According to Google’s Andy Rubin, the godfather of the Android smartphone OS, Android is going to start picking up features needed to tackle business uses – starting this year. To quote a Reuters story on the subject:
“Today, we don’t support many enterprise applications but in the future, I think enterprise will be a good focus for us,” Rubin, vice president of engineering at Google, told Reuters. He added that he expected to this to happen this year.
According to the Retuers story, Rubin seems to imply that he thinks enterprises will find Android attractive because they would be able to equip employees with an Android phone and then let them take advantage of Google’s online web services, like calendaring. Having spent more than enough time in corporate IT myself, this seems like wishful thinking to me. Companies are not likely to be all that willing to entrust Google with their corporate secrets, in my opinion.
I feel that if Android is going to court business users, it is going to need to do it the same way as other platforms – through compatibility with existing enterprise systems like Exchange, and through remote administration abilities, like policy enforcement and remote wipe and the like.
Rubin also went on to talk about the next versions of Android out this year, which he mapped out as being v1.6 (Donut), 2.0 (Eclair). There was also mention of Flan, which will come out next year. He didn’t say much about the new versions other than to say that they will take advantage of the newest processors, like Qualcomm’s Snapdragon.