Google Phone mobile platform to be launched today

The Search Giant is expected to unveil a range of open-source based software for mobile phones, codenamed Android, that aim at making online browsing and surfing as easy as on a desktop computer.

According to insider sources, the development platform will contain a "full set of components, including an operating system, a set of common APIs, a middleware layer, a customisable user interface, IM standard protocols and a mobile browser".

More than 30 telecommunication firms have joined Google although, notable absentees like Nokia, Microsoft and Apple mean that the platform won't be universal. The group will be called Open Handset Alliance.

It will be particularly riveting to find out how Apple will react given that Google's CEO Eric Schmidt sits on Apple's board and that the iPhone has turned the tables on service providers like Verizon or ATT.

Microsoft will also be watching attentively as Google plans to emulate what the Redmond firm did for the PC platform 25 years ago: Unifying a whole hardware ecosystem through one, single Operating system, except this time around, Google won't ask for a license fee but will instead get paid by advertising.

The news come a few days after Google struck a similar deal with a number of Social Networks to launch the Open Social project to facilitate the development of cross-platform APIs.