Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 9th Apr 2013 10:34 UTC
Legal After Microsoft's extortion racket has failed to stop Android, and after Oracle's crazy baseless lawsuit failed to stop Android, and after Nokia adopting Windows Phone failed to stop Android, Microsoft, Nokia, and Oracle are now grasping the next straw in their fruitless efforts to stop Android: they've filed an antitrust complaint with the EU, claiming Google unfairly bundles applications with Android.
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Ashamed
by moondevil on Tue 9th Apr 2013 10:54 UTC
moondevil
Member since:
2005-07-08

I am starting to feel ashamed to have worked at one of those companies, their culture wasn't like that.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Ashamed
by satan666 on Tue 9th Apr 2013 12:22 UTC in reply to "Ashamed "
satan666 Member since:
2008-04-18

I am starting to feel ashamed to have worked at one of those companies, their culture wasn't like that.

What do you mean? Microsoft has been a piece of sh|t for a very long time. And Nokia has been a steamy one for years now, since that microsoftie became Nokia's CEO.

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: Ashamed
by sparkyERTW on Tue 9th Apr 2013 14:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Ashamed "
sparkyERTW Member since:
2010-06-09

"I am starting to feel ashamed to have worked at one of those companies, their culture wasn't like that.

What do you mean? Microsoft has been a piece of sh|t for a very long time. And Nokia has been a steamy one for years now, since that microsoftie became Nokia's CEO.
"

You have to remember that what we see on the outside of the company can be very different on the inside. Stuff like this comes from the management and legal departments, not the engineering departments who are often filled with intelligent, passionate people who generally just want to worry themselves with crafting inventive products and solutions.

Sure, you could argue that they should no better to work at a company who's legal/management actions are unscrupulous, but consider that a) it might not have been like that when they started, b) it's not the greatest economy to just quit and find another job, and c) they may believe that resources and opportunities available to them to create marvelous things for the public outweighs the risk that their creations or the income from them may be used for evil.

Reply Score: 8

RE[3]: Ashamed
by cdude on Wed 10th Apr 2013 07:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ashamed "
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

Stuff like this comes from the management and legal departments, not the engineering departments

Usually you can't separate them since management has a great deal of influence on engineering. Motivation and proud to be with a company are important values that increase engineering productivity. If behavior to outside competition is war you can be sure inside competition is too. That's not a healthy environment for those down the stack, engineers.

who generally just want to worry themselves

We are all driven by motivation. Engineers, more so the very good ones, need support and motivation. Kill that and you lose your best engineers, like happened at Nokia, and make those staying more unproductive.

crafting inventive products and solutions.

Like Windows 8 and Lumia? Come on, if you look for the reason why they are so non-competative don't look future then that. Its problems in management and execution. Now guess why...

a) it might not have been like that when they started

An what does it help your products if your engineers hate "there" management and company, if they feel bad about action done by "there" company?

b) it's not the greatest economy to just quit and find another job

Its a great economy situation for talented people. Your A-class engineers. Those you like to keep. They are the ones who are going to change job first if conditions on the current job change to a level they aren't happy, motivated, supported any longer. That's why company's put large money into engineers just to keep them feel home. Google's 20% own-projects schedule, bonus, company events, inhouse marketing are all for that.

c)

And yet it influences there productivity and those who not stay and switch will make those who stay even more unhappy. The way to go as we see with the unique success of Lumia. Haha.

Edited 2013-04-10 07:55 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Ashamed
by shmerl on Wed 10th Apr 2013 17:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ashamed "
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

In case of Oracle and Nokia - many good engineers left (people from Sun in Oracle, and Nokia Linux engineers), because they didn't agree with their companies' approach. In case of Microsoft - such people don't even appear there to begin with.

Edited 2013-04-10 17:51 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Ashamed
by shmerl on Tue 9th Apr 2013 17:38 UTC in reply to "Ashamed "
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

MS and Oracle never had a good culture, so I guess you are talking about Nokia. They were going down the slope to become a complete troll ever since Elopocalypse.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Ashamed
by twitterfire on Tue 9th Apr 2013 19:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Ashamed "
twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11

so I guess you are talking about Nokia


What's Nokia?

