SAN JOSE, Calif. The Open Handset Alliance has made available for download the open source code behind Google's Android mobile handset software. The release marks a significant milestone in the group's efforts to spark development in mobile Internet handsets based on the software.
The Android Open Source Project, hosted by the Alliance, said it is using the Apache 2.0 license as its preferred license. It is also providing individual and corporate licenses at its Web site.
Other companies were quick to jump on the Android bandwagon. Wind River Systems announced it will provide an implementation of Android that will include its own version of Linux, third-party software and services to customize the code to a design. The software will be available in the first half of 2009.
Wind River has already signed up Kyocera Wireless Corp. which announced it has begun development on an Android handset. "Our goal is to make Kyocera the leader in Android integration among CDMA device manufacturers in the markets we serve," said Dave Carey, vice president and general manager of the consumer products group at Kyocera in a statement.
In September, T-Mobile introduced the first handset using the software based on a design from Taiwan's HTC using a Qualcomm chip set. The handset received mixed reviews, but many other Android backers are expected to follow suit with their own designs starting next year.
A wide variety of companies demonstrated Android running on systems and chip sets at the Mobile World Congress in February including Broadcom and Texas Instruments.
So far, the Apple iPhone commands a significant market lead with a 24 percent share of the U.S. smart phone market in the latest quarter according to one market watcher. Android is just one of a variety of software alternatives for bringing the Web to the handset.