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The Future of Android — Does It Belong To Bing and Baidu? 171

Posted by timothy
from the jaws-of-victory dept.
hype7 writes "Given the recent publicity about Android and Google, the Harvard Business Review are offering another interesting perspective. They argue that Google runs a serious risk of losing control of Android, as competitors such as Bing and Baidu move in. It certainly presents an interesting possibility — that Android could win but Google wouldn't see any benefit out of it."
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The Future of Android — Does It Belong To Bing and Baidu?

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  • Arguable (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ThoughtMonster (1602047) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @11:42AM (#34291332) Homepage

    The most important asset Google-approved Android devices have is the Android Market. So, how far can a manufacturer go toward replacing Google's applications and services before Google says "No Android Market for you!"? By the way, I believe most Android devices that come out of China don't ship with Android Market so there you go.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by houstonbofh (602064)
      Far enough to make a private market of applications that actually all work on their phone?
      • So how do they get all the devs to migrate from the Android Market?

        I doubt this is a viable option when the switch is within a single platform. End users will just sideload the Google apps onto their phone and that'll be the end of it...

        • Re:Arguable (Score:4, Informative)

          by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @01:02PM (#34291778) Journal
          The Android Market doesn't require an exclusive agreement, so they don't need to make developers switch, they just need to make them use both app stores. And, unlike the iPhone, app stores are not the only places to get apps, you can grab them from anywhere.
          • by hitmark (640295)

            Right now there is a majority of apps that are only available from android market (at least if you limit yourself to legal sources).

            Still, there are a couple of independent app stores in operation. But for some idiotic reason the various device brands insists on creating their own stores rather then back one of the independent ones.

      • by neokushan (932374)

        The thing with the android market is that it doesn't offer you apps that wont work on your phone, at least if the author sets it up correctly.

    • Timeframe (Score:3, Insightful)

      by leuk_he (194174)

      A good working app market, and goog google services is one thing. But they can still win customers back. The one thing on the side of google is time. Google does have early access to next release of android. Members who do not play the rules correct will only have very late access to the latste version of android. Google will release source eventually, but when the latest google phone is released, google already tested it for several months with the very latest version of android. After that they start to r

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by peragrin (659227)

        Who cares.

        90% of android phones aren't upgradeable anyways. in 2 years I have received 2 major OS upgrades to my iphone. in 2 years time there isn't a single Android vendor still suppling updates to older phones. Once you root your phone the warranty is voided.

        I really want to get away from the iphone. I just can't seem to find a replacement that the vendors care about for more than 6 months.

        • Re:Timeframe (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Americano (920576) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @01:38PM (#34291964)

          Because the vendors care about the initial sale and, where applicable, the contract they lock you into.

          If you want a vendor who cares about the phone for more than 6 months, the only vendor pursuing a strategy compatible with that right now is apple, because they want that initial sale, but they also want future sales, and app sales, and iad revenue. They have a vested interest in making sure your phone gets that upgrade, because it helps them make more money. Samsung, htc, AT&T, verizon? Mostly they want the initial sale, and then quick obsolescence to keep their revenues up; they're not interested in spending a bunch of money rolling out upgrades so you can spend money on someone else's apps in another store.

          • I seem to recall my blackberry bold 9000 being nicely upgradeable from OS4 to OS5, and there was quite a long time that both those OSs were current - and my current Bold 9700 (my old one was stolen, not made obsolete), is currently running OS6... which will probably be "current" for quite a while...
          • by schnell (163007)

            Samsung, htc, AT&T, verizon? Mostly they want the initial sale, and then quick obsolescence to keep their revenues up

            You may want to rethink that list a little. There are three vendors involved in your ongoing smartphone experience: the equipment maker, the OS vendor and the carrier.

            In your list, AT&T and Verizon are carriers. They have an ongoing service relationship with their customers, and they actually LOSE money each time you buy a new phone (at least in the US due to phone subsidies), so they have every incentive to keep you happy with your current phone on your current contract. Similarly, the OS maker (Google

            • by Americano (920576)

              they actually LOSE money each time you buy a new phone

              No, they do not. Because each time you buy a new phone, they lock you into a 2-year contract whose total sticker price far exceeds the cost of the phone, and you pay something probably closely approximating wholesale prices for the phone in the volumes the carriers can purchase them in.

