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Android's head honcho, Any Rubin.  (Source: gizmodo.com)
Beginning to clamp down on fragmentation, seeks oversight

Ever since Google introduced the Android mobile OS to the world in the fall of 2008, the company has advocated an open-source approach to its development and implementation. On one hand, this attitude helped fuel Android's auspicious growth. On the other hand, it also resulted in a fragmented OS. Now, Google is beginning to rein in the rampant tweaking of the software, in an effort aimed at uniformity.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports that Google over the last few months has sent this message to the major carriers and device manufacturers that support Android: Playtime is over. Google, particularly Android head Andy Rubin, will have oversight of any future Android partnerships, and anyone who wants early access to the latest iteration of the software will need to seek permission from Rubin himself.

"The Google that once welcomed all comers to help get its mobile software off the ground has become far more discriminating—especially for companies that want to include Google services such as search and maps on their hardware," Bloomberg reports.

Ostensibly, Rubin predicted the fragmentation that would follow a platform as open as Android. That's why the company chooses a chipmaker and device manufacturer when it launches a new product, to show off what it can accomplish. In the past, it was Qualcomm and HTC -- both companies have made huge market gains as a result. 

According to several sources for Bloomberg's report, Google has demanded that Android licensees abide by "non-fragmentation clauses" that grant Google the final word on customization matters. It also means they need approval from Google to partner with others. John Lagerlin, director of global Android partnerships, told Bloomberg that it's about quality control and aiming towards a "common denominator" experience.

And while Rubin claims that a clause has always been part of the license, sources say that Google has been clamping down in recent months. Facebook, which is trying to launch its own Android device, has reportedly been unhappy because of Google's oversight. Google has also gotten involved with an upcoming Android phone from Verizon that incorporates rival Microsoft's Bing search engine, holding up its release. 

This policy has reportedly resulted in complaints to the Justice Department. Google declined to comment on this aspect.

In addition, Google has also begun to withhold code from the public, which hurts developers and smaller companies. According to Bloomberg, Google will not release the source code for the tablet Honeycomb OS anytime in the near future. 

"The premise of a true open software platform may be where Android started, but it's not where Android is going," Nokia Chief Executive Stephen Elop told Bloomberg. Elop, a former Microsoft executive, recently established a "strategic partnership" with his former employer instead of Google because, he says, he would be able to innovate more with Windows Phone 7 than Android.

"Microsoft often got criticized for treating all partners the same, whether they were doing great work or mediocre work," Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg told Bloomberg. "Google seems to have no problem with playing favorites."

The bottom line from the report: "Despite grumblings, Google's Android mobile operating system is still open—it's just getting more heavily policed."



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By quiksilvr on 3/31/2011 9:18:41 AM , Rating: 5
Customization of the OS should be a REMOVABLE APP or have the option to disable it if you wish.

Samsung? Motorola? LG? T-Mo? I'm looking at you. Follow HTC's Sense (pun intended). HTC lets you run stock Android if you so wish. THE WAY IT SHOULD BE.

That way, if you want to run the newest OS, you don't have to wait for the manufacturer and the manufacturer will be forced to upgrade their new Custom OS App to keep up, thus ending fragmentation.




By aegisofrime on 3/31/2011 9:47:57 AM , Rating: 3
Totally agreed. Samsung TouchWiz on my friend's Galaxy S looks like some child's pet project.

BTW, do all Androids have a lack of a battery percentage meter, or is it just Samsungs?


By InfinityzeN on 3/31/2011 10:29:19 AM , Rating: 2
Hit the menu button, pick settings, then scroll down and pick battery (or is it power). Bam, battery percentage no matter what device.

Sorry I can't double check, in a building phones aren't allowed.


By dgingeri on 3/31/2011 11:20:44 AM , Rating: 2
Neither "battery" not "power" are available on the Samsung Captivate. Perhaps under another setting I haven't found yet.


By Stoanhart on 3/31/2011 11:36:10 AM , Rating: 2
Check under "About phone" - that's where it is on my Vibrant.


By TheRealArdrid on 3/31/2011 12:02:03 PM , Rating: 2
I think what he's referring to is enabling the standard battery meter that sits in the notification bar to show you the actual percentage. As far as I'm aware, that feature is not present on the Galaxy S line of phones. If you want to know your percentage at a glance, you'll need a widget/app to do so.


