It looks like Microsoft might have a little extra time to fine-tune Windows Mobile 7 before Google unleashes Android, its Linux-based open-source platform aimed to directly compete with WinMo and Apple's iPhone.

The Wall Street Journal, largely quoting unnamed sources within U.S. carriers, reports that Android likely won't see the light of day until the second quarter, and that customers won't be able to purchase devices until the fourth quarter, at the earliest.

The report says because T-Mobile is taking up so much of Google's attention scrambling for a fourth-quarter launch, Sprint Nextel is feeling left out - and may scrap its plans for a 3G Android phone in lieu of a "4G" WiMAX device. The WSJ also reports that Sprint's desire to customize the Android OS instead of just slapping its name on the case is adding to the delay.

Or, as Google's Andy Rubin, the man behind the Android curtain, appropriately said, "This is where the pain happens."

So what does this mean for Windows Mobile? Is should allow a little extra time to perfect WM7, and it might even inspire carriers to release a few more WM6.1 upgrades. But we're not holding our breath on that.