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Google defends its openness for Android

April 7, 2011 |  6:39 pm

To counteract rumors that Google was clamping down on the openness of its Android operating software, the tech giant took to the blogosphere.

"We continue to be an open source platform and will continue releasing source code when it is ready," Andy Rubin, vice president of engineering, wrote in a post on the Android Developers blog. "The Android team is still hard at work to bring all the new Honeycomb features to phones. As soon as this work is completed, we’ll publish the code. This temporary delay does not represent a change in strategy."

With Android's first three iterations (Eclair, Froyo and Gingerbread) released as open source for developers to tweak and customize, Google has billed itself as the open alternative to competitors such as Apple and Research in Motion.

But it has come under fire lately for delaying the release of Android Honeycomb, its first tablet-oriented operating system. Although Honeycomb is already powering Motorola's Xoom tablet, Google said the source code isn't quite ready for public release for other devices such as smart phones.

The title of Rubin's blog post - "I think I'm having a Gene Amdahl moment" - might say it all. Amdahl coined the term "FUD" (fear, uncertainty and doubt) after leaving IBM in the 1970s to found his own company. He alleged that IBM salespeople deployed FUD to discourage potential customers of his own products.

Android was dedicated to "remaining consistent and compatible" for many different application, Rubin wrote.

In other words: there's too much FUD about Android. Stop it.


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--Shan Li

Photo: Screen shot from an Android Developers video shows Google's Honeycomb statue installed in front of Building 44 at the tech company's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters. Credit: Google