              They have *every* interest in seeing your phone be "just good enough" that you don't leave their service, and "just bad enough" that you want to buy an upgrade phone, and

        • by technomom (444378)
          I've had my Incredible since March and it's still very much a viable phone. I'm still getting updates for it and I can't see switching off of it for a long time to come. I think your point is correct about pre-2.1 phones but I think most of the flagship 2.1 phones have been following along pretty well with the updates. My phone has received 2 in the past 3 months. I have no doubt that we'll be seeing Gingerbread on Incredible. As for Apple's updates, I got my iPod Touch shortly before I got my Incredi
          • by peragrin (659227)

            Both the Aria and Eris from HTC would disagree with you. finding a phone with froyo installed by default is difficult as the makers have stopped putting version numbers in their specs. Sure there are several models available but far more are shipping with 2.1 right now than with 2.2 That is something not even apple does. When they release a new OS all devices sold after that get the update automatically. Their might be some in supply for a couple of months, but all new ones made are upgraded.

            Apple war

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by leuk_he (194174)

          There might be vendors. Just find out which vendors actually gave update in the past [wikipedia.org](HTC+samsung mainly?). There is a huge difference of vendors that release a phone that is already outdated when released, and vendors that gave updates form 1.5 till 2.1/2.2

          After that, i miss the point of buying a top of the line phone now, and expect updates 2 year later. In 2 years that tech is horribly outdated. Same as you saw on iPhone. running ios4 on a previous generation iPhone disappointed [hardware.info] a lot of people.

          If you hav

    • Re:Arguable (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MrHanky (141717) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @12:30PM (#34291596) Homepage Journal

      Not so much the Market (which kind of sucks, IMO), as Google services themselves, which are integrated into the OS. Remove things like Google Maps, and most location-aware apps will just stop working, access to Market or not. Oh, and of course Google search is integrated with Maps, so ditching Google search for Bing degrades the quality of the phone -- and not only because Bing sucks big hairy camel balls, which it actually does. Who would have thought that a Google phone was in fact a Google phone.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      By the way, I believe most Android devices that come out of China don't ship with Android Market so there you go.

      All 4 Android tablets I've bought in Shanghai came with the Android Market preloaded. On the contrary, the rule seems to be access to the Market.

  • Google controls the Andoird Market. Sure, manufacturers can roll their own markets if they want, but they will always be dwarfed by the offical one. No one is going to buy an Android phone that does not have access to the market. And Google can cut off access to any manufacturer at any time if they get too in-bed with Baidu or Microsoft.

    Not to mention, the first thing anyone does who gets the stupid Bing phone from Verizon is uninstall it and put Google back. There has been such a consumer backlash that Verizon is backing out of the deal and putting Google back in newer handsets.

    • by multimediavt (965608) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @11:56AM (#34291410)

      And Google can cut off access to any manufacturer at any time if they get too in-bed with Baidu or Microsoft.

      Yeah, but wouldn't that then make Android/Google just as "evil" as Apple? I just find it interesting that people are suggesting that Google could do something with their "open" Android platform that Apple can do today with their "closed" iOS platform. It's just one of those shoe-on-the-other-foot moments that I like to see play out when folks don't think things all the way through.

      • There are certain terms and service companies have to agree to, if they wish to use Android Market.

        O.o And are you implying that restricting Google services to companies who violate Google terms is equivalent to restricting ALL access to the phone unless you suckle Apple?

        Last I checked if you didn't like the way Google ran their market, you can create 30+ markets of your own, or manually install, or whatever without any effort.
        If you don't like how Apple runs their market, you have to hack the OS
      • by MrHanky (141717)

        It would. But Google obviously doesn't do that, as there are Bing and Baidu apps in the Market. What they do, however, is demand that the phone has some core functionality in order to give it access to the market. And so, developers can expect that apps that depend on this will work -- and vice versa: if you remove core functionality from the phone, you can expect that plenty of apps will just stop working. And it just so happens that much of the core functionality is linked to Google's services. It's a Goo

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Idiomatick (976696)
        Ugh Google has to exert control to be able to KEEP android free. Apple exerts effort to keep iOS monopolized.

