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11/13/2007
06:10 PM
Stephen Wellman
Stephen Wellman
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Will Android Be Windows To Apple's iPhone?

Everyone is complaining that Google's Android looks an a lot like the iPhone. Well, what if that is Google's point? What if Google hopes to do to the iPhone what Microsoft did to Apple's first user experience breakthrough, the Mac?

Everyone is complaining that Google's Android looks an a lot like the iPhone. Well, what if that is Google's point? What if Google hopes to do to the iPhone what Microsoft did to Apple's first user experience breakthrough, the Mac?Here is the video again, just to remind you what Android looks like (and the fact that Sergey needs a haircut):

Let's return to the to the Android, Windows analogy. Think about it: Apple spent a lot of time building the Mac. They proved the concept of the GUI on the desktop, but Apple never captured the desktop. Why? Because all Microsoft had to do was step in with a lower-cost alternative that ripped off Apple's UI and did most, but certainly not all, of the things the Mac did. Windows has never equaled the Mac in terms of aesthetics or usability, but it never had to. It just had to be good enough.

The other reason Windows beat the Mac in the 1980s was because it was, gasp, more open than the Mac. While Windows is far from an open platform, it is more open than Mac. And Microsoft has always courted developers. As a result, Windows is the global ecosystem of applications and developers.

Google is intentionally making Android more open than its closed rival, the iPhone. Google is courting lots of developers with lots of money. Doesn't this all seem a little familiar?

Let's push the analogy further. What does Android promise? It promises easier-to-use mobile applications on a lot of cell phones. Doesn't that promise sound a lot like Microsoft's promise with Windows? Easier-to-use PCs for the mainstream?

I am sure Google doesn't want to be compared to Microsoft, but at first glance Android sure looks like a movie we've seen before.

What do you think? Do you think Google plans to use Android to give the Microsoft Windows treatment to the iPhone?

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