Daniel Eran Dilger in San Francisco
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Google moves Android from a PlaysForSure strategy to Zune strategy

Daniel Eran Dilger

While Android fans like to point out how well the free software is performing by looking at its plurality of market share among smartphone makers, the reality is that Android isn’t doing so well. Google’s acquisition of Motorola is proof of that.
.
.
In buying Motorola Mobility, Google hopes to “supercharge” the platform by releasing phones that show what Google really wants the platform to do (i.e., become far more like the iPhone), rather that deal with a series of incompetent partners who are all shooting themselves, and the platform, in the foot.

This is exactly what Microsoft did when it realized its PlaysForSure “more choices” strategy was failing against the iPod. It ended up working exclusively with one partner (Toshiba) to take its existing PlaysForSure player and turn it into a Microsoft-branded model called the Zune.

The problem for Microsoft was that this completely destroyed the entire premise of PlaysForSure, even as the company insisted that both would live together harmoniously. Microsoft actually suggested that the Zune would compete against Apple’s iPod while PlaysForSure makers would continue to build and sell product in a separate universe.

In retrospect, this was fantastically stupid. It was obviously wrong to me at the time, too, but not to devoted fans who had been calling for Microsoft to make its own hardware just like Apple all along. They had a simplistic “common sense” opinion based on fanciful thinking of how the world works and no real knowledge or intelligent awareness of what might go wrong from such a deal.

More than just copying Microsoft’s grave strategy shift however, Google is now copying something even more insidious: the company appears to be turning into a corporation run by a populist vote of its ignorant, idealistic fans. Call it the Tea Party Company.

Google I/O 2010 takes on Apple with PlaysForSure strategies

Google & the Tea Bags

Google’s Android is facing some core problems, but to its fans, things are awesome. At the lowest level, Android incorporates Linux, the “most devotedly open” OS kernel. Companies run by smart people avoid Linux and its GPL religion because such fantasy-ideology is toxic to progress (and profits).

Apple, for example, has been working hard to replace important components at the core of Mac OS X to isolate its dependence upon software maintained under the GPL. The company has put millions into developing LLVM as a viable replacement and improvement to GCC, just one example of Apple’s preferential alignment with Apache/BSD/MIT style open licensing over the pure ideology ensconced by the GPL.

Not Google! When the company acquired Android, it spent some time thinking about how to avoid paying Sun licensing fees for Java, but didn’t blink an eye at managing the risk associated with continuing to maintain its platform on a Linux kernel.

If this sounds as penny wise and pound foolish as Michelle Bachman saying the US can’t afford to extend unemployment benefits while she collects more than a million dollars a year from Medicare payments, farm subsidies and wages on the Federal dime, then yes, you must be of at least moderate intelligence.

Apple’s other open secret: the LLVM Complier

The backfiring of foolish thinking

Google now faces Java infringement litigation from Sun’s new overlord Oracle, and at the same time has exposed all of its Android licensees to a separate issue of violating the GPL. That’s because when you pick Linux to run your product, you can’t decide to close the source to make things easier for you while you ship products.

Google did this with Android 3.0 Honeycomb, and lots of Android licensees are similarly exposing themselves to lawsuits from the various Linux IP holders due to their own violations of the GPL’s rules. If Android tablets were making any money, there are lots of parties ready to step in and cash in on Google’s ignorance in building its platform upon such a mess of ideological purity.

The potential of such a problem is far overshadowed by the fact that Android licensees are already being sued by everyone else. With Microsoft killing time while it waits for its Windows Phone platform to deliver something with Nokia (its own disastrous Zune phone strategy), it’s spending its days suing Android licensees for violating its patents, collecting more from royalties on Android than it made selling Windows Mobile.

Apple is suing to stop Android licensees from copying. I’ll be surprised if Apple attempts to make money from royalty payments like Microsoft. Apple is seeking to actually stop copying from happening, and has already been successful in winning injunctions against Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1. It has similar action against other Android licensees, including Motorola.

Most Android vendors lost their Linux distribution rights, could face shakedown or shutdown

Motorola: Google’s waterlogged life vest

Android fans have been wishing aloud that Google would just buy Motorola, because to the uninformed, buying another company half again as big as you is always a brilliant idea that does nothing but solve problems. The big problem Motorola will solve for Google is giving the company a big patent portfolio in mobile technologies.

