Android is the first complete open and free mobile phone platform that includes an operating system, middleware and key applications. It came out of the Open Handset Alliance, a group of 30 technology and mobile companies.
Android was built from the ground-up to enable developers to create compelling mobile applications that take full advantage of all a handset has to offer. It is built to be truly open. For example, an application could call upon any of the phone's core functionality such as making calls, sending text messages, or using the camera, allowing developers to create richer and more cohesive experiences for users.
As reported in Business Week, Google quietly aquired Android Inc. bringing to it a wealth of talent in mobile development.
So what's in it for Google?
Well, Google is not really a search engine company. It's an Advertising Booking Company that has created an enormous amount of advertising space by owning and running the worlds largest and most popular search engine. It has further increased the advertising space with Docs, Maps, iGoogle, Gmail, GTalk and News Alerts and clearly Mobiles is the next area to be conquered. With almost all new mobile devices being 3G enabled, mobile internet applications (and associated advertising) are going to be the big thing of the next couple of years. Supporting a platform that makes writing applications easy across many different handset brands possible is a strategic move to ensure that Google is able to own as much market share of the mobile internet as it does of the desktop and laptop internet.