Google's Rich Miner had nothing new to share Thursday with Mobilize attendees regarding the company's Android software for mobile phones, except that it will be really, really cool.
Android is set to make its debut next week in the form of an HTC handset running on T-Mobile's network, but Miner ran through Google's standard pitch for Android in San Francisco for an audience of mobile industry insiders already very familiar with Android's potential. He painted Android as the answer to the industry's search for a truly open operating system that erases the headaches of the past.
Google has spent almost a year finalizing its plans for Android, a Linux-based combination of nuts-and-bolts software with applications and a user interface designed to run mobile phones. The idea is to give the mobile industry an open operating system that they can use as they see fit without breaking application compatibility across a wide variety of handsets.
Miner returned often to the theme of openness during his 20-minute presentation on Android, noting that "once you start talking open, you don't come back from that." He also emphasized that no one party would control Android, in that Google plans to release the code for the operating system under an open-source license.
But Google plans to make sure that the first Android customers know who designed their phone's software. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the first Android phones will emphasize Google's brand on the handset. Miner did not take questions from the audience following his keynote speech, and refused to answer questions regarding the report outside the auditorium following the conclusion of his talk.