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Ashamed
by viton on Fri 12th Apr 2013 00:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Ashamed "
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

Actually Nokia was stuck in limbo even before Elop.
There is an interesting article (in russian) that covers some details: http://habrahabr.ru/post/171325/

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Ashamed
by tonny on Fri 12th Apr 2013 15:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ashamed "
tonny Member since:
2011-12-22

Yep. Right. And then they call an Expert to never wake up that limbo. :p

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Ashamed
by bert64 on Fri 12th Apr 2013 10:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Ashamed "
bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

Oracle no, but SUN were pretty decent...

Reply Score: 3

Microsoft
by the_trapper on Tue 9th Apr 2013 10:55 UTC
the_trapper
Member since:
2005-07-07

Cool story Microsoft, can I buy PowerPoint by itself yet?

How about install Firefox or Chrome on Windows Phone 8?

Install anything other than Windows RT on a Surface RT device?

How about "secure" boot that really just makes it a lot harder on alternative desktop OS vendors?

Gmail isn't even the default e-mail client on Android phones. I hope the regulatory authorities laugh "Fairsearch" all the way back to Redmond.

As for Nokia, it looks like they are destined to "SCO" themselves to death. What a pity.

Reply Score: 29

RE: Microsoft
by bentoo on Sat 13th Apr 2013 16:49 UTC in reply to "Microsoft"
bentoo Member since:
2012-09-21

Cool story Microsoft, can I buy PowerPoint by itself yet?


You can, and always have been able to buy Office products separately. See:

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/buy-microsoft-office-and-microsof...

How about install Firefox or Chrome on Windows Phone 8?


Not a Microsoft restriction. Ask Mozilla and Google.

Install anything other than Windows RT on a Surface RT device?


Valid, but not really fair. Who buys a tablet (Nexus, Surface RT, etc.) just to run another OS? Ubuntu super-fans maybe? Alternatively, can I install Windows on a Google Pixel?

How about "secure" boot that really just makes it a lot harder on alternative desktop OS vendors?


How can an optional feature cause so much trouble? Do you complain equally about Chrome OS "verified boot" and Android's locked boot loaders?

Gmail isn't even the default e-mail client on Android phones.


It is the second you enter your Google account information at setup. (Ok, maybe it asks. But my anecdotal evidence is that the normal email application is still un-configured on my Xoom 4.2.1 AOSP making me believe it is automatic.)

Thanks for all the misinformation. I'm not trying to argue that the FairSearch claims are valid, but had to comment on this single post due to the amount of inaccuracies in it.

Edited 2013-04-13 16:50 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Microsoft
by ricegf on Sat 13th Apr 2013 23:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Microsoft"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

You can, and always have been able to buy Office products separately. See:

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/buy-microsoft-office-and-microsof...


That's hilarious! I clicked on the link, using the latest version of Chrome on Ubuntu, and got the following message:

Welcome to Office.com

It's great that you're here, but it looks like your browser is outdated. Let's get the latest version, and you'll have a much better time on the site.

Click here to install Internet Explorer


I think Microsoft is the last Windows-only website on the Internet! :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Microsoft
by benjymouse on Sun 14th Apr 2013 08:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Microsoft"
benjymouse Member since:
2011-08-06

That's hilarious! I clicked on the link, using the latest version of Chrome on Ubuntu, and got the following message:

"Welcome to Office.com

It's great that you're here, but it looks like your browser is outdated. Let's get the latest version, and you'll have a much better time on the site.

Click here to install Internet Explorer


I think Microsoft is the last Windows-only website on the Internet! :-)
"

Hmm. I tried the link (using Chrome Version 26.0.1410.64 m). I get no such message.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Microsoft
by steogede2 on Sun 14th Apr 2013 19:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Microsoft"
steogede2 Member since:
2007-08-17

"Install anything other than Windows RT on a Surface RT device?