By omnicronx on 3/31/2011 12:38:45 PM , Rating: 2
Or flash a custom rom =D

Or root your phone and patch framework-aes.apk with a battery mod ;)

Even a novice user can figure this out with a few minutes on XDA.

I do agree it was a terrible omission though, most likely Samsung's fault..


By DanNeely on 3/31/2011 1:11:02 PM , Rating: 3
A computer geek who's new to Android perhaps; but the vast majority of smartphones are sold to mundanes. If they know any definition of root beyond part of a plant, it's almost certainly obscene. Anything update method beyond 'the phone is telling me to push a button' is going to be beyond most users.


By omnicronx on 3/31/2011 3:14:12 PM , Rating: 2
Was more or less listing the other options.

I realize that rooting your phone or having to flash a custom ROM is not for the faint of heart ;)


By dgingeri on 3/31/2011 3:19:44 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a low level nerd, not a total programmer/Linux nut type geek. I worked as Windows support for end users for 13 years, and am just now getting into server support (majority Linux). I'm certainly above "Anything update method beyond 'the phone is telling me to push a button' is going to be beyond most users. " level.

I did actually update my own phone to the standard Samsung 2.2 image a few weeks ago. I didn't use the on-phone update feature. (I mainly didn't use it because it doesn't work. It keeps telling me it can't talk to the AT&T servers.) I use the standard software for now to keep my warranty in case the hardware dies. I can't afford to buy a new one if I screw something up. Once it is out of its warranty period, I'll probably figure out how to put a custom image on it without the awful Samsung customizations. I haven't bothered to look up how to do it yet. Too much trouble for now. I have other things I need to learn for work.


By bodar on 3/31/2011 8:03:07 PM , Rating: 2
They can install one of the plethora of apps that do this:

https://market.android.com/details?id=com.darshanc...


By dgingeri on 3/31/2011 3:21:39 PM , Rating: 2
rooting the phone it too much trouble. I'd rather not for right now. It's not that I can't figure out how to do it, it's that I don't want to go through that much trouble. :)

I picked up Smart Battery Monitor for the %battery monitor. It's easy.


By phantom505 on 4/1/2011 7:37:32 AM , Rating: 2
I hope you realize the hardest thing about rooting almost all droids right now is getting the drivers for the USB port working properly....


By dagamer34 on 3/31/2011 11:30:01 PM , Rating: 2
You shouldn't have to install a ROM to get basic features of your device.


By dgingeri on 3/31/2011 3:15:29 PM , Rating: 2
That gives me immediate status of the battery and what is using the battery power (no surprises there). However, the setting for an actual % battery meter in the top bar is not available thanks to Samsung's customization. I've been using Smart Battery Monitor for that purpose.


By Solandri on 3/31/2011 2:20:52 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Totally agreed. Samsung TouchWiz on my friend's Galaxy S looks like some child's pet project.

BTW, do all Androids have a lack of a battery percentage meter, or is it just Samsungs?

TouchWiz is easy to bypass - just install a different launcher. You don't even have to uninstall TouchWiz. If this were all that was going on, you could just upgraded to Android 2.3, keep the same TouchWiz, and all would be good. Just like most apps don't care if they're running on Android 2.1, 2.2, or 2.3.

The real problem is the manufacturers and carriers remove functionality from Android, like battery percentage, in some lame attempt to set apart their version from others, or to limit what the customer can do. This is where things start breaking when you try to apply a generic Android update, and what delays the updates - they're busy re-removing all the features they don't want you to have.


By omnicronx on 3/31/2011 3:11:52 PM , Rating: 2
Once again, you are merely turning off the launcher which means absolutely nothing from a fragmentation standpoint aside from getting to pick your UI. It does not change the update process or its roadblocks one bit.

Samsung in particular has proprietary drivers baked into their frameworks which are version dependent.

There is no such thing as stock ASOP Android for SGS devices thus far. Even for custom ROM's that have as much as possible removed, they still have the Samsung TWframework baked in.

As it stands there is little way around it, you don't even have to include the TWlauncher in your ROM and all the base Samsung TWframework has to be there.

The closest we have to ASOP is Cyanogenmod which is buggy at best. No thanks to Samsung of course for taking forever to release source code for each released version.


By InfinityzeN on 3/31/2011 10:30:36 AM , Rating: 3
I have an EVO and while I like Sense, I have disabled it at times. Being able to is as you said, how all the custom interfaces should be.


By omnicronx on 3/31/2011 10:47:40 AM , Rating: 3
Its hardly that clear cut, you are making it out as though UI customizations such as Sense and Touchwiz are merely OS skins when that is just not the case.

