Quote Originally Posted by V!NCENT View Post
Windows doesn't have 99% marketshare anymore on desktops and they lost almost all of their marketshare in the mobile market by removing all backwards compatibility in Windows Mobile 7. Just saying.

Now a common hardware architecture among all operating systems would be good for both the companies paying for driver development and for Linux HW compatibility list.

Having wrappers might be even better for Linux, given not all smartphone companies release newer versions of Android and having proprietary drivers kills it for the customer; he/she has to by a new phone just for an Android update.

On the other hand this may lead to "Oh we can just make proprietary drivers for Linux.", while companies are currently more or less forced to GPLv2 it.

On one hand I like to have Android updates for the rest of my phone's life, but on the other hand I like that the world needs to bow for FLOSS.

But writing drivers for Linux first and then for Windows might not work.
It is a little premature to be talking about android updates requiring new hardware due to lack of source for the hardware drivers... at this point, I can't think of a single android handset for which there are no drivers available supporting the latest version of Android. The very first android handset sold -- htc dream (one of which I have sitting about 10 inches from me this very second), has hardware drivers for everything up to and including android 2.2.

Not that I don't agree with you in theory though, since clearly you can expect at some point that there could be a problem with hardware driver support. Good news though, is that as Android matures, the hardware driver requirements should/will_hopefully stabilize to the point where the older drivers will be reusable on newer versions. What always has been open source, and will therefore continue to be useful for future updates, are the kernel/driver glue. We can thank GPLv2 for that. This open source driver glue was very useful in the initial attempts to get 2.2 running on older hardware -- by using the 1.6 driver blobs.

Now Android is a very different case to general desktop linux. Google has arranged it as a commercial linux desktop and has managed to be extremely successful with the platform. One of THEIR goals is to make hardware support EASY, so having a stable API/ABI is much higher on the list of priorities for this distro than for other distros.