Valid, but not really fair. Who buys a tablet (Nexus, Surface RT, etc.) just to run another OS? Ubuntu super-fans maybe? Alternatively, can I install Windows on a Google Pixel?
"

I wouldn't have thought there would be any problem installing Windows on a Chromebook Pixel. Do you know of any problems?

"How about "secure" boot that really just makes it a lot harder on alternative desktop OS vendors?


How can an optional feature cause so much trouble? Do you complain equally about Chrome OS "verified boot" and Android's locked boot loaders?
"

Is Secure Boot optional on a Windows 8 pre-installed laptop?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Microsoft
by steogede2 on Sun 14th Apr 2013 19:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Microsoft"
steogede2 Member since:
2007-08-17

"Cool story Microsoft, can I buy PowerPoint by itself yet?


You can, and always have been able to buy Office products separately. See:

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/buy-microsoft-office-and-microsof...
"

You can buy one application and pay almost the same as you would for four. Not really sure if that was what he was meaning by 'buy separately'. They may as well charge three times the price for PowerPoint on it's own, it'd make about as much sense (in one sense that is what they are doing).

Reply Score: 1

I wouldn't be worried too much
by OSGuy on Tue 9th Apr 2013 10:56 UTC
OSGuy
Member since:
2006-01-01

A lot of the users use Android because of the features and flexibility it provides, not because of GMail, YouTube etc. If I was an OEM, I would not mind to set up a start-up screen and ask the users if they want to use -- "GMail" "Outlook" -- or "Google Search or Bing". I am sure users will make the correct choice. As for the Play store, that's gotta be there or other company's application stores will also have to go.

Edited 2013-04-09 10:57 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: I wouldn't be worried too much
by OSGuy on Tue 9th Apr 2013 11:00 UTC in reply to "I wouldn't be worried too much"
OSGuy Member since:
2006-01-01

I am also surprised by how ridiculous their complaints are. Pure non-sense and illogical.

Edited 2013-04-09 11:02 UTC

Reply Score: 3

tonny Member since:
2011-12-22

Well, don't be. It's them (Microsoft, Nokia, and Oracle), the usual 'victim' in IT world.

Reply Score: 0

przemo_li Member since:
2010-06-01

DONE

Its called Google Play ;)

Reply Score: 3

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

I use it because it's not Microsoft, and especially because it's not Apple. *ducks*

Of course, the fact that Linux is its core is nice too, but I'd say that's just a bonus.

Reply Score: 3

If you cannot innovate litigate ....
by vhawkxi on Tue 9th Apr 2013 11:02 UTC
vhawkxi
Member since:
2008-07-09

The new American Company culture ...

If you cannot innovate, litigate !!.

Oh yes, and remember to file in the state where you have the judge in your pocket - not in a state where there is someone with technical skills and just a little bit of fairness sitting on the bench.

Reply Score: 19

willm.wade
Member since:
2010-07-13

Last I checked it was the carriers who make it so that various applications cannot be uninstalled, and unless Google played a part in forcing them to lock Google applications then this is ridiculous.

Who locks the phones in ways that no one can install whatever ROM they want? Last I checked it was the carriers.

Hmm... Perhaps the lawsuit is just aimed at the wrong company!

Reply Score: 7

cyrilleberger Member since:
2006-02-01

Last I checked it was the carriers who make it so that various applications cannot be uninstalled, and unless Google played a part in forcing them to lock Google applications then this is ridiculous.


Then you need to update your check. On the nexus 7, you cannot remove gmail, google+... apps. And the nexus is the stock android.

Reply Score: 2

cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

You can if you root. Unlike Nokia and Microsoft WP8/RT Android, more so Nexus, supports rooting. For some of us that - stock Android, no device-locks, upgrades - are the major reasons to buy Nexus.

Edited 2013-04-10 08:02 UTC

Reply Score: 7

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Not true at all. On any Nexus device you can install a custom ROM and then choose to install any or none of the Google apps. For my Nexus S 4G, I found rooting and custom ROM instructions on Google's own website. Not only do they allow it, they encourage it for developers and power users.

