Google is completely open except when they’re not

Like any company, Google is open in what doesn’t make them money and proprietary as heck in what does. Android is open (under the Apache license, not GPL — which should give the philosophical FOSSies pause) but Google certainly hasn’t opened their search or AdWords platforms. Likewise Apple open sources WebKit (which Google uses for their browser) and OpenCL and Grand Central and FaceTime, but keeps their crown jewels equally closed. So enough already with the open stuff. You give me free services so you can mine my data, I sell my soul to you to use them. Deal. Just don’t insult my intelligence while doing it.

Good article. It’s not the lack of “open” in Google’s business I take issue with—it’s just a business model, and a successful one at that. No, it’s bullSchmidt statements from their CEO that bug me because he’s rarely called on it.

Perhaps, albeit slowly, more and more tech writers will catch on like the one above. The open-but-not-really vs. closed-via-tiny-wall argument detracts from the actual products anyway. Offer something great, not rhetoric.

2 thoughts on “Google is completely open except when they’re not

  1. Android is not free. You pay by giving google access to your information. I do not consider that free.

  2. Eric Schmidt quote is about Android being completely open. But the writer takes it to mean everything Google does is open. Android is part of the Open Handset Alliance which Google founded. Who says everything Google is open source?Google says they are activating 160,000 phones a day. That is about 14.4 million phones a quarter. Back in May it was 100,000. Looks like Android is becoming the “Windows” of smartphones. The difference is Android is free.Also Intel say they want to use Android/Linux on x86 in netbooks and tablets. Is this desktop Linux finally? Most do not think of Android as Linux, but that is the OS it is built on top of.

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