Android is a software platform and operating system for mobile devices, based on the Linux Kernel, developed by Google and later the Open Handset Alliance. Android is the first complete, open, and free mobile platform.
It allows developers to write managed code in a Java-like language that utilizes Google-developed Java libraries, but does not support programs developed in native code.
Android-powered phones can run multiple applications, all at once, and switch seamlessly between them. Notifications alert you when applications running in the background require your attention.
The native WebKit browser lets users experience the "full web" and easily move between browsing and other tasks on their phone.
This will allow personalizing the home screen to suit your needs and tastes.
Open Source Development
Android market is an open service that will give developers the opportunity to distribute applications to handsets. This will enables developers to easily create great mobile applications. The complete Android platform will be open-sourced by the end of 2008.
To help developers get started developing new applications, the Open Handset Alliance is also offering the SDK.
The Android SDK includes a comprehensive set of development tools. These include a debugger, libraries, a handset emulator, documentation, sample code, and tutorials). Currently supported development platforms include x86-based computers running Linux (any Linux Distribution), Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later, Windows XP or Vista. Requirements also include Java Development Kit, Apache Ant, and Python 2.2 or later. The officially supported integrated development environment (IDE) is Eclipse (3.2 or later) using the Android Development Tools (ADT) Plug-in, though developers may use any text editor to edit Java and XML files then use command line tools to create, build and debug Android applications.
So does all this mean there is a new competitor for Microsoft Windows Mobile?