Google Makes Its Entry Into the Wireless World

Link: Google Makes Its Entry Into the Wireless World

"John O’Rourke, general manager of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile business, said he was skeptical about the ease with which Google will be able to become a major force in the smartphone market. He pointed out that it had taken Microsoft more than half a decade to get to the stage where the company now does business with 160 mobile operators in 55 countries around the world. ‘They may be delivering one component that is free,’ he said. ‘You have to ask the question, what additional costs come with commercializing that? I can tell you that there are a bunch of phones based on Linux today, and I don’t think anyone would tell you it’s free.’"

At first glance this quote looks like some spin put out by the incumbent to defend their business, but at second glance it makes you say "yeah…we’ve had open phones for a while now. What just changed? Is it even material?"

Google’s campaign to perform competitive jujitsu using the malevolently humming light saber of openness is nice and all, but it’s a fact that I can write an application for my Windows Mobile phone today without having to pay anyone any money or ask anyone permission. (I don’t think the same is possible for my wife’s RAZR.)

Update: Looks like Om Malik shares my skepticism; he’s asked some even more incisive questions.