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How Google Controls Android: Digging Deep Into the Skyhook Filings

Extraordinary reporting by Nilay Patel on the contents of 750 pages of documentation and email unsealed by the court in Skyhook Wireless’s lawsuit against Google.

Here’s the biggie: in order for a specific device to get a license for the apps, it must pass the Android Compatibility Test Suite and meet the Android Compatibility Definition. How Google exactly determines what passes the test is really the core issue in this case — Skyhook claims Google uses the threat of incompatibility to act anti-competitively.

Interestingly, the license allows Google to change the applicable Compatibility Test Suite and Android Compatibility Definition at will up until the time a device is certified for launch… by passing the CTS. So basically there’s nothing keeping Google from changing the CTS or ACD any way it wants in order to keep a particular device off the market.

Grab a beverage, kick back, and read the whole thing. It’s worth it.

Thursday, 12 May 2011