The OESF: Quietly Working to Get Android On New Hardware Devices
As reports of Google's Android operating system heading for non-phone devices such as netbooks and E-ink devices arrive, many people don't realize that one of the biggest pushes to promote Android as an embedded operating system is going on in Japan, led by the OESF (Open Embedded Software Foundation). Only recently launched--on February 12th of this year--the OESF is headed by IP Vision Inc's Director Masataka Miura. The organization has 25 participating companies as members, and Miura has confirmed to EETimes that as early as this Fall's CEATEC show in Japan, innovative new hardware implementations running Android will arrive.
The members of Japan's OESF include many heavy hitters, including ARM, KDDI, Japan Cable Laboratories, Alpine Electronics and Fujitsu Software Technologies. According to EETimes, "Miura said a growing number of semiconductor companies are also interested in participating, including Texas Instruments, Intel, Marvell, Freescale, Qualcomm and Renesas Technology."
Miura tells EETimes that the CEATEC show will include displays with prototype Android set tops, developed by Motorola for KDDI, a Japanese telecommunication service provider. He also confirms that the OESF is launching several working groups, including ones focused on: set-top boxes; VOIP; network and security; measurement and control; system core; application and services; and marketing and education.
For Android to really take off as an embedded OS in many types of hardware devices, it would really help if organizations like the OESF could get financial backing from Google. So far there is none, but I'm betting that Google will wake up to the need for this. Microsoft gained the dominance it has in operating systems partly by being early to form close relationship with large hardware manufacturers prepared to design products around Windows. The OESF is exactly the kind of organization that can help Google move toward those types of key relationships.