I was not surprise when I saw a Forbes headline "Android: The Consequence Of Open" because Forbes is a known anti-Linux outfit. They were the ones who gave Microsoft the platform to spread the FUD that Linux infringes upon their patents which was blown away in a long article. I was not surprised when I found that Forbes story was based on a TechCrunch story written by an Apple fanboy called MG Seigler who writes made up anti-Android blogs when there is nothing good to write about Apple. Ironically both Todd and MG are contradicting themselves in a desperate attempt to attack Android.
America Is Much More Capitalist Than China
Todd Hixon writes: "Android really is much more open than Windows, although not 100% open: key Google services for Android, including the Android Market, Maps, and Nav, are part of an additional package called Google Mobile Services that Google licenses at its discretion."
I don't know how serious was Todd when he wrote 'Android is much more open than Windows'? Windows is completely closed so the comparative 'much more' that he used is laughable. It's like saying America is much more capitalist than China.
Android Is 100% Open, Todd
As far as Android, the OS, is concerned its 100% open – IFF you know the difference between OS and applications. Applications are what run on top of the OS and are in no way mandatory for the OS to run successfully. The Google services that Todd is talking about are not the OS or part of it. You can run Android without that. Let me put it in your head. Open Source is primarily driven by the definitions of OSI or FSF which primarily means that the user should be able to access, modify and redistribute the code. Period. That's 'the' definition of open source. Rest everything is bogus. Android fully adheres to this definition because it is based on Linux which uses GNU GPL v2 license .
You don't need Google service for Android to work. You can use any map service, any email service. Android, the OS, will run without such apps. So, calling Android closed simply shows that you are clueless about open source.
Todd Contradicts Himself
It was amusing to see that in an attempt to attack Android for not being fully open Todd mistakenly gave the example of Amazon.
Amazon was able to take the code and put anything on top of it. Todd, can you explain if Amazon was able to use Android if it was not 100% open? Todd also 'prophesied' that Facebook was trying to create their own Android phone. Can they do it if Android was not 100% open source? No. Amazon could not have used Android at all if it was not 100% open source. Facebook will not be able to use Android if it was not 100% open source.
Todd Stuck In The Honeycomb
Todd goes back to Honeycomb reference to which doesn't even make any sense once ICS is release. Let me make it clear for the ignorants: Honeycomb is open source and the code is available for everyone to download and use.
Honeycomb code was not release because it was a quick fix for OEMs to bring a tablet to the market. But at the same time Google did not want companies to further fragment the market with a beta software. Releasing the code of Honeycomb meant that desperate OEMs would put it on their devices despite the fact that a matured version would be coming soon. It made sense and was the right decision. Once ICS was ready Google released the source code of ICS along with Honeycomb. Now there was no risk of OEMs grabbing Honeycomb instead of ICS.
Google Not Getting Anything From Android
Todd, again clueless about open source development model, wrote that Amazon and Facebook may take Android code and lock Google out of it. How does it matter? Both these companies have their own huge market share and there is nothing they are going to 'steal' from Google. If they do take the Android code and improve it they will have to give the code back which will benefit everyone, including Google.
Todd also wrote that Microsoft's windows was closed thus it can't be hijacked or copied. Can't be hijacked? Microsoft Windows is the most insecure platform in the world. It is being hijacked every now and then. Governments and organisations lose billions of dollars every year due to this insecure platform. The entire vulture aka anti-virus industry exists only because of Windows' insecurity.
Microsoft has a big market share due to their abusive monopolistic practices where they forced OEMs to bundle the OS. Look at Bing and IE, Todd, and you will know that no one actually wants Microsoft products. Windows phone is a massive failure. So, I did not get your point about how closed source benefits Microsoft and open source hurts everyone else.
The conclusion and the title of Todd's rant was so disjointed that I almost forgot what I was reading. Beyond his rant on Android being closed, which is incorrect, there was nothing by the end of the blog which concludes the 'consequence' of Open Source. In fact the conclusion that one would draw sounds like 'Android: benefits of open source.'
So, I wonder why even if there is every thing positive for Google and the market by keeping Android open this rant was titled consequences of open source.
I found the answer in a line that I almost missed. Todd wrote: “this post is written on a Mac using Chrome.”