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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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By Tony Swash on 9/27/2010 10:45:15 AM , Rating: 0
quote:
Let's not forget why Google got in the game in the first place: to sell ads. That's all there is to it. As long as they provide you with a way to browse the internet (and therefore look at their ads), their job is done. Everything else is just icing on the cake. Luckily for us, because of rival platforms, Google still has to provide an enticing user experience.


That may be true - in which case deciding to break their alliance with Apple go the Android route may not have been Google's wisest choice.

http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/sep...

Apple seem to be betting that the ads that redirect you to a new browser page may not be the best or most popular solution in the mobile space in which case search based ads become much least significant. It looks as if the mobile advertising space is going to be very different to the desktop space, in which case Google need to be sure that Android isn't the right answer to the wrong question.


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