For a long time I've run CM10 on my Nexus, and I had to install the Google apps separately. I've only recently gone back to the stock ROM to address a battery and stability issue with a CM nightly build that I should not have installed on my daily device. And even with this stock ROM, I can easily remove any apps I want via the terminal, since the device is rooted.

Reply Score: 6

Comment by bolomkxxviii
by bolomkxxviii on Tue 9th Apr 2013 11:19 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

What a joke. Google would love to have all its products on every phone out there, regardless of OS or manufacturer. OK, so maybe they won't take the time to write an app for a platform that has almost no market share but I am sure they would help the other platform create the app. ;-)

Reply Score: 4

what a waste of tax money
by rolfst on Tue 9th Apr 2013 11:26 UTC
rolfst
Member since:
2013-04-09

And now the EU has to verify if the complaints are valid.
like I said it only costs tax money. these companies should be fined if there complaints turn out to be bogus indeed.

Reply Score: 12

RE: what a waste of tax money
by JAlexoid on Tue 9th Apr 2013 12:39 UTC in reply to "what a waste of tax money"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

No worries... They already pay for that. Our tax money is not affected. Microsoft is generous enough with their violations to make sure that we are covered.

Reply Score: 3

RE: what a waste of tax money
by Zaitch on Wed 10th Apr 2013 07:02 UTC in reply to "what a waste of tax money"
Zaitch Member since:
2007-11-23

I'd give this +10 if I could.

Reply Score: 1

Oh boy
by Drunkula on Tue 9th Apr 2013 12:35 UTC
Drunkula
Member since:
2009-09-03

[Face-palm] Wow. Just wow. I don't even know what to say about this complaint.

Reply Score: 6

Some truth ...
by MacTO on Tue 9th Apr 2013 13:48 UTC
MacTO
Member since:
2006-09-21

Even though I agree with the points in the article, and have no love for the companies making the complaint, there is some truth in their claims. Google is using their position is one market to secure a dominant position in another market. In this case, they are using market analytics and advertising in order to provide a product to other vendors below cost. They are also using their consumer products (e.g. search and email) in order to make the product more desirable to consumers.

That being said, I think that they are playing their cards carefully in order to avoid anti-trust sanctions. Notice that their is a differentiation between the Gmail app and the Email app. They also have Browser, which is distinct from the Google branded (and much more Google reliant) Chrome. Of course, you don't need Play since apps can be side-loaded or other marketplace apps can be used.

Whether they can avoid sanctions or not will depend upon their contracts with third parties, of which I am definitely not privy. Yet they are probably sufficiently flexible to avoid major issues. For example, I have noticed that devices with the Google apps also ship with competing apps. My device shipped with an alternative book store, news stand, and app store -- in addition to Google's products.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Some truth ...
by bnolsen on Tue 9th Apr 2013 15:49 UTC in reply to "Some truth ..."
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

Is google making money from purchases made on google play? What's to stop MS or anyone else from relying on the app store itself for revenue? Oh yeah, that's not part of MS's business model, who likes to charge an arm and a leg just for the OS itself!

Sounds to me more like this is an attempt by MS to change the market through legal means instead of changing itself to adapt to the market!

Reply Score: 6

RE: Some truth ...
by Morgan on Wed 10th Apr 2013 10:45 UTC in reply to "Some truth ..."
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Microsoft doesn't allow any other app stores than their own on WP7 and WP8 phones and tablets. They don't allow any other browser besides IE. Look in the Play store and you'll see about two dozen browsers at any given moment. Install the Amazon app store and you never have to use Play again. You can even choose to set up your Gmail account using the generic Email app instead of the native Gmail app.

Maybe they are playing their cards carefully as you said. Or, perhaps a company built on open source technology from day one just likes the idea of choice and openness in their products.

I'm not one to trust Google with everything (especially my personal data, though they already have too much of it anyway) but even with all its warts, Android is the most open mobile platform available now. That may change when Ubuntu Phone OS hits, but it will have a lot of catching up to do.