        I run into the same fucking terrible misunderstanding while talking about the free market. A market with no restrictions or controls does NOT result in a free market. It results in a few groups dominating and controlling it to the misfortune of all of the others. A FREE market requires strict controls and enforcement in order to stop stagnation and monopoly.
        • by multimediavt (965608) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @01:55PM (#34292070)

          I think you are using the wrong words. I think what you meant to say is:

          Google has to exert [regulations] to be able to KEEP android free. Apple exerts effort to keep iOS [regulated].

          AND

          A FREE market requires strict [regulations] and enforcement in order to stop [corruption].

          A "free" market, and a "free" or "open" piece of software are not the same thing. Apple is not monopolizing anything. They are regulating their platform the way they see fit, as Google is doing with their platform. Apple didn't create the mobile phone, smartphone or mobile applications markets. Those markets exist within the broader free market economy and did before the iPhone came to the scene. Apple and Google are merely providing two platform options, one heavily regulated and one less regulated. The market will sort this out as to which one is truly better. We can't say which will be more successful right now because the story is still playing out. However, we can see where the weaknesses and strengths of BOTH platforms are starting to show. Hence my comment of how I like to see these things play out. I think Apple thought this app market thing through a little better and took a more conservative starting point. Google took a more liberal approach and has completely splintered their market and made things harder to regulate going forward. It's far easier to loosen regulation in a controlled sandbox than it is to lasso unruly kids scattered all over the playground.

          No misunderstanding here, but a little knowledge can be just as harmful as ignorance.

          • by IrquiM (471313)
            So, you are using the same argument as the Chinese are doing when people are complaining about human rights and stuff? It's a free world, because most of the Europeans countries are free. They just use their rights to regulate their people?
      • by rotide (1015173)
        No, because if you want into the main market with Android, you play by Google's rules. But _nothing_ stops you from making your own market. There are already a ton of apps located outside the official marketplace that you can go and get. This is the huge advantage with Android. With the iWhatever, you are utterly locked into Steve Jobs Market, that's it. End of Story. As an Android user, I welcome new markets. Sprout them up!
      • by brunes69 (86786)

        The difference is the Market is not forced on anyone, not th emanufacturer, OR the end user.

        With an AOSP ROM, anyone can download a .APK and install it on their phone.

        Any lock-downs preventing this are due to the carrier, not Google. And frankly it is the norm outside the US to not prevent this. Only US carriers enable the option to prevent installing non-signed APKs and then remove it from the UI.

    • And open themselves up for massive bad press, lawsuits, and a possible anti-trust investigation. They would probably win, but at one hell of a cost.

    • So let's say Baidu makes a market with localized apps and pays providers to point to only that?

      Or let's say China Mobile sets the phone with their own default market. Even Verizon can do that.

      Many ways competitors could become much bigger than the "official" market pretty quickly.

      • by oiron (697563)

        You still need to convince enough developers that it's in their best interest to run to your (fragmented) market, while everyone else is going with the official one.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      "Harvard Business Review" needs more research

      No kidding. Google is an advertising company. Every company wants the markets complementary to their primary products and services to be commodity markets, because it lowers prices (which increases demand) in those markets, which in turn increases demand for the complementary products and services the company sells. And keeping the margins low and competition high in those markets ensures that you don't get a company like Apple who could potentially leverage a large market share in devices into a competing

    • by jonwil (467024)

      Not sure on the Verizon statement, last I heard Verizon were putting Google on their "Droid" handsets and putting Bing on their low-end android handsets (the ones not labeled "Droid")

    • by ihavnoid (749312)

      A common misconception is that people think that the Android market from Google is essential and irreplacable. However, I find that there are plenty of ways to replace Android market with something that may work.

      The Android market may be fine and essential for people who live in U.S, or at least, many English-speaking regions. However, my experience is that they are a somewhat half-baked solution to non-English speakers. Don't speak English? all you have is a bunch of apps written in some indecipherable

  • Why the hell would Baidu or Bing be profiting from Android if Google weren't? Just because Google's main business is a search engine? Have these people ever actually used Android? Maybe if they had, they'd know it isn't just a mobile platform for Search... o.O

    Oh well, I'm going to read the article now... checking back in 5 minutes to confirm whether my prediction (article=utter crap) was right...