They all include entrenched frameworks to allow them to extend their UI's beyond basic skinning techniques. Things like Sense would not be possible without this kind of approach, they are essentially tying it into the OS.

So you can't really have it both ways, either everyone has the same UI that they can customize as they please, or you allow things to continue as they are now.

Personally I think it should be Vanilla Android for all, its the only way to help keep devices consistent and push out updates faster.

Unfortunately in order to do that, Google is going to need to give manufacturers some way to differentiate their products from one another.(perhaps designing custom UI's within a specific google framework)

Either way Google needs to put its foot down, as personally I'm starting to get sick and tired of the terrible update cycles and constant waiting.


By smithme08 on 3/31/2011 11:13:43 AM , Rating: 3
You missed his point, which was that since HTC was able to make Sense, one of the ones you mentioned as being hooked into the OS and thus hard to disable, with the ability to activate or deactivate it, then it should be possible for everyone else to do the same.

So, since Sense users CAN "have it both ways", it would seem your argument is incorrect.

I run into phone tech support issues for friends and relatives regularly where its annoying to help them since their UI doesn't have the same verbiage, buttons, option locations, etc as ones I'm more familiar with.

SO, I'd say require all customized UIs to be able to be toggled on/off, thus giving people the option to use the vanilla UI if they want.

Heck, why not make "Sense" and all the others as purchasable add-on "applications/skins" for all android devices that meet hardware/software requirements too (in addition to the company's own phones getting it by default)? Gives the manufacturer another revenue stream, or at least the option if they so choose.


By omnicronx on 3/31/2011 11:28:01 AM , Rating: 4
You clearly missed mine. Sense is not merely a launcher, just because you have disabled the launcher portion hardly means the framework is not still present (and being used).

You are NOT using ASOP Vanilla Android just because you've disabled Sense..

I.E all my points still stand.

Fragmentation will still exist, and update procedures would remain the same.


By adiposity on 3/31/2011 12:40:44 PM , Rating: 2
If you can put Sense on a phone, you can take it off. At a minimum the vendor could offer a firmware flash of stock Android. Not that this would do much for them, but Google could make it a requirement without hurting the vendor much.


By omnicronx on 3/31/2011 1:10:52 PM , Rating: 2
They are not putting "Sense of the Phone" Its actually entrenched within the Android build they are providing. Its not some kind of special installation atop ASOP Android that they install before sending phones out.

As for ROM's that not really an acceptable solution. You are essentially implying that manufacturers should have to support two distinct code bases. When you consider that the added costs of supporting two code bases could easily outweigh the added benefits of using Android in the first place, it makes even less sense.

Either they should allow them, or they should not.. I really don't see any middle ground for them. Either that or extremely limit what they can do, for example limiting them to theme and launcher modifications and nothing low level.


By adiposity on 3/31/2011 6:07:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They are not putting "Sense of the Phone" Its actually entrenched within the Android build they are providing. Its not some kind of special installation atop ASOP Android that they install before sending phones out.


The semantics of it would say, that IS putting Sense on the phone. My suggestion was not that it is some app or add-on. Rather, anything that can be put on a phone, can be taken off.

quote:
Either they should allow them, or they should not.. I really don't see any middle ground for them. Either that or extremely limit what they can do, for example limiting them to theme and launcher modifications and nothing low level.


I don't see that it's impossible to make them support stock android interface. The difference between Sense and stock is not so great... They would probably prefer that to not being able to customize at all.


By dgingeri on 3/31/2011 11:32:19 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with you. It should be the plain Android interface. I don't particularly care if the manufacturers are able to differentiate their phones from others. a consistent interface is much better than creating a bunch of problems getting apps to work and updating to the new version.

I currently have a Samsung Captivate. I have been extremely annoyed with the lateness of their updates to 2.2 (it finally came around a few weeks ago) and 2.3, which we are still waiting on and probably will continue to wait for the next year at Samsung's pace.

The customizations have created problems for me, in that I can't back things up properly, and I can't restore programs from backup at all. I have 8 paid apps that I would prefer to not have to buy again if my phone dies and I get another one. It would cost me an extra ~$30.

Windows worked well, using the same interface across all machines. I don't see why the phone makers have to change everything around just to be "different". "Different" isn't necessarily a good thing.