The problem, of course, is that if Motorola had a savior set of patents, it wouldn’t have been one of the first targets of Microsoft. And if Motorola’s patent portfolio were really that dangerous, Apple would have settled quickly, not dragged out patent countersuits of its own. Apple settled with Nokia pretty quickly, and Nokia, like Motorola, has patents primarily in network technology, not the kind of usability and OS technologies Apple has the most strength in.

And so, Google’s acquisition of Motorola is very much like Microsoft’s parasitic takeover of Nokia: not a great fit, but a desperate stab at one of the few directions left available. Motorola is currently losing money in smartphones. Take that in for a moment.

Google’s Vic Gundrota joked about the Microsoft/Nokia partnership that “two turkeys don’t make an eagle,” but lets look at what fine products Motorola and Google could make together. The Google Nexus One? Oh wait, that failure was a partnership of Google and HTC, launched just a couple months after Google had exclusively partnered with Motorola to deliver the then new Android 2.0 on its Verizon Droid-branded phones.

Motorola does not exactly have a history in making brilliant smartphones. Its former glory came from building simple mobile phones that folded up into tiny packages. Even when it had an exclusive minute with Google on releasing the Droid/Milestone at the beginning of 2010, it lost its perch almost immediately to the next Android model to arrive, over and over again throughout the Year of Android.

How will Google dance from one partner to the next popping out babies it then abandons after a few months now that its married to Motorola? Won’t Motorola expect more? Shouldn’t Motorola’s rivals expect less attention and even rougher treatment? Or will Google really keep its promise of loving all of its common law wives equally?

Zune 2: How Microsoft will slaughter Windows Phone 7 using Nokia

Less than open

HTC and Samsung can hope that Motorola won’t make good on its promise to sue other Android makers using its patent portfolio, now that its owned by the company that makes Android (and makes next to nothing providing them with Android). However, they’ll now be competing against Google’s Motorola Zunes like the poor schlumps who bought into PlaysForSure as a platform offering choice.

Will Samsung, HTC and ZTE make it into the exclusive circle who gain early access to Google’s “open” releases of Android, now that Google has a financial interest in returning Motorola to profitability? Google has only said that Android will ‘remain available” as open source, but so far, that has been meaningless, because Google regularly closes access to Android whenever it sees fit.

Android is no more open than Apple’s Darwin, and nobody uses Darwin to power their own commercial products for good reason. Apple can at any time make substantial changes and wait to release those new versions as it sees fit. Apple can do that because it voluntarily opened Darwin under a BSD-style license.

Google doesn’t really have the right to close Android (because the GPL forbids it), but it does anyway in rather brazen contempt for the GPL. At some point, you’d think that the free software acolytes would protest this mockery of their religion. At some point they will, likely when Android starts to make enough money to warrant some action against it.

A mess made in heaven

And so you have it: Google appears to be run by the collective intelligence of a bunch of children who comment on blog entries. It has exercised this spectacular collection of crowd sourced strategic thinking to buy up one of its weaker, profitless hardware partners and is now putting it into competition (both for attention within the Android circle, and in the marketplace) with its two strongest allies: Samsung and HTC.

Google is inheriting expertise and patents related to making phones that sold well before the iPhone Era. It will now be able to release phones and tablets with a level of integration closer to the iPhone and iPad, at the expense of other devices in the Android ecosystem, which will be less integrated due to new barriers between Google and its other hardware partners, who are now also its direct hardware competitors.

Perhaps after spending billions to buy Motorola, Google will now forgo profitability to help Samsung and HTC gain traction with their own phones and tablets? Right, just like Microsoft’s Zune was all about making Creative and SanDisk rich at its own expense. If nothing else, Google’s noob move will likely push Samsung to reconsider shifting efforts toward Bada, or push both Samsung and HTC closer to Windows Phone 7.

The fantasy surrounding Android is about to collapse. Google wasn’t sponsoring Android to bring balance to the Force. It was hoping to make inroads into the mobile market for paid placement in web search and display advertising. By acquiring Motorola, Google is indicating that that effort was not working out, and admitting that the real money in mobiles is coming from selling integrated, differentiated hardware like Apple.

Why Apple can’t be too worried about Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablets

Google: you are no Apple

The problem is that Google has no ability to invent products like Apple. Nexus One, Google TV, and Honeycomb tablets have all been massive failures, just as bad, if not worse, than Microsoft’s Zune and Surface. Microsoft hoped it could morph out of the software licensing business, but has largely failed to do this outside of some minor success with Xbox (after a decade of multibillion dollar subsidies).

