Google taking the MS road

Google: Android Compatibility Test Is A Weapon Aimed At Handset Makers
[Via Cult of Mac]

“A club to make them do what we want.” That’s the way one Google executive described the gauntlet device makers must pass to get Android certification. So much for being “open.”

Court papers from a 2010 lawsuit against Google by Skyhook Wireless suggest Google retains tight control over which handsets are deemed Android-compatible. To obtain licensing, handset makers must pass an Android Compatibility Test. Skyhook fell under the head of Google’s ‘club’ when they planned to offer their cell tower positioning system on the Motorola Droid X. However, Google stepped in before the phone shipped and the app was subsequently dropped by Motorola.

In documents describing the Android approval process, we learn Motorola’s license with Google is set to expire Dec. 31, 2011. As part of the licensing procedure, Google requires manufacturers agree to let the Mountain View, Calif. company decide which apps are pre-loaded and that no apps can be reverse-engineered. Most striking, however, is how an Android Compatibilty Test and an Android Compatibility Definition are controlled by Google. It is so obvious, Google’s Dan Morrill emailed a warning against the company “swinging compatibility around as a weapon.”


Crushing companies that compete with them, not by directly competing with them, but by using the blunt instrument of licensing and forcing others not to deal with competitors. That sounds very familiar.

This from the company that says it does not do evil, that claimed it was different.

Looks just like every other corporation out there. This is a scheme learned right at the feet of Microsoft.

I expect the next step is for Google just to buy Skyhook so it goes away. That is the other MS approach.

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