Google plotted to give Motorola early advantage over other Android licensees

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
In a bid to control the Android platform to derive the most value from it, Google privately outlined a series of policies, including giving early access advantage to Motorola and not developing Android "in the open."



Google's internal presentation was published by the judge overseeing Oracle's Java infringement case, and detailed by Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents. Like the Microsoft monopoly trial a decade ago, Oracle's lawsuit is bringing all kinds of details of Google's secret inner workings into public view.



"Oracle v. Google is a treasure trove of information about Google's Android-related dealings," Mueller observed.



Open after the fact



The presentation slide is titled, "If we gave it away, how can we ensure we get to benefit from it?" and recommends a set of policies that include "Do not develop in the open. Instead, make source code available after innovation is complete."



Google has regularly closed down Android development at every major release, including the tablet-oriented Android 3.0 Honeycomb this spring.



A second bullet point states "lead device concept: Give early access to the software to partners who build and distribute devices to our specification (ie, Motorola and Verizon). They get a non-contractual time to market advantage and in return they align to our standard."







Mueller also cited a declaration by Oracle stating, "I understand that Google participates in the design and build of some device makers' handsets, and provides the final Android build to the OEM."



Mueller himself notes that "is not like they simply publish the Android codebase on the Internet. According to Oracle, they 'participate in the design and build of [...] handsets.'



"Can you imagine that a company like Samsung, HTC, LG or Sony could still trust Google in this regard if Google actually competes with them through a subsidiary [of Motorola Mobility]?"



He adds that the policy "removes whatever little doubt anyone had left that Google certainly plays favorites with certain Android OEMs, and if the MMI deal goes through, it will play favorites with only one: its own subsidiary, of course."



Despite public assurances that Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility would have no impact on how the company works with other Android licensees, and public statements by Google's partners that they are happy to be "protected" by Google, individual licensees have made plans to protect their own interests.



Most notably, Samsung's executives have initiated a plan to strengthen the company's own Bada platform and hire software development talent.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 138
    they mean the nexus project and other major version releases (original Droid and the Xoom)



    I didn't think this was secret. in fact I expected something big to be revealed here.



    I am disappoint.
  • Reply 2 of 138
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,889member
    Android is well and truly screwed, and from so many directions. apple's patent claims are small potatoes compared to oracle's and to the anti-trust and just anti-partner (not illegal, but not smart) actions that google has taken. And yet apple's claims are still serious -- just small compared to those other larger threats.
  • Reply 3 of 138
    So Google has been lying all along?



    Such poor behavior for a once admired Google.
  • Reply 4 of 138
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,102member
    ie Motorola and Verizon.



    It could have just as easily said ie. Samsung and T-Mobile. Basically, if you develop and include the Google services as Google wants, you get preferencial treatment. This would include companies like Samsung, HTC, Motorola, Verizon, Sprint, T Mobile and many others. I think this was well understood.
  • Reply 5 of 138
    dm3dm3 Posts: 150member
    Typical opinionated slanted story from Daniel. How about just the facts without such a pro-Apple agenda?



    Slide essentially says Google will give preference to those who will follow their design closely. They've clearly done this in the past with the Nexus series of phones, first HTC, now Samsung. Using Motorola next time doesn't seem unreasonable.



    Certainly pales in comparison to how Apple controls the entire process.
  • Reply 6 of 138
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,008member
    Until somewhat recently I had viewed FossPatents as a fair and unbiased source of news on the patent law front. I've noticed that Mr Mueller's's recent posts have been nearly all about Google and/or Android, and decidedly negative. In the most recent he actually seems almost giddy with joy at what he seems to hope are serious Google problems, but at least some of which have been known for some time. The idea that Google works with specific handset manufacturer's for Nexus devices, as an example, is both normal and expected. Sometimes it's Samsung, as it is now, and sometimes others like HTC or Moto. Yet Mr. Mueller would imply there's something new and devious in that supposed "shocking new development".



    I'm a bit disappointed. Google may have legal problems, perhaps even serious ones, but I can't tell from reading his blog. It doesn't appear I can trust FossPatents for an honest take on them anymore. Maybe I never could, but didn't have eyes open enough to notice.
  • Reply 7 of 138
    The word is SHEPHERD, not sheppard. Dumbasses.
  • Reply 8 of 138
    There is a distinct difference between open source and (what I call anyway) free source. Now, there's nothing model with a free source model, where you develop a product then allow people access to the source. All my software is developed that way. But I don't claim open source, because I'm not, and Google shouldn't neither.
  • Reply 9 of 138
    blursdblursd Posts: 123member
    Good to see the Google "Don't Be Evil" mantra has been tacitly applied by the company to mean, "When Google Does It ... It's Not Evil, But When Anyone Else Does It Is."
  • Reply 10 of 138
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Until somewhat recently I had viewed FossPatents as a fair and unbiased source of news on the patent law front. I've noticed that Mr Mueller's's recent posts have been nearly all about Google and/or Android, and decidedly negative. In the most recent he actually seems almost giddy with joy at what he seems to hope are serious Google problems, but at least some of which have been known for some time. The idea that Google works with specific handset manufacturer's for Nexus devices, as an example, is both normal and expected. Sometimes it's Samsung, as it is now, and sometimes others like HTC or Moto. Yet Mr. Mueller would imply there's something new and devious in that supposed "shocking new development".