Google can’t even claim a glimmer of success in the hardware realm, yet it is taking over a failed hardware dinosaur in an attempt to shift its Android platform from an “open.” ad-ware funded free distribution (which only works when the software is widely distributed by a bunch of vendors who all delegate their web and ad based businesses to Google), into a software later that can run on hardware it owns.

Pull the ubiquity rug out from under Android and it becomes just another run of the mill Linux/Java/Flash distribution powering hardware from Motorola. Given that Android’s widely deployed scale hasn’t successfully translated into a vibrant software platform, it also makes one wonder what kind of assistance Google can offer Motorola to help turn the company around now that Android’s scale (its core value) is likely to shrink as licensees scramble to make their own survival plans in a post-Androidalyptic world.

Additionally, Google just shifted from being entirely a web software company funded by ads to being a web company tied to a failing phone maker. Didn’t the rest of Motorola just split from Motorola Mobility to exit the phone business? Google just took a leap of faith off the end of its burning platform, hoping that the remains of one of the worst performing companies in the mobile business will break its fall.

Could be worse: Google could have bought Sony Ericsson.

20 comments

1 stormj { 08.15.11 at 12:06 pm }

Anyone wanna take odds on how fast Samsung settles with Apple now that they have just been daggered in the back by their “partner”?

2 TheMacAdvocate { 08.15.11 at 12:21 pm }

Imagine how Sony feels. Not only are they on the hook for their “Xperia” line-up, they’re in the middle of a GoogleTV death rattle. You can bet any successful product in that space has a much better chance of being pipelined through Motorola.

3 studentrights { 08.15.11 at 12:35 pm }

Absolutely brutal Dan!

I wonder if Google had this in mind all along? Freetard out the OS to everyone until it had a huge user base, then buy up Moto or Nokia to transform it into an iPhone like business – err – I mean Zune. Thus allowing them to suck up the existing marketshare.

The one difference is that the iPod, I think, really had a marketshare jump on Play4Sure, where in this case Android is now ahead of the iPhone.

If Google really is planning to Zune it’s partners they are going to have a hard time pulling this off. They risk destroying their image, which aside from Ad revenue is really all they have.

4 DEW { 08.15.11 at 1:17 pm }

Another brilliant, absolutely brilliant post….. please…. keep em coming!

5 davebarnes { 08.15.11 at 3:29 pm }

What happens when Microsoft buys Nokia?

6 jdb { 08.15.11 at 3:30 pm }

I’m not sure that I buy that Google hasn’t fulfilled it’s obligations under the GPL. Not all of Android is GPL/LGPL. Much of it is closed source or ASL (Apache Software License 2.0)

The GPL v2 requirements are vague and complicated (reason enough not to go with GPL) but it appears to me that Google may have released enough source code that Android 3 is safe from a GPL violation.

Daniel, do you have some information that says otherwise? I’ve read an article by FOSSPatents and EJNaughton but they both seem to be based on EJNaughton’s analysis that looks flawed to me. But I don’t claim to be any sort of GPL expert. A more detailed look at the issue would be greatly appreciated.

7 airmanchairman { 08.15.11 at 4:10 pm }

I just read this blog (Xconomy) that encapsulated the whole scenario in a perfect metaphor:

“Google is like the banker at the poker game who’s suddenly dealt himself in. The other players may be too deep into the game to step away—or they may decide to cash in their chips and go to another casino.”

That may well prove in the coming months and years to be as prophetic as it is graphically descriptive.

8 relativity { 08.15.11 at 6:40 pm }

“…likely push Samsung to reconsider shifting efforts toward Bada, or push both Samsung and HTC closer to Windows Phone 7″

Are there any more doubts that Win Phone 7.5 Mango or 8.0 Apollo won’t gobble a minimum 15% market share by 2015? I am starting to see the chessboard clear up a lot. A Nokia+HTC+Samsung triamvirate is a possibility now that Google’s Motorola Mobility division will start the Zunification of Android.

And who is to say that Microsoft won’t end up buying out Nokia out right?

So, in this future scenario of a Vertical Integration War – HP/webOS, Apple/iOS, Google/Android, and WP/Nokia – the remaining independents will somehow determine the horse that crosses the finish line. And that is somehow ironic given today’s news.

9 jkundert { 08.15.11 at 7:26 pm }

Daniel, do a story on Apple and LLVM. This is something I’d not even realized was going on (and I’m an iOS developer!) until you mentioned it in passing here. Sounds fascinating.