Reply Score: 6

pica
Member since:
2005-07-10

to Google own applications bundled?

I never heard of an Android
* browser
* map application
* E-mail
* ...
application provided by Microsoft, Nokia or Oracle.

Reply Score: 8

chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

Microsoft does provide some apps, most of which are not very popular. The only search app is called "Bing in China"
https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=Microsoft+Corporatio...

Nokia brought Here Maps to iOS and Android, but people quickly noticed that it is even worse than Apple Maps so it did not see much success either. Best review quote: "Try this out if you want to feel like your Apple Maps is Google's."

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/here-maps/id577430143

Reply Score: 2

Say what!!!
by eantoranz on Tue 9th Apr 2013 13:54 UTC
eantoranz
Member since:
2005-12-18

Microsoft complaining of a competitor bundling applications? Now that must be a first.

Reply Score: 13

Comment by Tractor
by Tractor on Tue 9th Apr 2013 13:58 UTC
Tractor
Member since:
2006-08-18

How come such big players can come with such horribly distorted accusation and just *get away with it* ?
How come they are not punished for basically lying, grabbing away scarce public resources for baseless accusations ?

Reply Score: 6

What?!
by acobar on Tue 9th Apr 2013 17:21 UTC
acobar
Member since:
2005-11-15

Isn't 1st April fools jokes over yet?

Reply Score: 6

Comment by Bennie
by Bennie on Tue 9th Apr 2013 17:30 UTC
Bennie
Member since:
2012-06-14

Of course this complaint is totally bogus and the only reason to begin it is to annoy Google. MS and Nokia do not have competing software packages for Android and are just sour that their own platform is not selling very good.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Stephen!
by Stephen! on Tue 9th Apr 2013 17:37 UTC
Stephen!
Member since:
2007-11-24

Microsoft, Nokia, and Oracle are now grasping the next straw in their fruitless efforts to stop Android


Maybe they'll run out of "straws" eventually

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Stephen!
by glarepate on Wed 10th Apr 2013 19:17 UTC in reply to "Comment by Stephen!"
glarepate Member since:
2006-01-04

Nah. They are just Rumplestiltskin in reverse. They will just spin their gold onto straw ...

Reply Score: 4

Comment by Kochise
by Kochise on Tue 9th Apr 2013 19:18 UTC
Kochise
Member since:
2006-03-03

"Microsoft [...] filed an antitrust complaint with the EU, claiming Google unfairly bundles applications with Android."

Come on Microsoft, grow a little, take your memory pills...

Kochise

Reply Score: 3

Makes sense to me
by qweedom on Tue 9th Apr 2013 19:23 UTC
qweedom
Member since:
2011-01-01

I can understand wanting to ship only a subset of the standard Google apps. This issue is (for example) that a manufacturer could not replace the standard browser but keep everything else. Me personally as an end-user, I'd love to be able to uninstall some of the default apps and replace them with better ones.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Makes sense to me
by Kochise on Tue 9th Apr 2013 19:51 UTC in reply to "Makes sense to me"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

It could only work if your are an experienced Android user and knows the apps to install.

Me, as a user, I'd like first to see my phone not crippled with carrier's crapwares. And having a minimum set of applications would be interesting instead to have just Google play at first boot that requires you to connect to your Google account and start digging through thousands of applications to find the ones that suits me after several trial and errors.

Just note that app sync works between your devices connected to the same Google account. Buy a new device, sync it, you'll get your favorite apps you're used to installed in no time.

Kochise

Reply Score: 3

RE: Makes sense to me
by vidarh on Wed 10th Apr 2013 10:47 UTC in reply to "Makes sense to me"
vidarh Member since:
2011-10-14

While I agree, nothing stops a vendor from shipping the Google apps *and* alternatives, and make the alternatives the default ones, does it? At least several of my Android devices (admittedly cheap Chinese ones from companies that might have ignored Google's rules) came with pre-installed alternatives to one or more Google applications as well as the Google applications themselves.