By TheRealArdrid on 3/31/2011 12:15:58 PM , Rating: 2
To your last point, you wouldn't have to re-buy your apps. Google maintains a record of all the purchases you've made from your account. It would simply be a matter of re-downloading them to your new phone.

That said, I feel your aggravation when it comes to updates and manufacturer UI customizations. I'm also using the Captivate and I can't say I'm happy sitting around waiting for Samsung to update the phone to Gingerbread.

I've always said that Google should take a more Apple approach to this problem:

First, they should, at a minimum, mandate a base spec for all Android devices under the latest OS. They already do this to some extent with the Nexus brand but it's by no way an official mandate.

Second, they should mandate that every Android device have the ability to receive OS updates as soon as they are pushed out by Google. That would no way impede manufacturers from customizing/differentiating their phones; rather, it would simply require that their UI customizations don't extend to the OS level. It goes without saying that such a policy would do wonders for app compatibility.

Third, related to point number two, they should mandate that every Android device has the ability to run the stock Android skin. While TouchWiz, Sense, MotoBlur each have some useful features, they tend to, particularly as Google continues to evolve the OS, overlap the stock features and become redundant. Having the option to run the stock UI would be great for those of us who want to look at an excessively glossy candy based UI.

My hope is that's exactly where Google is going post Honeycomb.


By TheDoc9 on 3/31/2011 2:11:39 PM , Rating: 2
This is mainly going to hurt the open-source ROM community. The 3rd party ROMS created for android are often able to double the phones performance and remove the bloatware and carrier logging that is built into most new smart phones.

Depending on how strict they are with this, it's entirely possible that the ROM/developer community could dry up in a few years - which would be a terrible loss as these people help drive innovation.


By omnicronx on 3/31/2011 3:34:30 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree, look at what cyanogenmod has done with AOSP Android, essentially making device unspecific builds and having configuration options that apply at build time.

In fact this is the entire premise of Android, but it is the manufacturers adding all of these custom frameworks that go entirely against the Android model.

So I don't see why this would kill the community at all, if anything it makes it far easier on them. Less implementations to worry about that vary from device to device.

I would also like to see an open driver model requirement this would at least allow the community to continue development on a device even if the manufacturer decides to stop.. (HTC for example now does this and their community is much larger because of it)


By BSMonitor on 4/1/2011 9:46:59 AM , Rating: 2
Clearly Apple took the wrong approach though, ehhh?

LMAO at Android fanboys with this article. Who wants to spend countless hours customizing their phone?? I'd rather it just work.


By Kurz on 4/1/2011 10:34:42 AM , Rating: 2
Umm... why do people change their wallpaper?
Add a new Muffler to their car?
Put in a Turbo for their Car?
Why do people Overclock their computers?

Yea, I guess being able to mod and customize your properity anyway you feel like is too much trouble.


By Azethoth on 4/2/2011 1:18:58 PM , Rating: 2
I used to change the wallpaper because my mom did not like the old wallpaper or paint in each home we ever moved to.
I add a new muffler when the old one rusts away and stops muffling.
I dont put turbo in my car, I buy a fast car to begin with. But I would imagine they put turbo in to make it go?
You overclock so you can run slightly faster at the cost of lifespan.

Hey look, if you want to buy stickers and paste them to your phone go right ahead. You can even replace the case and do whatever the PC modders do but on a smaller scale.

However, hacking the underlying software is just not an important thing to do. Even if it is important to some, it would be 0.001%, 0.0001%, or less of the population. But maybe I am wrong. Feel free to actually state the important things you need to hack into your phone.

Meanwhile I will make some popcorn and watch how the iOS vs Android thing plays out.


...
By nah on 3/31/11, Rating: 0
RE: ...
By FITCamaro on 3/31/2011 9:18:09 AM , Rating: 5
/esmack

If you're going to try and sound like Yoda, at least use correct tense.

Begun.


RE: ...
By CrazyBernie on 3/31/2011 10:07:08 AM , Rating: 2
"Begun, the Clone Wars have."
*** hysterical cackling ***


Soooo...
By msheredy on 3/31/2011 12:09:45 PM , Rating: 2
...being open isn't it's all cracked up to be. Sorry I just find this quite funny.




RE: Soooo...
By AstroCreep on 3/31/2011 1:55:40 PM , Rating: 2
Had they used a different licensing model (GPL) things might have been different, for both better (less OEM control = more "Stock" settings for customers/users) and worse (few OEMs would have given it consideration).


