updated 06:46 am EDT, Mon September 17, 2012
Google's Rubin gets fired up over Acer and Alibaba partnership
Google's Andy Rubin has issued a further statement in the company's ongoing war of words with Alibaba VP John Spelich. Spelich was moved to defend the Aliyun OS, arguing that it was not a fork of Google's Android OS after Google forced OHA partner Asus to drop plans for a phone running the Aliyun OS. However, Rubin has retorted, "there's really no disputing that Aliyun is based on the Android platform."
Rubin used his Google+ account to make the following statement:
"Hey John Spelich -- We agree that the Aliyun OS is not part of the Android ecosystem and you're under no requirement to be compatible.
"However, the fact is, Aliyun uses the Android runtime, framework and tools. And your app store contains Android apps (including pirated Google apps). So there's really no disputing that Aliyun is based on the Android platform and takes advantage of all the hard work that's gone into that platform by the OHA.
"So if you want to benefit from the Android ecosystem, then make the choice to be compatible. Its easy, free, and we'll even help you out. But if you don't want to be compatible, then don't expect help from OHA members that are all working to support and build a unified Android ecosystem."
Google asked Asus to pull its planned Aliyun OS handset as it believed that this would put in violation of its agreement with the Open Handset Alliance. As a signed member of the alliance, according to Google, Asus has an obligation not to support devices that run a forked version of Android as they do not contribute to the overall growth and development of the Android ecosystem. This differs from the position that Amazon has adopted running a forked version of the Android OS, but on Kindle Fire devices that it manufacturers for itself.
Although it appears that Google has taken a stance contrary to its stance of 'openness,' it could not afford to overlook Acer's move. As Alibaba is by far the most dominant search engine in China, Android has the largest market share of any OS in the country. A competing operating system produced by Alibaba running on a device made by an OHA partner would set an unpalatable precedent for the Mountain View search giant.