Google's Android Contract: Not Very Open - InformationWeek

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Google's Android Contract: Not Very Open
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Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
2/14/2014 | 5:01:52 PM
Re: I see I'm not the only one who suspects illegality
>But as neither I nor Prof. Edelman are lawyers

Actually, Edelman is a lawyer (and something of an overachiever, degree-wise):

From his bio...

"Ben holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Economics at Harvard University, a J.D. from the Harvard Law School, an A.M. in Statistics from the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and an A.B. in Economics from Harvard College (summa cum laude). He is a member of the Massachusetts Bar. "
DDURBIN1
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50%
DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/14/2014 | 4:53:13 PM
Re: Android is a lease not a purchase
I guess you've never used a Kindle.  Guess what?  Same software and usage rules are now being applied to digital books.
DDURBIN1
50%
50%
DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/14/2014 | 3:29:48 PM
Re: Semantics

And where was the Harvard review on the Anti-trust issues with Apple and Microsoft?  Google's play on the word "open" is truly a marketing tactic not based in open code reality and it's no secret.  You are exactly right, Google's play is the same as Apple and M$ so why the anti-trust concerns?

Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
2/14/2014 | 3:25:52 PM
Re: Adroid adopters should insist on more openness
Google likes to point out that Edelman has consulted for Microsoft but I don't think that invalidates or addresses his points. While Google may be guilty of using "open" a bit too freely, I'm not convinced its tying is more anticompetitive than what every other platform company does.

Should Android and Windows Phone even be thought of as the same market, given that Microsoft is in the business of selling its operating system and Android is free? Android pretty much killed the market for non-free operating systems. 
DDURBIN1
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50%
DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/14/2014 | 3:22:22 PM
Re: Android is a lease not a purchase
I find it interesting now that Google's Andriod is a dominent mobile platform it's taking this type of heat when Microsoft has pretty much conducted itself in the same manner for decades.  Dare a manufacturer place a licensed OEM version of Windows on a device with "vendor" changes upon it.  How about omitting I.E. or Bing search for example.  Not installing any Microsoft components is not allowed with no anti-trust there except maybe being forced to provide options at time of install which Google also allowes.
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
2/14/2014 | 2:48:05 PM
Adroid adopters should insist on more openness
Agree, Tom, once you pass 50% market share, you become more susceptible to charges of monopoly and restraint of trade. Google dictates the adoption of Google Maps, the reverse side of the coin of Apple restricting its adoption in favor of Apple Maps. Which company is more restrictive? To me, they're doing the same thing, with Apple acknowledging it's a closed system. Still, there's resentment in Edelman's assessment of Google using the term open. Microsoft knows better than most how damaging "open" is when used in contrast to your company's practices. Android adopters, not Microsoft consultants, should be protesting. 
Thomas Claburn
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0%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
2/14/2014 | 1:57:03 PM
Re: Android is a lease not a purchase
> An all or nothing approach on Google Apps seems legal

Except in antitrust law, things change when a company dominates a market. What might be fine for a company with a small market share to do may not be for a market leader like Google. That's why the definition of the relevant market matters.
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/14/2014 | 12:55:32 PM
Android is a lease not a purchase
Google's agreement with partners is like a landlord's agreement with tenants.  If no pets are allowed then no pets can be in the apartment.  If not liked then you don't have to take it.  In addition, Google gives Android to partners for free unlike Microsoft.  An all or nothing approach on Google Apps seems legal for the right to free usage.  Samsung is working on their own OS so we'll see how well that goes but if HP couldn't make WebOS work I'm not so sure Samsung can go it alone either.


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