RE: Soooo...
By DanNeely on 3/31/2011 4:50:05 PM , Rating: 2
Just like they refuse to have anything to do win WinMo or Symbian in their glory days.


This kills me...
By SkullOne on 3/31/2011 9:22:56 AM , Rating: 1
Google just can't win it seems.

They get beaten all the time in articles on the web about fragmentation. Oddly enough 90+% of all devices are 2.1 or better and 60% of that is 2.2 or better. Fragmented? Yes, but not horribly so as companies like Apple would have you believe.

So now that they are trying to do something about the fragmentation they get beaten yet again.




RE: This kills me...
By omnicronx on 3/31/2011 10:58:24 AM , Rating: 2
<---Android user here.. I assure you its not only Apple making these statements.

That silly study made me laugh too, considering 100% of those 2.1 devices which account for 30% of devices out there should have absolutely no problem upgrading to 2.2. Manufacturers and carriers just decided not to do the legwork.

As 2.3 phones are released, more 2.2 phones will remain without update.. once again leaving more phones behind.

You can spin numbers anyway you want, for example I can say that 100% of Apple devices got at least an update or are have access to the latest version. 100% of Palm Pre users had access to all updates and most likely 100% of current windows phones will get an update.

See the problem with statistics?


RE: This kills me...
By robinthakur on 4/6/2011 11:30:36 AM , Rating: 2
I would say that the things stopping me getting an Android over an iPhone 4/5 last year (and I expect will be the same again this year) are as follows:

-Fragmentation of base level specs of handsets causing developers not to take advantage of current hardware/software. This is already happening.

-The only viable standard Android handset out there is the Nexus S, on which the build quality is hardly great and the spec is a bit passé. There's no way I'm likely to want to root and update, it just seems like too much effort just to get a basic configuration.

-Battery life does not compare to an iPhone currently. Not sure why when there are so many vendors for Android, perhaps they don't think it's important...

-Apps are nowhere near the quality of an iPhone from what I've seen and I'd have to buy them all again. Not good.

-No program like iTunes which just deals with all the syncing. I understand that dragging and dropping appeals to some people, but prefer that it just does it when I plug it in.

-Non-accelerated UI, it just seems juddery STILL! Not sure I could live with the drop in sharpness from an iPhone 4 either.

My 10 cents.


What we need is drivers/open drivers
By Lazarus Dark on 3/31/2011 9:21:29 PM , Rating: 2
That's what we really need. Think about it, what's one of Windows greatest features? The ability to install on ANY PC so long as the drivers are made freely available.

Think of this: What if Dell hooked into Windows and created some propreitary version with all sorts of things you can't remove and change and then you couldn't update your Windows until Dell upgraded their version. We'd have a fit about it! No, Dell provides drivers for all it's hardware and you can easily install a fresh copy of Windows whenever you want. Or Linux or whatever.

Motorola's locked firmware/bootloaders/whatever is UNACCEPTABLE. Because Android is not just a phone anymore, it's my second pc. And I demand the same flexibility.

They all need to provide easy access to do whatever I want with my Android, end of story, no excuses.

The manufacturers have been on a path to destroy the best intentions of the Android system, Google HAS to rein them in before they do more damage to the Android ecosystem.




By robinthakur on 4/6/2011 10:22:36 AM , Rating: 2
You are correct, however the manufacturers are out to make profit first and foremost. They are using Android for their devices because they see it as a USP. Just like HTC put Sense high up in their list of selling points because they believe that it adds value (it might to some people)

Mind you, when all devices look the same running 2.3/2.4 but have massively differing performance in Apps, is that really good for the consumer? Then the only way manufacturers can differentiate their product is to make it faster, and then we'll be going the route of Windows once again. Each device released will be the phone to get...for the next two weeks until something better comes along.

The model for Windows you speak glowingly of is brilliant for Microsoft and consumers but works out less brilliantly for the OEM's selling kit at very tiny profit margins...


Patents and Copyright
By drycrust3 on 3/31/2011 12:44:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Google has demanded that Android licensees abide by "non-fragmentation clauses"

With Microsoft and others threatening to sue for what they consider breaches of patent or copyright, Googles actions are entirely understandable (especially if Google found there was merit to the complaint).
I'm guessing here, but maybe one way around this is to take a version of Android or Ubuntu or Fedora, modify it as you like, then release it as your own version.




"Any" Rubin?
By Slyne on 3/31/2011 2:00:40 PM , Rating: 2
So the Android division is ruled by an evil Jedi? I guess that explains some things...

