Android is quickly becoming one of the most popular operating systems around and this is mostly because of its open nature. However, not all is as it seems. Many open-source advocates have criticized Google for keeping the operating system one of the most “closed” open platforms ever. Before you get confused, Google’s Chris DiBona says that’s all nonsense, pointing out the over 10 million lines of Android code that are under an open-source license.
However, with the recent purchase of Motorola Mobility by Google, this may soon change. It will be a big temptation for the search giant to close off Android, to gain more control of their OS.
With a hardware foothold via Motorola, Google can now pretty much force updates to the latest Android releases, reduce Android fragmentation, and also make sure hardware requirements for the OS are standardized. However, these advantages do come at a cost. With the mobile business shifting the way it is, Google needs to be part of the changes in the industry. This means that better integration of Android with Motorola Mobility hardware, which can shut out other developers from experimenting and tinkering with the OS.
It’s the inevitable result of the market getting more competitive. Google’s choice to buy Motorola Mobility and its hardware assets was a good decision in the long run for the company. However, the fact that it brings the temptation of closing down their popular software platform from outside interference is bad news for developers.
We’ll have to see what choice Google makes in the long run.
Source: The Register