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Monday, November 26, 2007

Android & J2ME live happily ever after...

Really?!... at least they tried to make it look alike... when Sun's CEO and president, Jonathan Schwartz, congratulated Google at the occasion of Android Launch:

"I just wanted to add my voice to the chorus of others from Sun in offering my heartfelt congratulations to Google on the announcement of their new Java/Linux phone platform, Android. Congratulations!"

(Is that Java/Linux platform?) And Sun's EVP Software, Rich Green, also follows his boss in a very same fashion:

"We’re thrilled to have Google amplify the global momentum behind Java technology, the world’s most prolific open source software platform - on more than five billion devices. We are excited by the Open Handset Alliance’s upcoming open source contributions of new services and frameworks. We welcome Google to the community and look forward to collaborating on the evolution of the Java platform as part of our ongoing relationship."

So, is this really a happy ending? Is, Sun happy about all that Google is doing in the name of Open Handset Alliance? challenging Sun's dominance in the mobile/wireless world via its J2ME platform. Why Google prefers carving a new Android Platform over Dalvik - a Tweaked Non-standard VM, as oppose to using the existing J2ME platform? wasn't that good enough?

"We wanted the platform to be open in a lot of different ways," said Mike Cleron, a Google senior staff engineer working on Android. "The idea is that anybody can come along and replace the pieces of the Android experience on a very fine-grained level. The existing APIs didn't really allow the level of openness we were hoping to achieve in Android."

But, that's not the 'real' issue, instead, the real problem for Google in using j2me platform is the GPLv2 license, and Dalvik is the answer to this problem, indeed, a very clever move by Google. But that also mean Google could be heading for a showdown with Sun.


  1. Let's face it, the whole "Google does no evil" mantra has obviously flown out the window. They're just another Microsoft stealing the work of others, and exploiting it as their own.

  2. When confronted with complaints about the GPL, the typical response is to tell the complainant to build their own. Google did. While that results in yet another somewhat incompatible platform, that is not in conflict with the open source culture where variety is generally considered a feature and practicality is deemed less important. In any case, building their own VM is not stealing.