The battle for control of Google’s phone/tablet OS continues to heat up. In this Bloomberg Businessweek article, developers complain about Google’s increasing demands for control over how its supposedly “open source” Android platform is deployed. One protester says he just cut a deal with Microsoft because he feels Windows Phone 7 offers more opportunity to innovate (he is, at this point, in the minority, as well as a former MS employee, but it pays to keep an eye on the outliers).
Bloomberg reports that Google has recently reached out to carriers and manufacturers that want to implement its mobile operating system with a message: “There will be no more willy-nilly tweaks to the software. No more partnerships formed outside of Google’s purview. From now on, companies hoping to receive early access to Google’s most up-to-date software will need approval of their plans. And they will seek that approval from Andy Rubin, the head of Google’s Android group.”
Perhaps the most telling bit of information in this story is that Android’s share of the smartphone market grew, “from 9 percent in 2009 to an industry-leading 31 percent worldwide.”
“I don’t think we’ve seen anything like Android in terms of gaining share,” explained Bill Gurley, general partner at venture capital firm Benchmark Capital.
Although there are grumblings from various tech companies, and rumors of complaints to the Justice Department, Bloomberg explains that the Android OS is still open — “it’s just getting more heavily policed.”