Updated from 9:40 a.m. EDT Google ( GOOG) has been in heavy training for the match of its life.The reigning king of online search in the desktop arena, the gold-medal champ of Internet advertising -- Google, through its Android software arm, is now a contender in a do-or-die battle for a big spot in the mobile market. Heavyweights in the field include Nokia ( NOK) and its Symbian operating system, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion ( RIMM), upstart Apple ( AAPL) and a staggering Microsoft ( MSFT) with its Windows Mobile system.
The track record for smartphone system developers that don't make smartphones isn't promising. The question is will Google's ultimate fate be more like Microsoft's or Apple's? Google shares were recently up 4.9% to $335.34.