T-Mobile to base home devices on Android

Android continues to gain popularity beyond its initial mobile phone roots. Last week, we learned HP was mulling the nascent OS for an upcoming line of netbooks, and this week, PC World reports that T-Mobile is planning two new home devices based on Android. Could Android actually be the consumer-friendly Linux version we've all been waiting for?

T-Mobile is reportedly planning both a home phone and a tablet computer powered by Android. The home phone plugs into a docking station and will come with a device used to synchronize data while it recharges its battery. The tablet computer will have just a 7-in. touchscreen, and no keyboard.

The choice of Android is interesting. T-Mobile took a chance on Android, becoming the first mobile network provider to use Android, in the G1 (and soon G2) mobile phones. Using Android to power home devices, like the home phone and the tablet, show T-Mobile likes what it sees enough to parlay it into even more consumer devices. And what's not to like? Android's an easy-to-use, open source OS that's actually capable of running multiple applications simultaneously while sucking up very little space or other onboard resources--and best of all, it's free. You can't say that about Windows.

In the past, consumers have shied away from Linux on netbooks or other devices, simply because it was unfamiliar and not backed by a big powerhouse company like Microsoft. But Android's easy to learn and use, and it's got Google, arguably just as big a name in consumer circles. Perhaps Microsoft has and always will keep the desktop, but could Android be on its way to claiming everything else?

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