(for context in case it gets fixed: this is in regard to a misspelling in the picture legend)




Hahahaha
By johannesburg on 3/31/2011 3:56:42 PM , Rating: 2
Good to see the Java Baron hire is working out.




By zozzlhandler on 3/31/2011 8:55:31 PM , Rating: 2
...it takes an "Andy Rubin" to make Android...




It is about time
By Trisped on 3/31/2011 11:01:56 PM , Rating: 2
While I am sad about things like the Verizon phone with Bing being held up and other unfair practices, it is about time.
The Android users I know all have a different experience and can't get the full function of the OS because manufactures are playing unfair games. I think this will help in the long run.

As a side note, this is what Microsoft did with DOS, there were custom versions for some manufactures for a while, but with Windows there was only one.

It will be interesting to see what happens at Google.




Good
By KoolAidMan1 on 4/1/2011 1:52:22 AM , Rating: 2
Better late than never. If Android wants to stop being this half-baked mobile OS, Google needs to take control away from handset manufacturers and carriers and not allow them to dilute or degrade their operating system.




Good to hear
By SnakeBlitzken on 3/31/2011 11:46:45 AM , Rating: 1
maybe they'll figure out how to add copy and paste to the email app on my captivate.




Disappointing But Necessary Step
By MDGeek on 3/31/11, Rating: 0
Google morphs into Microsoft
By Tony Swash on 3/31/11, Rating: -1
RE: Google morphs into Microsoft
By MeesterNid on 3/31/2011 10:26:26 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
96% of Google's revenue comes from selling advertising, a product now over a decade old


Really!? Advertising's been around for only a decade and Google invented it!? I could've sworn seeing commercials, aka ads, on TV as far back as the 80's.

Hmmm...perhaps my memory is failing me.


RE: Google morphs into Microsoft
By InfinityzeN on 3/31/2011 10:33:07 AM , Rating: 2
I do believe he is saying that Google has been doing it for 10+ years. Reading comprehension.


RE: Google morphs into Microsoft
By sprockkets on 3/31/2011 12:33:53 PM , Rating: 2
"You're in big trouble though, pal. I eat pieces of sh it like you for breakfast!"

"You eat pieces of sh it for breakfast?"

[long pause] "No!"


RE: Google morphs into Microsoft
By FITCamaro on 3/31/2011 10:37:06 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft is definitely making money off the Xbox 360. Yes they lost a lot of money initially. Compounded by the $1 billion dollar charge for all the warranties on early 360s.

But to think in the past 6 years, with all the games sold, the Xbox Live subscriptions and content sold, the merchandise sold, etc. that they haven't turned a profit? No. They've made money.

Now Youtube you're probably right. I doubt Google has made money from it considering the insanely high cost to purchase it, the massive costs to maintain it, and what I doubt is a huge amount of money generated from it. I mean even if ads are displayed on Youtube, who really clicks on them? Same kind of goes for Gmail.


RE: Google morphs into Microsoft
By sprockkets on 3/31/2011 10:41:24 AM , Rating: 3
Dude, the way you sound you belong on roughlydrafted.com. There's another idiot you would resonate perfectly with, Dainel "Dildo" Dilger.


RE: Google morphs into Microsoft
By Tony Swash on 3/31/2011 6:49:53 PM , Rating: 2
Vic Gundotra in his keynote at I/O last year:
quote:
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. […]

So if you believe in openness, if you believe in choice, if you believe in innovation from everyone, then welcome to Android.


Businessweek today:
quote:
From now on, companies hoping to receive early access to Google’s most up-to-date software will need approval of their plans. And they will seek that approval from Andy Rubin, the head of Google’s Android group.



I guess all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than other animals :)


RE: Google morphs into Microsoft
By SkullOne on 3/31/2011 10:42:23 AM , Rating: 2
Why would they possibly lock any service exclusively to Android? Everything Google does is web based. They do everything web based because of their ads. It's how they make their money which you even admitted too. By putting services exclusively on Android they would be cutting into their very own revenues.

Once all the iPad clones crash and burn? You were saying the same crap about Android against iOS and how did that turn out? We'll see how Samsung does with their 10.1 and 8.9 tablet's running Honeycomb at competitive prices. I expect them to do rather well. Not iPad well since Samsung doesn't have an RDF to herd the sheep, but in the end users prefer choice and openness of their devices. This is already seen with how quickly Android has grown and the failure of iPhone 4 on Verizon.

