Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Android OS Has Jumped The Shark

New Survey Shows Android OS Roiling the Smart Phone Market.

It is too early to say that Android OS has done anything more than made a drastic increase in marketshare and mindshare.  However, what I would like to point out is that the Android adoption curve roughly follows all open source software and is a testimate to the open source development process more than to a particular handset or operating system.

When I started using Firefox it was called firebird 0.8.  Since then, Firefox has improved exponentially every year/ release until around version 3.0 when all major features seemed to incorporated.

I'm now using the chromium-browser (related to Google Chrome) exclusively because this browser seems to have a different set of features.  Chromium's focus is different than Firefox's and for me, it seems better but not as compatible.  (I've left 'being better' purposely vague and difficult to define.)  For me Chromium is faster and less obtrusive letting me move around the web quicker, however I miss things like a refined Delicious extension and either NTLM authentication or intranet webservers are purposely not delivering webpages to 'non-standard' browsers. (remember Firefox used to be considered non-standard)

The same pattern seems to follow my use of these other open source projects: Debian and Ubuntu; the GIMP and Inkscape.  It seems that open source development starts out slowly until the masses jump onboard then development happens very fast until all envisioned features are implemented and then project becomes popular and works on security and compatibility.

Open source projects seem to have a difficult time integrating new features once they are popular.  When Firebird/Firefox was young, they could throw away significant sized API's which would break tons of relying technologies but would allow for fast and interesting developments.  WINE is a good example of this because WINE has been able to replicate Windows API's on Linux and other OS's but you would easily understand why WINE has been eternally in the beta stage because they would have to dump historical compatibility in order to give better features and in WINE's case better Windows compatibility.

I am very excited about Android's future opportunity.  I believe it will bowl over most of the competition and Apple's iphone will continue being a higher end device for a small number of users just like the Mac.