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Ultimate Smartphone Platform Has Been Created, Apparently

In a statement filled with more hubris than Steve Jobs would ever consider using, Google's Andy Rubin has essentially declared that Android is the last platform for smartphones that the world needs. With Microsoft announcing Windows Phone 7 today, HP readying a new version of Palm's WebOS, as well as other platform launches and relaunches, these companies sure would have saved themselves a lot of time and money if Rubin had only spoken up earlier.
In a statement filled with more hubris than Steve Jobs would ever consider using, Google's Andy Rubin has essentially declared that Android is the last platform for smartphones that the world needs. With Microsoft announcing Windows Phone 7 today, HP readying a new version of Palm's WebOS, as well as other platform launches and relaunches, these companies sure would have saved themselves a lot of time and money if Rubin had only spoken up earlier.In an interview with PC Magazine, the Google VP of Engineering was asked what he thought of Microsoft's new platform.


I think the screen shots I've seen are interesting, but look, the world doesn't need another platform. Android is free and open; I think the only reason you create another platform is for political reasons. Why doesn't the whole world run with [Android]? They don't like the people who developed, or "not invented here," but [Android] is a successful, complete, vertically integrated free platform.

Well, there you have it. Everyone can go home. Google and released the final smartphone OS the world will ever need. Never mind the twisted logic in his statement. Android is free and open, true, but that isn't a reason for there not to be another platform. In fact, short of a platform that resembles a Star Trek computing utopia, the only real reason for there not to be another platform is the total number of platforms available. Android is good, but it isn't so good that other platform developers should just pack up and go home.

Rubin though seems to believe that the only reason someone wouldn't use Android is simply because they don't like Google, or that they cannot envision selling a device that doesn't have their code running it. The latter may be true for device manufacturers like RIM, Apple or Nokia, but that means companies like Motorola, HTC, Samsung, LG and half a dozen others must not like Google or else Android would be their sole choice.

I've said before that we have too many platforms. As of that writing, there were six major platforms - the iPhone, Android, WebOS, Windows Mobile, Symbian and Blackberry. Today the situation is actually worse. Windows Mobile is being replaced by Windows Phone 7, so that is an even swap, but Intel and Nokia are getting ready to release Meego. Technically, Samsung has also released Bada, but that is looking more like a super feature phone platform rather than a smartphone platform to compete with the big boys.

I'd like to see the field down to three or four platforms to make life easier for developers and in turn, better for consumers. The reason you create them though is for financial reasons, not political reasons. The only thing political going on here seem to be Rubin's motives.