10 John E { 08.15.11 at 9:09 pm }

yes, the parallel with PFS and Zune is striking. every other smartphone OEM now MUST find an alternate OS to protect themselves, and they all know it. their public statements today about gee isn’t this great were utterly transparent BS.

several will consider Windows Phone, like HTC. but it is obvious MS is taking over Nokia too, and so they would be in the same bad position soon if they depend on WP. if MS can revive Nokia they won’t need the other OEM’s either.

HP’s WebOS looks like the big winner here, if they start to license it right away. it’s a good OS, and HP is not a near term threat to other OEM’s in the smartphone market where it has only token business now. HP needs to build up its WebOS user base first before they can double cross anyone. that’ll be later.

and RIM now looks like a really good take over target – probably the next one. it’s leadership sucks, but they’ll get golden parachutes anyway. it has an OS, QNX, with real potential too. let the bidding begin! and i bet that … ready? … Facebook will win. because those punk kids within they are the next Google.

Samsung could go after RIM too. but i bet instead they finally absorb via “merger” their oldest rival – Sony, another former giant now in a slow death spiral. Baba is gonna get bigger.

but Dan, what does this all do to the tablet world?? what OEM is going to follow Googlerola down that path of Android doom, only to be cast aside to die at the end of the road? especially once they see what a f’d-up mess “IceCream Sandwich” is? but where they gonna go? HP isn’t going to let them have WebOS for tablets, they have big dreams of their own for it. RIM, you have to be kidding. and MS wants to give them Windows!

oh the woe!

11 beanie { 08.16.11 at 1:28 am }

Zune did not destroy PlaysForSure. Zune probably only sold a couple hundred thousand units per quarter at its peak. So Zune never posed a threat to PlaysForSure or other MP3 players. So Zune/PlaysForSure example, which Dan likes to use, is flawed.

User code that uses the Linux Kernel does not fall under GPL. You only have to release source code of the Kernel if you make modifications to the Kernel and release a binary. Dan is spreading FUD about Google violating GPL. As someone commented above, Android user code is Apache license.

Speaking of market share. StatCounter shows Android has caught up to iPhone in the last couple of weeks in the U.S. Android is at 39% and iPhone at 38%. At the beginning of the 2011, iPhone had about a 10% lead, with iPhone at 35% and Android at 26%.

12 warlock7 { 08.16.11 at 7:44 am }

@beanie – Sales of the Zune had zero to do with the confidence shaking move of MS had with PlaysForSure. Dan’s example is on the money, you don’t seem to understand it. It’s not about the number of units sold or the success of the Zune, it’s about how that move affected all of their partners’ interpretations of what was happening in their ecosystem. When MS started the Zune, they destroyed all confidence their alliance partners had in them.

The GPL is being violated when you lock down your source and disallow open development, ala Honeycomb. Google says that Honeycomb can’t run on any hardware, they won’t let it on phones. This is not the open standard that the GPL embraces.

“Speaking of market share…”? Who? You appear to be but who else is? Also, you’re using bad numbers. Apple’s share is smaller than that…
According to figures released by Nielsen Thursday, Android is the operating system used by 39% of smartphones in the United States, followed by Apple’s iOS at 28% and RIM’s BlackBerry OS at 20%. But because the Android market share is carved up among multiple vendors, Apple’s 28% market share makes it the top overall smartphone manufacturer.

13 nextguy { 08.16.11 at 10:58 am }

“This is exactly what Microsoft did when it realized its PlaysForSure “more choices” strategy was failing against the iPod. It ended up working exclusively with one partner (Toshiba) to take its existing PlaysForSure player and turn it into a Microsoft-branded model called the Zune.”

You have no proof yet that this is what is going to happen. Second, they’ve already done this with HTC and Samsung with the Nexus line, and that hasn’t hurt them or other OEMS either. Third, they haven’t made their Nexus line artificially incompatible with the rest of android like Microsoft did with the Zune. Your analogy couldn’t be farther from the truth.

[Well the difference between the Google partner phones (G1, Droid, Nexus One, Nexus S) and the Zune is that Google cycled between its partners, where Microsoft picked a favorite to build the Zune and crapped on everyone else. Guess what's going to happen now that Google owns Motorola?

