“We’re happy, this is an open source community, we’re excited for people to go off and start their own projects,” said Gefrides, but noted that while the project remained outside of the AOSP, it was nothing but an unofficial experiment.
Asked if Intel would reconsider its position should Huang’s port prove popular on a PC, Gefrides said it was impossible to predict. “At this point, who knows whether Android will ever end up on a PC or not,” he said, noting that Google already had its own Chrome OS for netbooks.
Intel’s frustration at AMD’s apparent attempt to undermine its open source work on Google’s operating system also come down to the sheer amount of effort the chip firm has invested in tweaking the platform to make it x86 device ready.
Gefrides explained that since Google’s Android development team was relatively small, it could only focus on one flagship phone every six months or so, leaving other chip and device makers to optimize the OS themselves in terms of having it run efficiently, with optimal battery life.
“The challenging part was getting enough bandwidth to get all of our stuff integrated into the code, but now that’s done, the port is done and we’re just focusing on how to get the phones out as fast as we can,” said Gefrides.
Intel apparently has several teams working on its Android efforts, with Gefrides noting the numbers were in the thousand range. “It’s a company wide effort, I can tell you that,” he said, noting that the teams spanned everything from the initial Google TV project, to teams working on phones, teams working on tablets, teams working on drivers, validations and other efforts.
Despite the momentum in Android’s favor, however, Gefrides said he still felt Intel was a port of choice company, which supported a plethora of operating systems.
“On Linux, baseline driver work is all the same. It’s the optimization that’s different. We build off our Linux support,” he said, adding that Intel had been “a very good open source community player” in terms of driving open source and the Linux environment forward.
Whether Intel and Google’s views on open source are as transparent as they seem, however, remain debatable.
“If you claim that a project like Android is entirely open source then, yes, Android should be able to run on everything from a PC to a smartphone to a toaster,” said Android expert and commentator RusselL Holly.
Holly went on to say, however, that the point was whether to port the operating system to devices which did not make much sense.
“The larger touch integrated devices, those are ideal for Android experience,” he said, pointing to some All-in-One PCs. “There are options for a variety of interesting functionality on those, but for standalone PCs, I don’t think it would be worth it,” he said.
On the other hand, said Holly, there would certainly be no point in stopping anyone from trying, though the fragmentation of the platform could cause problems in the future.
“If AMD was contributing to the Android open source project, that would be one thing, and it wouldn’t be fragmenting the platform, but if they’re not sharing the work back, there’s concern there in so far as fragmentation goes,” he said.
“If they’re not sharing, it defeats the purpose of it being an open source initiative. Using an open source project to create something that is closed source is by definition fragmentation.”
AMD did not respond to EE Times’ request for comment.
I think an Android PC makes a lot more sense than a Chrome PC. Google combined the phone and tablet versions of Android to create the "Ice Cream Sandwich" rev of Android.
Maybe they can do the same thing with Chrome and Android to create a PC Android.
We have Android tablets, why not Android portables?
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Android has so much constraints compared to Ubuntu. For everyday desktop PC, Android could be a good option. For high performance computing, any kind of servers or cloud based computing, Ubuntu, in general Linux, will be a better option.
Well, AMD wants to be in the pink and tries to port Android to own chips. May be before making decision about cooperation with Google. It seems to be reasonable. Actually I do not understand why this topic is discussed by the community. No news?
Android for evrything they can lay their hands on seems to be the mantra for freelance developers with free time these days. There are sevral reasons it has been adopted for smartphones without much of fight but the same cannot be said of PCs which has seen many tens if not hundreds of OSes come and fade away.
"Huang’s non-authorized version has not been submitted to Google for integration into the wider Android open source effort, which has raised concern that it could cause fragmentation."
Whoever said this is totally misleading. Chih-wei has tried very hard to summit any of our changes to the ASOP and many of them have been accepted by the ASOP.
With open source, it is likely for a 1 company (Intel) to make a large contribution to an effort and another company (AMD) to take advantage of their work. That's the nature of the beast. It sort of sounds like Intel is whining...
Android OS, very popular in China now. Many projects start to choose android as the first option OS.
I focus on embedded linux, as I know, the android is based on linux kernel, so i wonder why it is better than linux.
If you want to use android, you must be familiar with Java language. It is boring for me, only have interest on C,so i still use linux to develop new embedded projects. Of course, not phone and tablet.
Well, what would be Google’s official statement? I think as a comment mentions, the Chrome OS is the one for PC’s. Netbooks actually. But… haven’t hear much about it. I remember it was making a big buzz about a year a go but looks like Android is keeping Google engineers busy.
And… is fragmentation bad? Linux got all fragmented didn’t it? I think is a matter of time to hear about a fragmentation from Android, new distro’s and the like.
Anyway, looks like someone in the group actually says this fragmentation isn’t happening as Huang’s intentions as they have submitted changes to the ASOP group and some have been accepted. Interesting, we’ll soon have notebooks with Icecream on top.
Android replacing Ubuntu Linux could be very interesting turn for PC OSs.
The fragmentation of open-source development because of 5-10 options for language, libraries, fragments these projects quickly. Nobody wanting to merge them.
These alternate projects start with some itch and do bring new ideas. But sadly many of these projects die slow death and dissapear because of lack of developers/interest. Surviving projects are not able to merge the freshness these ones brought, because of differences in language/library/design choices etc.
Less is more !!!
The strength of Android/x86 would be common language platform Java and big pool of Java libraries, including GUI, sound etc.
Slowly but surely this port will appear as leader of PC OS pack.
Why not partner instead with Ubuntu? They already have most of the drivers for Intel-based PCs, and you could produce a dual-boot or switch-desktop solution that would allow the end user to chose their favority interface. Otherwise, there will be a lot of Windows XP computers that will be thrown away. Most will be in the garbage, not recycled, if MicroSoft really discontinues support for their most popular release ever, and we do not have an Android solution ready for installation.
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