By John Gruber
Atoms: We are not selling shoes this time…
Google vice-president for engineering Vic Gundotra, on-stage at the I/O developer conference in May, regarding why Google created Android:
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.
Skyhook Wireless, in their “complaint and jury demand” filed against Google yesterday (I’m hosting a copy of their entire filing (PDF), and I highly recommend you read it — it’s not long, and is written in pretty straightforward plain language), regarding Google’s control over which devices have access to the Android Market:
22. Google’s established practice in determining Android compliance consists of two steps. The first step requires each Android-enabled device, and its embedded software, to be run against the Compatibility Test Suite (CTS), a software-based test platform that objectively evaluates whether the device and software are compatible with the published Android specifications. The second step involves a review of the device and software based on an amorphous outline of additional, non-standardized requirements known as the Compliance Definition Document (CDD). This entirely subjective review, conducted solely by Google employees with ultimate authority to interpret the scope and meaning of the CDD as they see fit, effectively gives Google the ability to arbitrarily deem any software, feature or function “non-compatible” with the CDD.
23. On information and belief, Google has notified OEMs that they will need to use Google Location Service, either as a condition of the Android OS-OEM contract or as a condition of the Google Apps contract between Google and each OEM. Though Google claims the Android OS is open source, by requiring OEMs to use Google Location Service, an application that is inextricably bundled with the OS level framework, Google is effectively creating a closed system with respect to location positioning. Google’s manipulation suggests that the true purpose of Android is, or has become, to ensure that “no industry player can restrict or control the innovations of any other”, unless it is Google.
Vic Gundotra, at I/O:
If you believe in openness, if you believe in choice, if you believe in innovation from everyone, then welcome to Android.