And as far as incompatibility, while the Zune Pass service was incompatible with PFS music rental stores, it didn't create any MP3 incompatibility. Still, Android 3.0 is incompatible with 2.x smartphones, so it's not hard to see a situation where Motorola might have its own specialty Android apps, just like Verizon Android phones have their own circle of exclusive apps. - Dan ]

“Companies run by smart people avoid Linux and its GPL religion because such fantasy-ideology is toxic to progress (and profits).”

It is? How? How is IBM, RedHat, Novell and who took them over, TomTom, and others “suffering” from it? How’s the Hadron Collider suffering from using Linux?

[But none of those companies are building appliances that run Linux, apart from TomTom (and it got sued). Other companies that learned about the anti-business Linux GPL the hard way include Linksys and Tivo. There's a big difference between supporting a distro and selling a product based upon Linux, and that's clearly what I was saying, despite your ability to take my comment out of context. - Dan]

“Apple is suing to stop Android licensees from copying. I’ll be surprised if Apple attempts to make money from royalty payments like Microsoft. Apple is seeking to actually stop copying from happening, and has already been successful in winning injunctions against Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1. It has similar action against other Android licensees, including Motorola.”

Really? You mean distorting the aspect ratio of the GT in their complaint to make it look like the ipad, plus opening up the app drawer to make it look like it’s home screen is like the ipad?

Please. I’ve never seen someone as desperate as apple.

[Well you're spewing froth you can't substantiate here. If you're trying to make the case that Samsung isn't slavishly copying Apple, you are a silly, silly person.]

“Google now faces Java infringement litigation from Sun’s new overlord Oracle, and at the same time has exposed all of its Android licensees to a separate issue of violating the GPL. ”

Oh no, Linus is going to sue Google and the world for not hosting kernel 2.6.38. Wait, isn’t that Steve’s Job?

[Linus isn't the only holder of GPLed IP in Linux. And there are plenty of GPL acolytes who would relish suing companies that are not abiding by the GPL. That's the least of those companies' worries tho, when it comes to Android lawsuits.]

“The problem, of course, is that if Motorola had a savior set of patents, it wouldn’t have been one of the first targets of Microsoft. And if Motorola’s patent portfolio were really that dangerous, Apple would have settled quickly, not dragged out patent countersuits of its own. Apple settled with Nokia pretty quickly, and Nokia, like Motorola, has patents primarily in network technology, not the kind of usability and OS technologies Apple has the most strength in.”

Define quick, as in what, a year and a half?

[Define troll... oh wait, you already are. ]

“Google doesn’t really have the right to close Android (because the GPL forbids it), but it does anyway in rather brazen contempt for the GPL. At some point, you’d think that the free software acolytes would protest this mockery of their religion. At some point they will, likely when Android starts to make enough money to warrant some action against it.”

Android is BSD/Apache, not GPL. Only the kernel is GPL.

[Google hasn't released its own work under the GPL, but it makes extensive use of GPL software in Android. And they close the project whenever they want. This is not in keeping with the GPL. Read more.]

Oh well, I guess the Droid from Motorola who put Android on the map sucked, was a failure too. And the Nexus 1 is still for sale for $330. While I agree that buying Motorola isn’t that bright either, again, you are being so acerbic and polarizing about it.

["Acerbic" means sharp and forthright, while "polarizing" means influencing people to arrive at a distinct "north or south" conclusion. So you're complaining that I'm being direct and convincing? I'm writing a blog here. What am I supposed to do, prattle on pleasantly and never make a point? - Dan]

14 beanie { 08.16.11 at 1:50 pm }

@warlock7 wrote:
“Also, you’re using bad numbers. Apple’s share is smaller than that…”

Oh, I mistyped. It should be iOS not iPhone. That is Android is 39% and iOS is 38% according to StatCounter. I assume iOS is the combined iPhone, iPod, and iPad.

15 nextguy { 08.16.11 at 7:00 pm }

“[Well the difference between the Google partner phones (G1, Droid, Nexus One, Nexus S) and the Zune is that Google cycled between its partners, where Microsoft picked a favorite to build the Zune and crapped on everyone else. Guess what's going to happen now that Google owns Motorola?

And as far as incompatibility, while the Zune Pass service was incompatible with PFS music rental stores, it didn't create any MP3 incompatibility. Still, Android 3.0 is incompatible with 2.x smartphones, so it's not hard to see a situation where Motorola might have its own specialty Android apps, just like Verizon Android phones have their own circle of exclusive apps. - Dan ]

Yes, it could be that Motorola is the new Nexus. But we still have no reason to believe like the Zune, Android + Google services will be a Moto only product. You’ve said it yourself, Google wants android on as many phones as possible.

