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Print 36 comment(s) - last by bug77.. on Sep 28 at 4:15 AM


Is bloatware protected under the tenants of open source?  (Source: Optaros)

Google CEO Eric Schmidt, during a recent Q&A session  (Source: YouTube)
Google CEO says it would be violating one of Google's guiding principles to allow users to revert to stock configs

From skins like HTC's Sense UI and Motorola's Motoblur, to the deluge of apps installed on Android phones by carriers and hardware manufacturers, Android phones can be a bit cluttered at times -- much like their PC brethren. 

Many customers have wished in vain that there was a single, easy "reset to stock configuration" option, which will revert their phones to a stock build of Android and delete the excess.  Not so fast, says Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

Mr. Schmidt, an opinionated figure in the tech industry and part-time evangelist for Google's philosophy, recently explained in a question and answer session why Google doesn't believe this is a good idea.  He states, "If we were to put those type of restrictions on an open source product, we'd be violating the principle of open source."

Of course "open source" is as wide and diverse an umbrella as possible in the tech industry, and Mr. Schmidt's definition of open source may be quite different from the next man's.

So other than taking the open source "moral higher ground", why might Google not want to give customers a quicker way to remove OEM/carrier junk?  Well one key reason is market share.  Google gives away Android for free, hoping that the mass adoption will more than make up for the development costs via advertising and app sales.  Part of the equation to convince wireless carriers and hardware manufactures to pick Android over a competitor (Symbian, webOS, Windows Phone 7) is allowing them to free modify their custom Android build to their heart's content.

But curiously, despite Mr. Schmidt's statement and the apparent advantages to adoption that not including a "clean build" option brings, Google reportedly will go in quite the opposite direction with Android 3.0 "Gingerbread".  Gingerbread will kill off custom OEM skins, replacing them with a single Google-made skin.  Of course the carrier-specific apps/junkware will likely remain, but Google's actions definitely show it to be quietly moving in the opposite direction, even as it defends customized deployments.


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Sure, Mr. Schmidt
By bug77 on 9/27/2010 5:29:55 AM , Rating: 2
Because now having the phone loaded only with the stuff I want is a restriction. And we can't have those.

Sadly, it has become clear a long time ago that from a buyer's perspective, Android being open-source adds little to no value.




RE: Sure, Mr. Schmidt
By Spuke on 9/27/2010 9:30:41 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Sadly, it has become clear a long time ago that from a buyer's perspective, Android being open-source adds little to no value.
It doesn't ANY value at all? LOL! Ok dude. I and the other 300 million plus actual Android owners are quite happy with our phones and see the full benefit daily of open source.


RE: Sure, Mr. Schmidt
By bug77 on 9/27/2010 10:21:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I ... see the full benefit daily of open source.


Such as?


RE: Sure, Mr. Schmidt
By Alexstarfire on 9/28/2010 2:35:32 AM , Rating: 2
Well, don't have to get Google's approval for apps. That's a big plus in my book.


RE: Sure, Mr. Schmidt
By bug77 on 9/28/2010 4:15:11 AM , Rating: 2
It is, but it doesn't have anything to do with open source. I don't need approval to install stuff on Windows either.


"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein














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