Myriad is an important partner in the Open Handset Alliance, which Google formed to help develop and support the Android platform, and they’ve released a press release today that says they modified the Dalvik virtual machine inside Android, to work on most other mobile operating systems, and they’ve specifically demo’ed it on Meego on an N900 handset. So what does this mean for Nokia, Google and Android?
Nokia must’ve invested billions of dollars until now in Maemo and Meego, and even so they were probably considering ditching it. Why? Because a new OS seems dead on arrival right now without a powerful ecosystem and strong momentum behind it. Nokia is a big company, but even Microsoft failed to turn WP7 into a monster success, and it’s obvious that the sales for WP7 are slowing down, instead of picking up.
With something like the Alien Dalvik VM, Meego can leech off Android’s app ecosystem, and start on even ground with Android in the market. Nokia’s Meego phones will have that much more appeal.
Is this something Google wanted? Perhaps, not. I’m sure they would’ve prefered for Nokia to adopt Android directly, but this is definitely the next best thing. I’m sure they might prefer it over Nokia going with Meego alone, or worse, choosing WP7. So, once they saw Nokia is reluctant to use Android, I’m sure they even encouraged the development of Alien Dalvik.
But what’s in it for the Android ecosystem? Well, I think the benefits are pretty obvious. If Nokia (and others) use the Alien Dalvik VM, and run all Android apps on their operating systems, developers will be that much more interested to develop for Android, because they apps will have a lot more reach. If this works well, then from the developer’s perspective it’s no different than Nokia adopting Android directly. So developers clearly win here, and users, too, because they will get more apps and more quality ones, as well.
There was a rumor recently that RIM’s QNX will somehow make Android apps work on it. I’m starting to think that this is what the rumor was referring to. I think RIM is planning on using Alien Dalvik for QNX, too. These things get out fast in the industry, so I’m sure the development of Alien Dalvik by Myriad was no secret to RIM. If RIM and Nokia all use Android apps, then Android ecosystem will be that much bigger. I expect HP to start using it for WebOS, soon enough, because they will be the only ones that won’t be using it, so they’ll have no choice but adopt it.
Here’s the video with Alien Dalvik VM powering some Android apps on N900 with Meego: