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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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RE: It's open source
By The Raven on 9/27/2010 9:39:35 AM , Rating: 4
It's funny how cluttered most opensource things are, especially operating systems.

What distros are you referring to? Are you talking about just preinstalled apps? Or real crapware? I see crapware as (for example) a superfluous wifi management client or a 'program' that links you to AOL or (my favorite) AV software that is impossible to remove.

With any open source OS I've seen, if you don't want something that is preinstalled, it is easily removable and easily replaceable.

And none of that crap on Windows is for free. That is just all some form of advertising. Not to mention, you PAID for Windows and you still have to have it subsidised somehow with ads.

I don't know what distros you are talking about, but even if there was real crapware on opensource OSs:
1) It is probably ('probably' because I'm not sure exactly what you are talking about) easily removable
2) probably non-intrusive
3) and understandably ad funded as you are (most likely) not paying for the OS to begin with.

You're standing in a Ysalamiri bubble, Master Kenobi ;-)

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