Embedded software whiz Wind River has unleashed a commercial iteration of the open source Android mobile operating system which has been optimised for Texas Instruments’ widely popular OMAP 3 smartphone platform.
Android is drawing significant attention of the developers and manufacturers perhaps due to its open source nature, but it is believed that the manufacturers wouldn’t mind paying for the OS that offers enhanced capabilities and cutting-edge features to them.
Keeping this in mind, Wind River, an Intel subsidiary, has come up with a commercial version of the platform that would help developers to bring out advanced Android-based products to market, and would even play a great role in eliminating fragmentation around Android.
Fragmentation - a process which is primarily being driven by various companies attempting to develop their own signature specifications surrounding the OS - crops up many problems for developers and operators, as they need to take care of several versions of the open source OS.
The commercial version is intended to help OEMs and telecom companies to provide their customers with customised Android firmware for their smartphone devices without necessitating them to pour heavy investments in the development process.
The pricing details of the commercial iteration are yet to be revealed; but owing to the Wind River’s vast experience in selling embedded Linux operating systems, it presumably has a good idea about the amount it can expect from the device manufacturers.
Wind River is owned by Intel, the world's largest x86 manufacturer and incidentally one competitor to the ARM platform that powers the OMAP 3 platform. Intel, of course, has the Atom processor (and platform) which it plans to use in smartphones and other portable devices. Interesting times indeed.