With the Linux operating system gaining speed and eight new handsets being announced this week for a total of 22, critics are starting to wonder about the viability of Google’s (NSDQ: GOOG) Android operating system, which is expected to launch its first phone later this year. The ultimate question is would it be worth it for Google to pair up with another — whether it be the LiMo Foundation, which is heading up the Linux front, or Nokia’s (NYSE: NOK) Symbian OS, which is in the processing of becoming open and free? Earlier this week, Google refuted the idea claiming that “unification for the sake of unification is not the path we decided to go down,” said Eric Chu, a group marketing manager with Google’s Android group at LinuxWorld in San Francisco.
InformationWeek reported that despite the similarities between Android and Linux when it comes to their goals of beating Apple (NSDQ: AAPL), they don’t see how consolidation would help. Chu: “In the end, what matters most is what consumers are looking for. But having too many people on the design phase, especially early on, would have hurt the project. You could have three different user interfaces and a couple of application layers. That doesn’t make sense.”
There’s been some skepticism as to whether Google will be able to complete Android on time for a holiday handset release. Chu told InformationWeek that the OS is 80 percent done.