    • Followup... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bemymonkey (1244086) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @11:54AM (#34291400)

      And as I predicted, utter crap.

      Point 1: "Ohnoes, Bing's being used as the default search engine on a few Verizon phones!" Let's see... how important is this really? Anyone who cares will simply use Google (from the Market, or just in the browser, or if needed by sideloading)... as for revenue from search? I'm guessing much more of the revenue comes from things like Admob and the rest of the Google-infested web, not to mention priority placement of items in apps like "Places" and Maps searches.

      Point 2: "Ohnoes, Baidu is rolling its own 'G-Apps' to replace Maps, Search, Nav, Market, Talk and so on!" Let's see... native Chinese stuff made by Chinese guys for the Chinese - sounds like a perfect idea to me. I'm sure the integration with Baidu and Chinese culture in general will make for a very usable operating system in China... outside of China, however... what's the point?

      And if Google continues improving its proprietary apps at the current rate, it's very unlikely that Baidu will be able to keep up. That market will sort itself out... as we've seen with all other devices without G-Apps (tablets, for instance).

      • by fishexe (168879)

        Let's see... native Chinese stuff made by Chinese guys for the Chinese - sounds like a perfect idea to me. I'm sure the integration with Baidu and Chinese culture in general will make for a very usable operating system in China... outside of China, however... what's the point?

        I think the point is that the Chinese market is the world's largest untapped smartphone market. But you're right, there are a ton of other fish in the sea. Even if Baidu achieves complete dominance, taking all those 1.3 billion potential customers off the table, that still leaves more than 5 billion potential customers in the rest of the world who don't speak Chinese and will use Google because Baidu gives them nothing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Idiomatick (976696)
        Apparently verizon modified the phone so users viewing the market cannot see google. (Uncomfirmed afaik since i don't have a verizon-android phone) And that if you DO install the google launcher it redirects to bing anyways. Which you see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WGgyI_1AU4 [youtube.com]

        The market won't sort its self out if companies put too high a price to switch and close down the phone. If a user has to format the phone or root it then the free market won't happen.
        • Interesting. Isn't this a very similar situation to the one with the browsers on Windows in the EU, only worse (since on Windows, installing alternative browsers isn't blocked)?

          I'm surprised nobody in the US has picked that up as a reason to sue... what with litigation being the primary form of communication between corporate entities these days and all.

          Personally, I just won't buy that crap and won't let my friends or family buy it either. Learned about locked down devices the hard way (Milestone), and won

    • Re:Say what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by multimediavt (965608) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @12:06PM (#34291468)

      I had a similar reason for wanting to post (before reading a few comments and the article). Baidu and Bing are search engines (and indirectly ad platforms). Android is an operating system. Who cares if Baidu or Bing muscle out Google's search on their own mobile OS platform? How is that going to spell the end of Android or Google as a company?

      Article is full of speculation and wild hyperbole. Waste of time to even read. Sad for Harvard Biz review, really.

      • Not to mention the fact that Bing is owned by Microsoft, a company that ships its own OS for mobile phones and regards Android as a competitor. What on earth would they gain from having their own Android fork? Other than the fact that they'd be distributing Linux under the GPL and therefore giving up the right to sue anyone for patent infringement on anything in the kernel, of course...
        • Re:Say what? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Patch86 (1465427) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @02:38PM (#34292318)

          MS sells Windows, and you can run Google applications and web services on it. Google sells Android and you can use MS applications and web services on that. Am I missing the point of this story somewhere?

          I honestly can't see it coming as a surprise to Google that their OPEN SOURCE software might be used in ways other than what they dictate. They're au fait with how open source works, I doubt this is an unforeseen problem.

          Google know that they control the (official) Android application market, many of the applications use their advertising software/schemes, many of the companies that are manufacturing Android phones will be contributing to its development, and Google gets all important publicity/mindshare. Whatever benefits Google thought they were getting out of starting a free and open mobile OS presumably still stands.

      • Who cares if Baidu or Bing muscle out Google's search on their own mobile OS platform? How is that going to spell the end of Android or Google as a company? ...Sad for Harvard Biz review, really.

