2011-04-04

Google is tightening its control of Android

The latest from Google:
[Google] is now demanding that content partnerships and OS tweaks get the blessing of Andy Rubin before proceeding. The alternative, of course, is to not be inside Google’s warm and fuzzy early access program, but then, as evidenced by the company recently withholding the Honeycomb source code, you end up far behind those among your competitors who do dance to Google’s pipe. [Engadget]
Endgadget’s article also has an interesting quote by Nokia’s Stephen Elop (who has always been close to Microsoft = not a friend of Google’s):
The premise of a true open software platform may be where Android started, but it’s not where Android is going.
How is this to be judged?
  • Cons: Less freedom for people who work with Android. Tough for Google’s competitors who want to develop for Android, because Google will know about their plans early on.
  • Pros: It seems like Google is actually developing a strategy for where they want to take Android. A lack of of strategy has worried me in the past: How was Google to keep Android’s UI consistent? How was Google supposed to make money with Android (=ensuring its long-term viability)? The former question has been answered. The latter question should still be answered.
This development makes the words of Google’s Vic Gundotra sound hypocritical:
If Google didn’t act, it faced a draconian future where one man, one phone, one carrier were our choice. That’s a future we don’t want. [...] If you believe in openness, if you believe in choice, if you believe in innovation from everyone, then welcome to Android. [May 2010]

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