During the past few weeks much has been written about Google’s new Android software, their possible entry into the wireless world and also the possibility of them buying the 700 mhz spectrum when it goes up for bid by the FCC. The alliances they have formed with other companies, though commendable, may not be enough for Google to actually secede in getting Android and the associated projects off the ground. Why is this?
Let’s look at Apple as a model. There was much criticism about Apple selling out to AT&T when they locked their phones to the telephone giants system. But what was Apple supposed to do? Though the company is doing well financially, they do not have the big bucks required to buy their own or start their own wireless company. Go with another wireless company? Possible. But I am sure that AT&T gave Apple the best deal.
Back to the folks at Google. Some have said that Google is attacking Microsoft since their Android software challenges what Microsoft is doing in the mobile arena. While this may be true, I believe that Google is using Linux because they believe in the principal of open software. The people at Google have consistently demonstrated that they can and have developed a viable system to run their own business using open source. So helping to develop and spread the gospel of open source software is a well known and ingrained principle at Google. They are also fortunate to have a staff of Linux folks that can whip up a hodge podege of Linux code in a flash, and just about develope anything they wish in their sleep.
But there is a giant stumbling block that Google may have problems over coming. It is the wireless airwaves and the companies that own most of what is currently out there. Companies such as AT&T are not going to sit idly by and let a new comer pounce on their precious turf. There will be a lot of lobbying behind the scenes by the wireless phone companies who will concoct all kinds of rhetoric in an attempt to stop Google. I foresee a struggle for Google that could consume most of 2008 and beyond in their quest for entry into the wireless market place.
So the main question is, for Google is it about money or ideology? I personally believe that while money is a consideration, it is more about ideology. The ideology that the next step for technology is open source and out of the hands of companies like Microsoft and AT&T.
Am I being to idealistic in my hopes? Or is this only dreaming?
[tags]google, fcc, at&t, microsoft, wireless, carrier, airwaves, [/tags]