        Relax. No one is spelling the end of Android or Google. But Google did not create Android as a gift to the OSS community. They created it to be able to drive search revenue their way, instead of having to rely on Apple. If the product they invested in cannot actually drive revenue, it causes their investment to have been in vain.

        Harvard Business Review understands what the average geek does not: that large corporations implement strategies to create profits, and some fail. The only thing that's sad here is

  • Any benefit ? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cokegen (925518) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @11:45AM (#34291358)
    Even if Google don't see a dime out of Android, it helps to bring down locked alternatives such as the SO on the IPhone and Windows Mobile. That helps to keep the market clean and filled with options.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by multimediavt (965608)

      You mean like Linux helped to bring down locked alternatives like Windows and Mac OS. Yeah, that's working out amazingly well as a plan, especially for the desktop. Don't get me wrong. I believe in the right tool for the right job. I use a lot of different OS platforms on a daily basis (Win, Mac, Linux, BSD...) for different purposes, but Linux is *NOT* making inroads on the desktop after 15 years (or more) of being there.

      The if-you-build-them-something-open-they-will-come motto just doesn't hold water.

      • by fishexe (168879)

        I use a lot of different OS platforms on a daily basis (Win, Mac, Linux, BSD...) for different purposes, but Linux is *NOT* making inroads on the desktop after 15 years (or more) of being there.

        Tell that to my dad, my sister, and my wife.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Kenshin (43036)

          "Tell that to my dad, my sister, and my wife."

          Well then, that settles it! 2010 is finally the year of Linux on the desktop!

        • LMAO, I think you can forward my comment to them just fine. If you are speaking of those three using Linux on the desktop, then hurray! They have joined the less than 1% of the world that uses Linux on the desktop (along with me and probably 25% or more of the folks reading this, you insensitive clod!). Now, may I ask what they do for a living that they use Linux on the desktop? If your answer is anything dealing with science or academia then, yeah, that makes sense. One of the only places you see Linu

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Idiomatick (976696)
        Windows is FAR FAR FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR more open than the vast majority of mobile phone offerings. Hell winmo is one of the most open platforms and cellphone companies are locking them down a scary degree.

        As for the point about linux. It helps. It doesn't need to have a huge market share to make the marketplace more open. MS knows that if they lock things down like apple. It will become year of the linux desktop. If they don't keep innovating/progressing it'll become year of the linux desktop. And competing
        • by cynyr (703126)

          Right, I'll just get work to dump those VBA macro'ed excel sheets, all of my vendor selection tools, and all of the "cheaply" priced cad systems.

          That will work great, I'd love to use linux at work, but i'd need a windows VM anyways...

          • Since when is windows == MSOffice? Anyways, try to move anything from a symbian to an iphone and you'll see my point.
      • by jonbryce (703250)

        You can get the iPhone on all 5 major phone networks in the UK, and you can buy an unlocked version direct from Apple. That hasn't stopped Android moving into the market.

        Linux failed on the desktop because by the time it was a viable alternative, it was too late. Windows Phone 7 will fail for the same reason.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @11:48AM (#34291374) Journal
    If you define benefit as the evil kind of benefit by which you abuse the control you have over a platform to lock the competition out and the customers in, create walled gardens, etc then Google won't benefit under this scenario. On the other hand if yu define benefit as denying your competition the evil kind of benefit, then Google will benefit immensely even if Bing and Baidu and Facebook choose android as their preferred platform.
    • Tag story FUD (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mjwx (966435) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @12:20PM (#34291530)
      Android is open source, that means Bing, Baidu, Google or anyone can use it.

      Which means the best usage wins. If another company can utilise and spread (make appealing) their version of Android better then Google then they will win over Google. End of story.

      However, due to the same open source that gave any competitors access to what google has created Google will have access to what advancements competitors make.
  • by Superken7 (893292) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @11:51AM (#34291388) Journal

    It's not like they would lose control over Android itself, since they are the primary developers. But I agree that its possible for them to lose control over the cashflow that Android generates, which is quite a different thing.

    But this raises an interesting question. Google was surely aware of such a risk when they decided to open source such a high valued piece of software. They had to decide between giving away freedom and having an easier way for "android everywhere" (so they can flood the market with android), or have total control over the platform and do it in a more WP7-way. So why did they go with the first approach? How will they keep earning money off it if its open?