Reply Score: 3

WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

This complaint is, of course, complete and utter bogus. First of all, not a single OEM wanting to make an Android device is forced to ship the suite of Google applications.


Except, according to your article, that's not what the complaint says:

The complaint claims if an OEM wants to ship one application from said suite, they are contractually obliged to ship them all

I take that to mean they're not saying that you HAVE to ship the suite, but if you want to ship ONE app in the suite, you have to ship ALL of them. So, for example, you couldn't ship an Android device with the Play store, but without Gmail, and vice-versa. I don't know if that changes things or not insofar as how valid the claim is, but I think it's an important distinction.

BTW: There are no Android devices shipping without that suite; there are only OS's based on Android, but which really aren't.

Edited 2013-04-09 20:04 UTC

Reply Score: 5

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

And thats the important distinction. Google isn't forcing anyone to do anything. IF you want to ship "Android" you have to have certain apps installed and you can't change the system so much that it won't run Android apps. This is the deal of being in the Open Handset Alliance. You are still free to take Android and do whatever you want with it, as seen by Amazon and B&N. Thing is, only t he real "Android" devices seem to be doing really well. People want their Google services.

Reply Score: 4

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Google isn't forcing anyone to do anything. IF you want to ship "Android" you have to have certain apps installed


And THAT is what they're forcing vendors to do. According to what the article says, you can't ship a device running Android and only include certain apps, while not including others. It's either ALL or NOTHING. In other words, Nokia couldn't ship a phone running Android, with the Google Play store installed, and then include their own mapping solution while leaving Google Maps off.

I'm not arguing whether Google is justified or not in enforcing this requirement, but that is what the complaint is about.

Edited 2013-04-10 00:15 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WorknMan,

"And THAT is what they're forcing vendors to do. According to what the article says, you can't ship a device running Android and only include certain apps, while not including others."


Precisely. Some will find it debatable whether this is harmful, and nearly everyone will find it ironic that microsoft has been convicted of the same sort of bundling in the past. Microsoft's intentions may not be pure, but it seems logical to me that if it was illegal for microsoft, then it should be illegal for google as well in the markets which they have a monopoly.

Hopefully google will just concede and allow vendors to bundle whatever they please. It's not like google needs to bundle software to attract users - they still have a tremendous marketing advantage in the android ecosystem due to their brand.

Edited 2013-04-10 01:03 UTC

Reply Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Hopefully google will just concede and allow vendors to bundle whatever they please.


They already do so. Vendors can already bundle whatever they please.

There is perhaps a certain minimum set of apps that must be shipped before one can call one's device "Android", but AFAIK they don't have to be Google's apps. Nokia could ship Nokia maps if they want to.

After all, "Android" is a product of the Open Handset Alliance, not just Google.

http://www.openhandsetalliance.com/

Welcome to the Open Handset Alliance™, a group of 84 technology and mobile companies who have come together to accelerate innovation in mobile and offer consumers a richer, less expensive, and better mobile experience. Together we have developed Android™, the first complete, open, and free mobile platform.


http://www.openhandsetalliance.com/oha_members.html

Reply Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

lemur2,

"They already do so. Vendors can already bundle whatever they please."

I am taking the information at face value. If it's true that google's forcing vendors to bundle, then there may be an antitrust case. If it's untrue, then there isn't. As MacTO indicated earlier, the contract between google and android vendors is information we are not exactly privy to. Keep in mind this complaint was filed in Europe, the contracts may be jurisdiction and/or vendor specific. If you have more information than what's been disclosed already, it'd be helpful if you could post a link to it. Thanks.



"My Android tablet shipped with Android, with the Google Play store installed, but left Google Maps off."

That's interesting, however I'm not sure the complaint included the tablet market since the smartphone market was explicitly mentioned. Do you have a similar example of an android phone model?

Edited 2013-04-10 03:25 UTC

Reply Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

""My Android tablet shipped with Android, with the Google Play store installed, but left Google Maps off."


