Google said its Android operating system wasn't just going to be for mobile phones, and Cloud Telecomputers is bringing it to a desktop phone near you. The enterprise-focused device has some very interesting features that show the vast potential of the Linux-based OS.Essentially, the company is trying to bring the functionality and features of a smartphone to the desktop. The demo product, which will run off a platform known as Glass, features an 8-inch touch screen, and it can integrate with your corporate PBX and IP PBX for corporate calling. The phone will also come with Bluetooth built-in so you can transfer your mobile phone contacts to it easily, and you'll also be able to view Outlook e-mails, as well as click on contacts to call them.
The platform itself is a tailored version of Android, and the company will be licensing it out to companies that want to create their own models of phones. As you would expect from its name, Cloud will be offering hosted services for this platform, as well as application programming interfaces for custom applications like Salesforce's CRM software. Being able to send SMS messages from the desktop and the ability to run multiple apps are also nice features.
This is still not a firm release date for the Glass products, but the company is expecting devices to be released in the first quarter of 2010 for about $599 or $699. I'm not really sure how big the market for this specific device will be due to the pricing and the fact that many companies' budgets are still hurting, and the desktop phone is way down on the list of priorities. Verizon is also trying to bring smartphone features to desktop phones with devices like its Hub, and I think there will be a decent market for these types of devices, even as consumers and businesses seek converged solutions. Throw a camera with some cheap, reliable video-calling features into Glass or the Hub and I'm sure you'd find plenty of people happy to pick one up.