    IMHO the answer is that it doesn't matter (to some extent) if the operating system is free or not. One of the things that make android so attractive (in terms of features) is google's services: Contact sync, app sync, android market, google voice, voice search, voice actions, google navigation, GMail and more cloud services which are to come.

    Someone can "take" google's efforts - that means take the Android Open Source Project - and turn it into a phone with bing. Or yahoo maps, etc.. But they would need to compete with google in all fronts, with all its cloud services, etc.. Plus there are lots of apps which already work with google-propietary services like Google Appengine, Google Maps, etc... they are gaining lots of new users which are going mobile and using those services more and more. And its becoming more difficult for competitors to make a competing product because they can not only take Android and put bing search on it, they have to compete with Google in ALL fronts to make it really competent.

    (of course thats my own opinion and view in all this, and all in all I like that android itself can bring competition within its own platform in the cloud level, which makes everything much more exciting for me as a user/consumer. I don't know if google really wanted to give away android for "the benefit of us all" but they could end up competing on their own platform as a result of it, and I think thats good)

    PD: another interesting matter is what would happen if someone would make an android version that runs apps that aren't compatible with other android versions because they don't fulfill the OHA criteria and/or tests. In that instance I'd say that isn't Android anymore and could not be regarded as such, even if it was a fork of it

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ScrewMaster (602015) *

      PD: another interesting matter is what would happen if someone would make an android version that runs apps that aren't compatible with other android versions because they don't fulfill the OHA criteria and/or tests. In that instance I'd say that isn't Android anymore and could not be regarded as such, even if it was a fork of it.

      In which case maybe Google would sue that someone for dilution of trademark or other issues.

      PS: What does "PD" mean?

      • PS: What does "PD" mean?

        I just interpreted it as silly+happy emoticon for someone who has two mouths, and their eyes below their mouths.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Superken7 (893292)

        Postdata. I keep forgetting that its "PS" when writing english. Another slashdotter already explained below :)

        • Postdata. I keep forgetting that its "PS" when writing english. Another slashdotter already explained below :)

          I wasn't trying to be pedantic, and I gathered from context that it was probably equivalent to "post-script". I was just curious to know if it was a typo or a legitimate expression. Well, I learned something today.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      But I agree that its possible for them to lose control over the cashflow that Android generates, which is quite a different thing.

      That's the thing about the business press - they think of the cash flow as the goal of any company's product, not the product itself. As geeks, we're more interested in the "Wow, 16Gb RAM the size of a potato chip!" But for business folks, that doesn't matter unless it is possible to make big bucks making and selling them.

      • by Americano (920576)

        In point of fact, positive cash flow *is* the goal of any for-profit company's product. A company that goes into business without paying attention to their expenses vs. their income will not remain in business.

        • by oiron (697563)

          A very one-dimensional view of the world...

          The societal goal of a good product is that it's a good product that's useful to many people. An incentive for someone to make a good product is cash flow. There could be other incentives.

          Like Google's incentive in this case may be simply to keep the market open, so that their cash-flow in other areas isn't even more easy for others to block off. They probably don't need the headache of controlling their own platform like MS or Apple; just enough competition to ens

  • by Lazy Jones (8403) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @12:01PM (#34291438) Homepage Journal
    Having to pay Apple $100m annually for the search box is nothing, even though it is probably more than Mozilla gets. Google revenues are what, $28b annually? How much of that is due to being the default search engine in major browsers? They would probably pay 10 times as much if they were asked to, although perhaps not for the iPhone and iPad at this point ...
  • This just proves how little the Business community understands technology. Google could lose control of Android to Bing and Baidu if either of them were to come out with a superior product than Google. Anyone that has any sense with regards to the internet knows that Google is orders of magnitude superior to Bing. Baidu's only advantage is not having to comply with take down notices. Bing was able to make gains on Google only after Microsoft sunk ass loads on money into commercial advertising, all the while
    • This just proves how little the Business community understands technology. Google could lose control of Android to Bing and Baidu if either of them were to come out with a superior product than Google.

      Of course... that's how Microsoft makes all of their money--from superior products. That's why so many people haven't bothered to upgrade to XP--because Vista was too good for them.

