Ryan Paul at Ars Technica takes a walk through the OpenMoko smartphone platform, a Linux-based system that is not obviated by Google's Android, he claims:
There are a lot of very significant differences between OpenMoko's software stacks and Google's upcoming Android platform. Android takes a more top-down approach and completely eschews native code. Android offers one standardized Java-based API and One True Way to integrate with its platform. Google's approach vastly simplifies development and neatly avoids fragmentation and portability problems, but it also imposes extreme constraints on flexibility, isolates Android-based phones from the existing Linux software ecosystem, and obscures a lot of the inherent strengths of a Linux-based platform. By comparison, OpenMoko's software enthusiastically embraces the power and diversity of Linux but does so at a high cost in performance, consistency, reliability, and ease of development.
There are two kinds of people in the world: those who get excited by seeing a terminal prompt on their phone and those who find it as appealing as a car with a transparant hood. Neither is more right than the other, but I'm afraid I'm drifting into the latter camp these days.
First Look: OpenMoko's Linux-based open smartphone platform [ArsTechnica.com]