Seriously though do you even think before you type anything or are you too busy ogling a picture of your Lord and Master Jobs?


By themaster08 on 3/31/2011 12:15:21 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Microsoft is a three trick pony (all their revenue essentially comes from Windows, Office and the Server stack - note that two of those core products are over 20 years old)
Because those core products are sustainable. There will always be a need for those products, contrary to your consumer gadget takeover mantra.

Ford's core business is selling cars. Note that these products are over 100 years. What's your point?


RE: Google morphs into Microsoft
By Tony Swash on 3/31/11, Rating: 0
RE: Google morphs into Microsoft
By sprockkets on 3/31/2011 2:29:04 PM , Rating: 2
Here, let's word this for you as simple as possible since you depend on apple products:

Since day one, Android =! Google Phone.

Android = open
Google Apps = closed

Use Android = open platform

Want Google integration = closed platform.

Stop trying to spread FUD with your bull sh it.


RE: Google morphs into Microsoft
By Tony Swash on 3/31/2011 4:33:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Here, let's word this for you as simple as possible since you depend on apple products:

Since day one, Android =! Google Phone.

Android = open
Google Apps = closed

Use Android = open platform

Want Google integration = closed platform.

Stop trying to spread FUD with your bull sh it.


That may have been the model to start with, or at least the one that Google touted in public (there was always secret clauses negotiated with Android handset makers - these remain secret).

My reading of what Google seems to be saying (plus their recent announcement about limiting the release of Android 3 for tablets) is that Google is moving beyond the previous model for Android. What Google is talking about is taking more control over who get's Android and how they use it.

I ask again what is open about this?

My view is that if Android was open then all code for each iteration of Android would be released immediately with the usual type of open source licensing wrapper. It isn't.

And my view is that if Google really was open then all the necessary hooks and APIs for Google services for Android OEMs would be freely available for all, again in a suitable liberal and non -restrictive open source licensing wrapper. They are not.

I cannot see how anyone could characterise Android as being open. It's just free, in terms of monetary cost, to carriers and handset makers - that's not "open".


RE: Google morphs into Microsoft
By sprockkets on 3/31/2011 5:23:30 PM , Rating: 2
The only people calling it "open" are the mis-informed, or the FUD crowd on the apple side, and someone at Google who just happens to be the stupid CEO. If you want an "open" platform there is Nokia's N900 and if it sees the light of day, the N950.

Android is NOT GPL; it is ASL2.0, with only the kernel and other bits being GPL. Google can chose to not release the source of its modifications at any time, without repercussion.


By zozzlhandler on 3/31/2011 9:09:28 PM , Rating: 2
The CEO of Google is stupid? I wish I was that stupid. Then I could start a multi-billion company...


RE: Google morphs into Microsoft
By lolmuly on 3/31/2011 6:30:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
(there was always secret clauses negotiated with Android handset makers - these remain secret)


wow, speculate much?

M Knight called, he wants his tinfoil hats back for a new movie.


RE: Google morphs into Microsoft
By SkullOne on 3/31/2011 4:37:38 PM , Rating: 2
Open means anybody can use it. iOS isn't open. Android is open.

If you would just drag your head out of the RDF for a minute you'd realize that Google doesn't want to go walled garden. They want to stop crap like this:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=117...

Hopefully they want to stop stupid stuff like Sense, Blur and Touchwiz as well because stuff like that causes tons of lag time in updating a phone to the latest Android version.

Google also wants to stop stuff like what Samsung is doing to their customers. Keep promising updates but never actually updating squat. That's all Google wants to do because that will reel in the fragmentation. Any platform (your beloved Apple included) has some sort of fragmentation. The key to minimize it which is what Google is trying to do.

Google wants Android to be relative untouched. Anything that gets added to it needs to be an installed package. HTC gives us Sense because its "pretty". The problem is not everybody likes Sense. I hate it. My Thunderbolt doesn't have it anymore thanks to rooting. Tmobile released an open source theme engine for Android. That's what Google wants. That way HTC can push out updates to its phones faster then they already do.

Xbox is making money. The amount doesn't matter (no matter what you say) because the point is they are making profit.

What do you mean Google blocks Bing from searching Youtube? I just pulled up 2 videos both going back to YouTube. http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=super+bowl+201...