      Has anyone ever seen a google ad?

      Well, other than astroturfing on slashdot... Google has ads everywhere. They've branded the bejesus out of everything they've ever touched. (Not that I blame them--it's good marketing sense--but I'm simply flabbergasted that someone using a computer claims they haven't seen a google ad.)

      • lol, I meant an ad promoting google, not an ad promoting some other company and hosted by google. I thought that was obvious. I was talking about the terrible Bing commercials I see at almost every break on television.
    • by h4rm0ny (722443)

      Anyone that has any sense with regards to the internet knows that Google is orders of magnitude superior to Bing.

      Why?

  • Android Market (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zlogic (892404) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @12:12PM (#34291502)

    Google gets a percentage from every sale in Android Market. Most apps that use AdMob ads also generate revenue for Google. In fact I think there aren't any AdSense ads in the mobile version of Google Search, so Google's loss in case Bing is used as the default search is ZERO.

  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @12:16PM (#34291522) Homepage Journal

    The main reason for Google to produce and promote Android is so the mobile/embedded Internet isn't locked up, either by a monopoly (Apple/Nokia/Microsoft/telco) or by a technology (iOS, Symbian, Win7+). With a large minority, or even a majority, of non-desktops off Windows, Google is more likely to have more access to more content to index, and more searching to insert ads into. That is Google's core business, the only one that makes money, and it makes money by the bargeload. Google is the only truly cross platform Internet business other than eBay or any other site that isn't original content. Android makes the Internet more cross platform, so Google has more natural advantage in it. Even if Google doesn't control Android. In this way Google's strategy is just like Sun's Java strategy. And Google is sticking to it much more closely, unlike Sun which never became an "Internet company", but rather a company that the Internet benefited. Consider whether Sun (even as an Oracle division) would still have a future without Java, and whether Java would have as substantial a future without Android. Android free of Google (even more than Java is now free of Sun) would still benefit Google more than does Java free of Sun benefit Google, even as Java keeps Sun alive.

  • I've never understood exactly why Google shoveled so much money into Android, and from what I hear from Android developers, they're not sure either.

    Google sells ads; they're very good at it, and they have excellent margins. It's hard for them to find another business where they can make money as efficiently, so maybe they shouldn't bother. When they started developing Android, perhaps Google was worried that there wouldn't be good smartphone platforms that they could use to sell ads on, but that's n

  • Google usually competes by trying to have better quality applications... starting with their search engine and extending to mail, maps, documents, etc. A competitor could try to replace all of these with better alternatives and it would be a good thing for competition and choice if they could do it but I don't think that Google is worried about this happening in the near future. They seem to keep producing compelling free applications that people adopt voluntarily on the open Internet, not because they ar
  • Yeah... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Rip Dick (1207150) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @02:10PM (#34292148)
    Cuz Microsoft is so good at seizing opportunities these days...
  • by dr.newton (648217) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @02:55PM (#34292406) Homepage

    I don't think this aspect of the nature of Open Source Software has escaped Google. True, they did provide something that people can use against them, but Google's focus seems to be on growing the market, rather than going to war against a set of opposing corporations.

    Without Android, the global touch-screen smartphone market would be a lot smaller than it is now, and much less search traffic would be coming Google's way.

    Charles Stross might call this article the thinking of "zero-sum dinosaurs". Just because an action may profit someone else as well as yourself, that's not in itself a reason not to do it.

  • Well as I sit here and stare into my crystal ball here is what I see.

    Andriod will be a player, but it won't be a Win-7 mobile killer or an iOS killer.

    The source of its biggest problem will be its biggest advantage and that is it is wide open.

    The user experience on the iPhone / iPad / i[whatever] that iOS delivers has set only set the bar, it has set the bar insanely high becuase like Apple or think that they are evil, the iOS UI is as close to perfect as you can get right now and the apps reflect that.

    Win7

  • One crucial factor the article doesn't mention is Android Market. Although a vast part of Android is open source, besides the traditional google applications, Android Market is closed source. Not only that but to be able to use it a phone manufacturer has to receive permission from Google. Without that Android is a platform with no apps. I am not sure what is the strategy for Badu (or Bing) to create a competing market...
  • and i never bee tempted to use Verizon - ever.

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