Why Google might not so really love open source

Contrasting my earlier estimation of Google’s Android plans, Symbian’s Executive Director Lee Williams recently explained his sharp take on the Android (business) model on GigaOm. Obviously, he’s a competitor, but he also manages to shed an interesting light on potential Google plans:

The Android System is basically open, but to use it in any reasonable means (if you are not a true hacker), you need a Google Account for Mail, Maps, Market, etc. And this account isn’t just something but a unique identifier for Google to collect all of your information, your habits, and device usage in one basket. This enables them to send you highly profiled and personalized ads (which can be sold expensively, I guess).
While you personally could say, “I don’t mind”, it’s a problem for a lot of other service providers who are not able “to get through” to the customer because s/he is already tied to Google.

Additionally, the applications that enforce this strong Google Account/device connection are all proprietary, i.e. not open. Google is really serious about protecting the apps that as their series of “Cease and Desist” letters showed. And because they are so central for the Android OS, Lee Williams has a good point in claiming that Android itself is not really open. Neither concerning these central apps, nor for other service providers. Hopefully, his Symbian Foundation will keep this case in mind.

And again, it looks like a “the winner takes it all” attempt that’s one of the biggest factors of uneasiness in my mixed feelings towards Google.

thanks Fee for pointing me to this.

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