Android is an open source mobile OS platform that's running on top of Linux kernel. It uses a non-standard
Java Virtual Machine called Dalvik, specialized to handle mobile device processes. The main programming language used for Android is Java, with many library from J2SE and third party open source projects,
such as Apache commons, sqlite, webkit, etc Android is tightly integrated with Google's cloud services,
such as Gmail, Calendar, Contacts, Gtalk, etc. This positions Google at a very good edge to monetize mobile ad revenues. Android's open source nature enables manufacturers to design and customize the platform to their own likings. So fragmentation is a concern here. However, the core Android OS provides more than
enough features for current mobile devices' needs. As it evolves, it might include more standardized features,
and the OS platform can only become better and better. There are announced handsets using Android
coming out this year from LG, Samsung, Motorola, Lenovo, just to name a few. With carriers like Sprint and
AT&T getting Android- powered devices under their offerings, along with T-mobile, the landscape for Android development cannot be underestimated. On top of that, Android is also being developed
for Netbook, ebook readers, and a slew of other electronic appliances. So it's more than a mobile device OS. This is something Sun attempted with their Jini technology 10 years ago but failed miserably.
Android is realizing it now.