Android is Google's new baby - an open mobile development platform.
As developers, we are developing applications for android, running them in a cell phone emulator which looks like a cell phone on the desktop screen.
But most of these applications are better tested - by the market - if they can be distributed and run as independent applications on the desktop. Just as Java is, today.
This is the key piece that is lacking from Google: the means to distribute and run Android on the desktop (keeping the basic screen, but getting rid of the silly cell phone buttons).
An interesting thought: Can it leverage off the vast base of Java runtimes already installed?
When installing, the Dalvik virtual engine from Google would have to run instead of the one from Sun.
Will this make Sun angry? Perhaps. However here is one scenario bound to make Sun happy. Since Android is simply Java 1.5, it could exist as libraries and run on the JVM - for the desktop version only.
How will an Android application be distributed? Ideally, as a Java Web Start application. This will allow updating of the libraries within the Java framework.
Either way, this will go a long way to making us developers feel more secure; that we are not developing vaporware. (see this article also, containing a remark from juwo :) )
If the Android platform runs on both the desktop and on the mobile phone, then there are significant benefits:
It will be seamless for users and developers. Users will have the same familiar look and feel across mobile and desktop. Developers wont have to develop two versions. For Google, it may be the biggest win of all - increasing clout on the desktop.