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Google's Android Era Set To Begin

T-Mobile's imminent launch of its Android-powered mobile phone has the potential to disrupt, although questions about the Linux-based open source platform remain.
The Android platform seems squarely aimed at the consumer market, but some figure it could eventually be Google's strongest move into the enterprise market.

As more companies rely on Web-based mission-critical software, Ambrosio sees Google's strengths in that area as a major advantage for Android devices. But he expects Google to target the consumer market first, and eventually make a strong push for the enterprise.

A recent study by J. Gold Associates suggests that most companies will take a wait-and-see approach with Android, though.

The report said Research In Motion will remain the dominant player in the United States for enterprise smartphones, with nearly 60% of the market in 2011. This will be followed by Windows Mobile, Apple's iPhone, Symbian, and Palm. The report estimated Android will garner a relatively small 4.8% of the market in three years.

A Crowded Market

Cracking the mobile market won't be easy, as companies like RIM, Windows Mobile, Symbian, and Apple won't give up their market share without a fight. Many companies are emphasizing their experience in the mobile space as Nokia, the largest manufacturer of smartphones in the world, recently upped the ante in the software war by buying out Symbian in June and creating the Symbian Foundation with the goal of making Symbian an open source OS. Executives believe the company's "mobile DNA" will enable the OS to remain dominant.

"I think that the fact there is a mature platform that is being introduced in an open source environment kind of changes the game," said David Rivas, head of technology management at Nokia's S60, in an interview with Reuters. "The choices up until then were: You could go with proprietary and mature, or you could go with immature and free. Now there is a choice that is free and mature."

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