    I'm a bit disappointed. Google may have legal problems, perhaps even serious ones, but I can't tell from reading his blog. It doesn't appear I can trust FossPatents for an honest take on them anymore. Maybe I never could, but didn't have eyes open enough to notice.



    Wow, another person who doesn't agree with you that you publicly disparage. Maybe where there's smoke and raging flames there's fire? Rather than a conspiracy to create something you personally don't agree with?
  • Reply 11 of 138
    blursdblursd Posts: 123member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by canucklehead View Post


    The word is SHEPHERD, not sheppard. Dumbasses.



    I'm confused ... what are you referencing? I don't see the word Shepherd anywhere in the article, nor in any of the comments.



    "Sheppard" can be a correct spelling if it's referring to a name. If you're talking about the dog breed(s) or the profession then it is spelled "Shepherd," but I don't know it makes you a genius for pointing it out. All it really does is make you come off as a dick ... like you've never made a spelling or grammar mistake in your life.
  • Reply 12 of 138
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,008member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hiro View Post


    Wow, another person who doesn't agree with you that you publicly disparage. Maybe where there's smoke and raging flames there's fire? Rather than a conspiracy to create something you personally don't agree with?



    Hard to say. As I first said, whether I agreed with him or not didn't matter, I felt he was an unbiased source and one that I could trust to report the facts as they were, good or bad, for Google or Apple or anyone else. The tone of some of his recent blogs has changed my opinion.
  • Reply 13 of 138
    I thought that this was pretty much known. Heck, I thought it was pretty clear with the Xoom since no other handset maker had Honeycomb at that time. Either way, I don't think Google would get any flak for this if it hadn't done the whole "open" meme and implying that other companies were practically totalitarian states that drowned kittens and turned their pelts into coats for meth cookers.
  • Reply 14 of 138
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by blursd View Post


    Good to see the Google "Don't Be Evil" mantra has been tacitly applied by the company to mean, "When Google Does It ... It's Not Evil, But When Anyone Else Does It Is."



    Google's mantra may be "Don't be Evil", but the advertisers that Google serves has an overriding mantra of "Sell more products!"
  • Reply 15 of 138
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,153member
    Google is really out of options with this Oracle lawsuit. Everyday something damaging to Google is disclosed. Steve Jobs was right, this "Do No Evil" is BS.
  • Reply 16 of 138
    Elle-Oh-Elle.



    I'd love to get the reactions of all the "Android is open!!! iOS sucks because it's closed" people who have regularly chimed in over the years on gadget sites....
  • Reply 17 of 138
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by blursd View Post


    I'm confused ... what are you referencing? I don't see the word Shepherd anywhere in the article, nor in any of the comments.



    ...



    Not supporting but it is in the slide itself. Perhaps you had pics blocked instead hence cannot see it. Can happen when viewed in iPhone mode.
  • Reply 18 of 138
    alfiejralfiejr Posts: 1,524member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Hard to say. As I first said, whether I agreed with him or not didn't matter, I felt he was an unbiased source and one that I could trust to report the facts as they were, good or bad, for Google or Apple or anyone else. The tone of some of his recent blogs has changed my opinion.



    actually, your problem is the trtuth. Google is being exposed in court for the thieves and phonies they really are.
  • Reply 19 of 138
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post


    ie Motorola and Verizon.



    It could have just as easily said ie. Samsung and T-Mobile. Basically, if you develop and include the Google services as Google wants, you get preferencial treatment. This would include companies like Samsung, HTC, Motorola, Verizon, Sprint, T Mobile and many others. I think this was well understood.



    Actually, what Google want is more than just including their Google services on every device...they also want to ensure no non-standard interfaces (ie. HTC Sense, Motoblur, Touchwiz) are layered on top to prevent fragmentation. The problem is the OEM's depend on this for differentiation of their products which then lets them see higher returns on their handsets by using brand loyalty so they will not willingly give them up otherwise they would have already done it as this is what Google has been asking for.



    If they layers are more important to consumers then the OEM's can replace the underlying OS (ie. older versions of Android or even replace Android completely (ie. Meego)) and still sell handsets and Google know this. Since the OEM's will not give up their only real differentiator I do not see how Google can ever get them back into line. The OEM's saw what happenned to the PC industry and know that relying only on hardware is not a long term business strategy. If Google do not release Android versions in a timely manner then Android will continue to become more fragmented over time which means the nightmare for developing for Android will continue.
  • Reply 20 of 138
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Hard to say. As I first said, whether I agreed with him or not didn't matter, I felt he was an unbiased source and one that I could trust to report the facts as they were, good or bad, for Google or Apple or anyone else. The tone of some of his recent blogs has changed my opinion.



    As I tried to say to you before... I felt that he didn't even present the facts. Many of Florian's headlines are almost as bad as DED's imo.



    ... but now that it isn't going Google's way...
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