Why Google loves Open Source

Marvin the android by kertong

Marvin the android by kertong

As (one of?) the first developer of an open source operating system for mobile phones, at least at a large scale, Google put a lot of effort into something that is available for free to anyone. Cnet was asking Andy Rubin, responsible for mobile platforms, to explain why. I found his answers so interesting that I want to wrap up some bits here:

Rubin/Google says they will profit from open access in the end (the more searching the more advertising exposure). “There’s a natural connection between open source and the advertising business model: Open source is basically a distribution strategy” with no barrier for adoption and thus maximizing outreach.

This is the definition of openness: it’s not just open source, it’s the freedom to get the information that you’re actually looking for.

This reads like from the Hacker Manifesto! It’s worth noting that Google by its sheer size can be a threat to this ideal…

They think they would loose more revenue by attempting to lock up their services just for their customers than by sharing an as open as possible internet with their competitiors:

We’re confident enough in our advertising business and our ability to help people find information that we don’t somehow demand they use Google. If somebody wants to use Android to build a Yahoo phone, great.

With Google not know as being overly philantropic, this makes a pretty strong argument against walled gardens, from a business point of view. It appears to be heavily based on Google’s dominant position in the (ad) market, however.

Android at Google's HQ by secretlondon123

Android at Google’s HQ by secretlondon123

Some nice side effects: Having a cross device operating system makes it easy for third party developers to get their services onto various devices–which will make Android more attractive, again. And it’s a great thing for software companies to provide a more consistent user experience (so designers should like it).

Good to know: In Asia, stylus input is often prefered over fingers because writing Asian letters is easier and more accurate this way.

thanks to fee for twittering this.

one Response to Why Google loves Open Source

  1. alleshannes ยป Why Google might not so really love open source:

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