The simple test for the Android OS
Okay, so Monday we'll see Google's Android for real then, and how much rubber there is actually touching the road. I've refrained talking about it for a week, as there's been nothing to say that a million bloviating bloggers haven't already said at length.
Simple test: Will you be able to take the Android OS as it exists on Monday and hack it so it runs on an existing device? Will there be hacked Windows CE devices, or even the odd phone running the OS that day or within the week? That's the supposed differentiator between Google's offering and established mobile operating systems out there: Windows Mobile, Symbian, Moto's Linux variant, the iPhone OSX variant, etc. None of these guys will let any joe just take their code and install it on any device they want, right? If the GOOG isn't full of BS, then that's what we'll see in a few days.
If they are full of it, then we'll see some innocuous API spec and some random code drops which form little if no base for an operating system, and we'll have to wonder what the hell those guys have been doing over the past few years... Pretty simple. The nice thing about the first option above, is that with their chosen license if they do actually release something real, then other open projects out there like OpenMoko and even Maemo could adjust and make their stuff compatible, strengthening Linux on devices, which is a good thing. If it's just a bunch of useless code and APIs, then the effect will be even more fracturing in the mobile Linux community (because no one will use Google's half-ass effort), which will be very, very bad. Time will tell... :-)
It's "Daddy Weekend" so I'll be off air until at least Monday. Have a great weekend!