Even the best technology needs a sugar daddy. Seven years ago, Linux got just that when IBM said it would put $1 billion on the then-nascent open-source operating system, pushing the software into the corporate mainstream. Now the same could be about to happen for Linux with the mobile phone, with Google set to give Linux a major endorsement this November.
Industry insiders say Google is about to release Linux-based software that will bind mobile phones to Google's online services, a move likely to exacerbate the growing conflict between Google and Microsoft over the future of the mobile-phone market.
The stakes are huge. More than 289 million mobile phones were sold worldwide in the third quarter of this year, according to market tracker IDC. By contrast, IDC reports that just 66.9 million personal computers were sold during the same period. To stay relevant, both Google and Microsoft will need a big piece of this market.
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