort for one version of Linux in particular to infiltrate an entire market - hardware branding irrelevant. This is about to change. It already has, behind the scenes.
Do you plan to run Windows 7 on a fast-booting, light and swift, mobile device? Good luck with that. And it isn't what HP is counting on. We're looking at the results of a major upheaval here - in terms of technology and business models. I may not understand much of either very well, but I've got $100 on Google for the masses, and $50 on Moblin for the geek set. Who's makin' numbers?