2009 PCMag Article Asks "Has Android Already Failed?"

androidFirst off, this is all in good fun. Any intelligent person could draw the conclusions this author did based on what was happening at the time, and with the limited information available about Google's plans for Android. We're posting this because it's funny to look back on it with some hindsight.

Back in 2009, Android's fate was anything but decided in the eyes of the tech journalism world, and many took a dismal view of Google's purchase of the young upstart open-source mobile operating system. What could Google, a website, possibly do with a mobile phone OS? This 2009 PCMag article, titled "Has Android Already Failed?" has some real gems, including speculation that Android is doomed, and, in what is news to us, headed to netbooks:

Android's proponents, including Google CEO Eric Schmidt, now seem to be turning their attention to netbooks. Android on netbooks will be a giant stink bomb, because the OS combines the unfamiliarity of Linux with a total lack of desktop-class productivity applications.

Of course, everyone knew at the time that Android was a mobile OS, but this article seems to think that Google had done a pretty terrible job selling that OS to hardware makers:

Google's cheerleading for its own OS has been on again, off again at best: It's nothing compared with the relentless drumbeats of marketing that come from Palm, RIM, Apple, and Microsoft.

There's a lot of delicious irony in that statement, particularly considering the state of Palm, RIM, and Microsoft - two of which essentially killed their mobile OSs (WebOS was sold and Windows Mobile 6.5 got the axe) because they were pretty much unsellable to consumers. RIM, of course, isn't exactly doing well. It goes on to say:

For Google's hardware partners, Android plays second or third fiddle. HTC does most of its business with Windows Mobile. LG just made a major commitment to Microsoft as well. Samsung is willing to try everything and see what works, which means it loathes having to play favorites. And you just heard about Sony Ericsson and Motorola.

Considering Android now has a big place at every one of those companies, that's a particularly funny one. Finally, the author contends that unless Google makes a big showing at CTIA Fall 2009 with piles of handsets, it's over for Android:

The CTIA Fall trade show in October needs to include a full-bore assault of Android models from multiple manufacturers, in multiple form factors. If that doesn't happen, we'll just have to toss Android into the big pile of Linux distributions that tried to breach the consumer market and failed

As we all know now, it was really just one handset that saved Google's mobile OS, the original DROID by Motorola - and to some extent, the Hero by HTC. Considering where we're standing now, on the eve of the Galaxy Nexus' supposed release date, it's a little surreal to think that just over two years ago people were speculating that Android would never amount to anything but a bad investment.

Source: AndroidPolice