There is a big difference between being "our best launch" and being successful. Sorry but even Verizon has said sales were below expectations. What happened to all those predictions of 11 million devices on Verizon sold?

iPod dominance wasn't due to the device. It was due to iTunes and DRM forcing people into a platform. Joe Average doesn't know that they can burn those songs to a CD and rip back into MP3 which would be DRM free. They just know that if they don't keep using iTunes their music stops working.


RE: Google morphs into Microsoft
By Tony Swash on 3/31/2011 5:28:24 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Open means anybody can use it. iOS isn't open. Android is open.

If you would just drag your head out of the RDF for a minute you'd realize that Google doesn't want to go walled garden. They want to stop crap like this:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=117...

Hopefully they want to stop stupid stuff like Sense, Blur and Touchwiz as well because stuff like that causes tons of lag time in updating a phone to the latest Android version.

Google also wants to stop stuff like what Samsung is doing to their customers. Keep promising updates but never actually updating squat. That's all Google wants to do because that will reel in the fragmentation. Any platform (your beloved Apple included) has some sort of fragmentation. The key to minimize it which is what Google is trying to do.

Google wants Android to be relative untouched. Anything that gets added to it needs to be an installed package. HTC gives us Sense because its "pretty". The problem is not everybody likes Sense. I hate it. My Thunderbolt doesn't have it anymore thanks to rooting. Tmobile released an open source theme engine for Android. That's what Google wants. That way HTC can push out updates to its phones faster then they already do.


So in other words Android is not open - Google control how it is used and who can do what with it. That's not open :)

quote:
Xbox is making money. The amount doesn't matter (no matter what you say) because the point is they are making profit.


How can you say 'the amount doesn't matter' and expect to be taken seriously? The point I made was that if you look at the actual finances of Microsoft it is clear that the old ageing cash cows of Windows, Office and Server stacks are what prop the company up. In comparison the amount of profit made on Xbox (and WP7 even if they sell hundreds of millions) is chump change. Neither Xbox or WP7 help MS diversify it's income sources.

quote:
What do you mean Google blocks Bing from searching Youtube? I just pulled up 2 videos both going back to YouTube. http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=super+bowl+201...


Check out http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/microsoft-f...

Google blocks Bing from fully indexing YouTube - jolly open of them.

quote:
There is a big difference between being "our best launch" and being successful. Sorry but even Verizon has said sales were below expectations. What happened to all those predictions of 11 million devices on Verizon sold?


As neither of us know what the sales figures are and we are both blowing smoke. Here is my prediction. When Apple releases it's latest quarterly results in a couple of weeks it will show that iPhone 4 sales are massively up on the same quarter as last year. Trying to pretend that the iPhone is anything other than hugely successful just looks like a desperate denial of self evident reality.

quote:
iPod dominance wasn't due to the device. It was due to iTunes and DRM forcing people into a platform. Joe Average doesn't know that they can burn those songs to a CD and rip back into MP3 which would be DRM free. They just know that if they don't keep using iTunes their music stops working.


Interesting that you think that iTunes was separate from the iPod when Apple's success was clearly built on integration. Falling back on the old 'Apple products only sell well because it's customers are stupid/fooled by advertising/or trapped by a pernicious closed eco-system' is just plain silly. And also desperate. How does it feel to have the events of the real world so out of kilter with your inner world view? It must be very disturbing.


RE: Google morphs into Microsoft
By mfergus on 4/1/2011 6:20:15 AM , Rating: 1
Nobody should love or be as obsessed with any company as Tony is with Apple.


RE: Google morphs into Microsoft
By Tony Swash on 4/1/2011 9:44:43 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Nobody should love or be as obsessed with any company as Tony is with Apple.


My comment was about Google ;)


RE: Google morphs into Microsoft
By mfergus on 4/1/2011 6:13:05 PM , Rating: 2
And they are a competitor to your beloved Apple.


RE: Google morphs into Microsoft
By phantom505 on 4/1/2011 7:42:39 AM , Rating: 1
So have you been to www.google.com yet?

It's really cool.

They have a search engine, browsers, email with online office apps, and bunch of other apps. I hear they even have a video site called YouTube.

They make a phone OS that they don't charge directly for? CRAZINESS!

What will they think of next? A human anatomy program anyone can access?


RE: Google morphs into Microsoft
By phantom505 on 4/1/2011 7:44:27 AM , Rating: 2
What in that got an automatic down rate?


RE: Google morphs into Microsoft
By Kurz on 4/1/2011 10:47:41 AM , Rating: 2
if you respond to a -1 poster you get an automatic down rate.


"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone














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