We already have Symbian, embedded flavors of Java and Mameo, none of which are compatible with each other. Into this mix, Google has announced their own contribution, Android. The Register’s article even points out that the open coalition approach is nothing new.
I’ll give Google credit for taking an open approach and even managing to muster some consensus. But I have to wonder why they didn’t try to re-use existing offers, in particular working with the OpenMoko folks. They sure could use the support and I don’t see why that project might not be suitable for their purposes.
Another aspect of this development I am curious about but have not heard comment is how the carriers will react. One of my biggest questions about OpenMoko has always been what the typical user experience is for using one of these phones on the network of your choice. Sure, the wireless carriers are more likely to pay attention to Google, especially if they get to share at some point in the as yet to be realized ad revenue. But they don’t have a great track record of supporting this sort of edge of the network innovation. Too much of their current business model is predicated on control over which devices can and cannot be attached.