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HP CEO worries Android may be closed after Google-Motorola

updated 08:45 pm EST, Wed February 15, 2012

Whitman thinks Android may get lockdown

HP's chief Meg Whitman in a presentation at her company's Global Partner Conference on Wednesday was concerned that Google's likely completed Motorola acquisition would create a chilling effect in mobile. While she knew Apple's iOS by definition was closed, she was concerned Google might flip on the concept of openness now that it had its own hardware manufacturer, according to Channel Buzz. To her, this signaled the importance of Open webOS, since it might be the only option for some.

She went on to characterize Apple as "on fire," but was more reserved about Android, calling it a fragmented platform. HP's own perceived remedy to Android's effect would take two to five years to "fully play out," Whitman said.

Google would likely dispute the accusations, although it has delivered self-contradictory messages about the amount of hardware and software integration it wants. The search firm initially promised to keep Motorola at arm's length and use it for patent defense, but its chairman Eric Schmidt signaled an intention to pursue hardware. A recent poaching of an Apple employee versed primarily in hardware has also implied a desire to directly control Motorola's roadmap.

While Google has often touted openness, frequent criticism has accused it of often being very selective. It withheld source code for Android 3 out of claims that it wasn't ready to be worked with, and it keeps certain parts of even the opened Android code off-limits for developers. Third parties likewise can't contribute code back to the main Android branch, making Google the only one that can dictate certain kinds of new features.

If open, Android could still see Google prioritize Motorola phones for support by always giving them updates first or early access to hardware. HTC, Samsung, and others have publicly endorsed the Google-Motorola merger, but they also gave similar statements that implied they had been made to tow a common policy line.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Paul Huang

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Sep 1999

    +3

    Meg shoudl focus on

    whether the PC division should be closed for good.

  1. Paul Huang

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Sep 1999

    +3

    more like Meg's pants are

    on fire.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. bigmig

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2004

    -14

    Drrrrooooid!

    Doesn't matter if Google closes. Samsung will just fork the last open version and take it from there. They're already by far the strongest Android OEM anyway.

  1. BigMac2

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Dec 2000

    +7

    Why HP cares?

    Why HP cares about android, they no longer are into mobile business.

    Beside Google can't control manufacturer from forking their own version like Amazon have already done.
    What a mess!

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010

    +7

    Stick another fork in it

    Agree with bigmig. If Google favors their own hardware b**** (Motoroogle), or if Samsung disagrees with Google's Android roadmap, they'll take the ball and go home. They're crushing all other Android handset makers, and they're going to go on doing it one way or another.

    I suspect that forking Android like Amazon did will be Samsung's long-term strategy. It's better for them because they can optimize their custom, proprietary, closed version of Android for their own specific hardware. That will give them an even bigger advantage over the other Android hardware suckers, er, partners.

  1. chas_m

    Moderator

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +5

    "It's just a little bit of history repeating ..."

    Plays4Sure. Nuff said.

  1. MacGeek.

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2011

    +4

    Samsung may..

    just create a new OS from Android and still roll with Bada OS or maybe merge it. Google is just trying to follow Apple's footsteps, they have already admitted to defeat to Apple that a closed system does work better than an open system.

  1. bogmonster

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2007

    +8

    A shame they didn't have their own OS

    to fall back on... Oh wait; they did and they S***-canned it to go after the low-hanging fruit

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