Although I have played with Android powered gear from time to time, and endured those loud, irritating “Droid Does” TV spots for several years, I felt it was high time I spend extended face time with what has become the world’s most popular mobile OS. It stands to reason that it can’t be all bad; otherwise why are so many people using it?
I might have known where this would go, considering that Windows also has a huge customer base, and we all know its flaws. But at the end of the day, Microsoft’s OS also meets the needs of hundreds of millions of people. It powers banks, airline reservation systems, point of sale systems in stores and restaurants, and lots more.
The most significant difference between Android and Windows, however, is that the former is free. Handset makers sign up and can download copies of the appropriate software without paying license fees. Google doesn’t receive a penny from Android, although they do earn money from targeted ads that pollute some of the apps and services on an Android device. But they also have to put up with the decisions of some handset makers, and wireless carriers, to change things to suit their needs, because they have ceded control of the finished product.