That's interesting, however I'm not sure the complaint included the tablet market since the smartphone market was explicitly mentioned. Do you have a similar example of an android phone model?
"

I have only two Android devices, and I am familiar with only one other Android device. Two of these three devices are phones, the other is a tablet. They each shipped with different versions of Android, and each shipped with a different set of apps by default. By no means were all of the apps Google's, and some of the more common Google apps for Android were omitted from each device. The Android YouTube app, for example, shipped only on the tablet, yet Google Maps was missing only from the tablet. I think GMail was the only Google app which shipped on all three devices.

That is the extent of personal anecdotes I am able to tell you about it, I'm afraid.

Here is an opinion to consider, perhaps:
http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20130409095055445

If these complaints were true, Facebook couldn't do Facebook Home. Really. Think about it. The Guardian calls its article about Facebook Home, "Lockpicking Android for Fun and Profit"

Facebook has done that, wrapping a shell around Android and using it in a way Google probably doesn't much like but which is perfectly allowable. There isn't a company in the world that doesn't try to protect its brand, by some measure of quality control and standards to follow if you wish to align yourself with the company, but the point is, you can avoid all that if you choose not to align yourself with it, take the code, and use it to suit your own purposes, as both Amazon and Facebook have done.

Here's the thing I'd like to highlight: Microsoft and Nokia are both free to use the free Android code and wrap a shell around it and compete that way too. Presto. No antitrust nonsense about not being able to compete with free, as Fairsearch, like the SCO Group before it, claims:

According to FairSearch, the "below-cost" policy "makes it difficult for other providers of operating systems to recoup investments in competing with Google’s dominant mobile platform".

They *can* compete with free. Just take the free code and make it look like your brand and make it do what you want it to do. There is absolutely nothing stopping them from doing that, except pride and stubborness. Nokia was already selling phones based on free code, and it *chose* to use Windows instead and is tanking the company.


Edited 2013-04-10 04:56 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

lemur2,

"They *can* compete with free. Just take the free code and make it look like your brand and make it do what you want it to do."

Google might make it easy for competitors to rebrand and sell android, but I don't think that view of competition would gel with the spirit of antitrust law - switching to android makes google stronger. Consider that if google charged for android's true & non-monopoly-subsidized costs, then competing operating systems would begin to look more attractive to vendors, some of whom would begin defecting from android in favor of alternatives. In other words, more competition, which in theory could be better for consumers. I'm not really sure how I feel about predatory pricing since, even after careful consideration, it seems to me that it is a painstakingly difficult line to draw.

Edited 2013-04-10 06:02 UTC

Reply Score: 4

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Google isn't forcing anyone to do anything. IF you want to ship "Android" you have to have certain apps installed


And THAT is what they're forcing vendors to do. According to what the article says, you can't ship a device running Android and only include certain apps, while not including others. It's either ALL or NOTHING. In other words, Nokia couldn't ship a phone running Android, with the Google Play store installed, and then include their own mapping solution while leaving Google Maps off.
"

My Android tablet shipped with Android, with the Google Play store installed, but left Google Maps off.

If Kogan Australia could do it, why couldn't Nokia?

I think the complaint is utterly bogus ... there is no valid complaint there at all.

Reply Score: 6

chandler Member since:
2006-08-29

[My Android tablet shipped with Android, with the Google Play store installed, but left Google Maps off.

If Kogan Australia could do it, why couldn't Nokia?


I've seen a number of small manufacturers who ship Google Play even though they have not gone through the compatibility program. Looking at the Google Play Developer Console, where all compatible devices are listed in order for app developers to manually exclude devices, I couldn't find any reference to Kogan, or anything that looked like a relevant model number. My suspicion is that they're not actually Google certified.

Reply Score: 4

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"[My Android tablet shipped with Android, with the Google Play store installed, but left Google Maps off.

If Kogan Australia could do it, why couldn't Nokia?