Still, the Nexus S debuted first with 2.3. It took forever for everyone else to get it due to their differing CPUs, but it still happened. And why would stuff on 3.0 (more like 4) be so incompatible?

“[But none of those companies are building appliances that run Linux, apart from TomTom (and it got sued). Other companies that learned about the anti-business Linux GPL the hard way include Linksys and Tivo. There's a big difference between supporting a distro and selling a product based upon Linux, and that's clearly what I was saying, despite your ability to take my comment out of context. - Dan]”

Yes, but did hosting/releasing the source to what stuff they used kill their business? Did Linksys lose money on their WRT54G? No, and for them, their WRT54GL remains the top rated router on newegg of all time, and still is preferred over their newer stuff.

Look, the way I see it, you took it for free, the least you can do is give back for free. And if you don’t modify it at all, well, it isn’t as if you have to give up anything. Even Linus himself is on record as saying any userspace programs generated from the kernel source or other tools arent’t obligated to follow the GPL at all.

TomTom got sued, but that didn’t stop them. I mean, it’s the whole FAT long file name patent. They don’t need that to work at all. Same patent being used on others from Microsoft.

“[Linus isn't the only holder of GPLed IP in Linux. And there are plenty of GPL acolytes who would relish suing companies that are not abiding by the GPL. That's the least of those companies' worries tho, when it comes to Android lawsuits.]”

What “ip”? The code is hosted for all to use and modify, provided they host their modifications. No one “owns” linux. Linus may steer it where it needs to go, but that doesn’t stop Google from putting their own phone mods inside.

“[Well you're spewing froth you can't substantiate here. If you're trying to make the case that Samsung isn't slavishly copying Apple, you are a silly, silly person.]”

Uh, by making a rectangular shaped device with a screen? The phone example also too shows the app screen, not the default screen.
Look, here in the US, it is more specific. The community design complaint? Give me a break. Besides, it isn’t as if apple isn’t blowing everyone out the water with their tablets by making a good product.
“[Define troll... oh wait, you already are. ]”

That’s it? You can’t help but acknowledge the fact that maybe Nokia lost the injunction against apple had anything to do with it? I mean, really.

“[Google hasn't released its own work under the GPL, but it makes extensive use of GPL software in Android. And they close the project whenever they want. This is not in keeping with the GPL. Read more.]”

Uh, it’s right here, even the latest kernels:

http://android.git.kernel.org/?p=kernel/linux-2.6.git;a=summary

“["Acerbic" means sharp and forthright, while "polarizing" means influencing people to arrive at a distinct "north or south" conclusion. So you're complaining that I'm being direct and convincing? I'm writing a blog here. What am I supposed to do, prattle on pleasantly and never make a point? - Dan]”

If you ignore some of the facts to make your argument sound more plausible, or polarizing, no.

16 nextguy { 08.16.11 at 7:29 pm }

Wait, TomTom wasn’t sued over the FAT patent, so disregard.

17 unfortunate { 08.17.11 at 12:11 pm }

Wow, what a terribly written and biased post.

[I'd have more respect for your opinion if you actually backed it up with anything. But tell me, if you listened to a Giants game in San Francisco, would you complain that the play-by-play is "biased" because the local commentators are having fun reporting that the local team is winning?

If you want an "unbiased" report of what's going on, there are plenty of sites, including say Wikipedia, who will recount for you the supporting quotes from HTC and Samsung saying "we welcome Google's commitment to defending Android."

What you choose to read depends on if you want to see the straightforward outlook of somebody with a critical, experienced view of the tech industry, or if you want your idealistic expectations coddled by press releases and executive doublespeak parroted by reports that hide the truth because they can't see it. - Dan]

18 gslusher { 08.24.11 at 4:27 pm }

“In retrospect, this was fantastically stupid.”

A minor quibble. One cannot assess the soundness of a decision “in retrospect,” but only in light of what was known by the decider at the time. You decide to go to the beach for a vacation. On the second day, a massive earthquake offshore sends a 100-foot-high tsunami onto the shore, wiping out everyone within several miles of the coast, including you. Were you “stupid” to go to the beach?

Now, Microsoft’s decision MAY have been “stupid,” but not “in retrospect.”

19 Neil Anderson { 08.25.11 at 8:03 am }

The boys at Google are about to get a lesson on how big business operates. :)

20 EricE { 08.26.11 at 8:14 pm }

You must log in to post a comment.