I've seen a number of small manufacturers who ship Google Play even though they have not gone through the compatibility program. Looking at the Google Play Developer Console, where all compatible devices are listed in order for app developers to manually exclude devices, I couldn't find any reference to Kogan, or anything that looked like a relevant model number. My suspicion is that they're not actually Google certified.
"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kogan_Technologies

http://www.gadgetguy.com.au/kogan-slides-under-google-with-a-119-ta...

You could well be right, perhaps they are not actually Google certified.

Then again, they do sell a number of Android tablets other than their own brand, including Google's Nexus brand:

http://www.kogan.com/au/shop/tablets-laptops/android-tablet/

... so perhaps they may be Google certified.

Either way, Google certified or not ... the question remains ... if Kogan can do it, why can't Nokia?

Edited 2013-04-11 06:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

"Google isn't forcing anyone to do anything. IF you want to ship "Android" you have to have certain apps installed


And THAT is what they're forcing vendors to do. According to what the article says, you can't ship a device running Android and only include certain apps, while not including others. It's either ALL or NOTHING. In other words, Nokia couldn't ship a phone running Android, with the Google Play store installed, and then include their own mapping solution while leaving Google Maps off.
"


I should have been clearer, my apologies. You can not ship a device with Android and call it Android. To use the term Android, you must meet certain minimums. Amazon and B&N both ship Android, without having any Google apps. They just don't use the trademark Android when they advertise. Just like Google uses Java as a language, but doesn't say it uses Java.

Reply Score: 3

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Sorry if it isn't certified as an Android Device it cannot be an Android Device. It is something that is very similar but not the same.

IF it doesn't have exactly the same set of features it cannot be called one.

This is basic requirements engineering.

Reply Score: 3

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

"Google isn't forcing anyone to do anything. IF you want to ship "Android" you have to have certain apps installed


And THAT is what they're forcing vendors to do. According to what the article says, you can't ship a device running Android and only include certain apps, while not including others. It's either ALL or NOTHING. In other words, Nokia couldn't ship a phone running Android, with the Google Play store installed, and then include their own mapping solution while leaving Google Maps off.
"

Yes, in fact, they could.

Reply Score: 3

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

My Xperia Pro shipped with Play Store, Youtube, and Maps pre-installed, but not GMail or Chrome or StreetView or a bunch of others.

My Optimus G shipped with Play Store, Youtube, Maps (with StreetView), but not GMail or Chrome or a bunch of others.

IOW, different manufacturers ship different Google apps on their phones, without installing all of them. Meaning, the argument as listed in the article is bogus.

Reply Score: 5

very funny
by TechGeek on Tue 9th Apr 2013 20:52 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

I find this part of the complaint just hilarious: “disadvantages other providers, and puts Google’s Android in control of consumer data on a majority of smartphones shipped today”, adding that this “predatory distribution of Android at below-cost makes it difficult for other providers of operating systems to recoup investments in competing with Google’s dominant mobile platform”.

1. This is what Microsoft did to kill Netscape.

2. Microsoft told the world for years that Linux was more expensive that Windows. Now the story changes?

3. Free software is largely a reaction to Microsoft's almost total control over of the OS market. Free is the one thing that can't be bought or sued out of the market.

Reply Score: 8

RE: very funny
by moondevil on Tue 9th Apr 2013 21:23 UTC in reply to "very funny"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

3. Free software is largely a reaction to Microsoft's almost total control over of the OS market. Free is the one thing that can't be bought or sued out of the market.


That is what patents are for, sadly.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: very funny
by acobar on Wed 10th Apr 2013 13:15 UTC in reply to "RE: very funny"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

That is what patents are for, sadly.


You seems right, I'm afraid.

Reply Score: 3

RE: very funny
by acobar on Wed 10th Apr 2013 13:12 UTC in reply to "very funny"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

3. Free software is largely a reaction to Microsoft's almost total control over of the OS market.


Even though it is a considerable push, I really don't see it as the main reason. Sharing solutions and lower the cost to maintain and improve them probably are. Its roots can, anecdotally speaking, be tracked down to the first time someone shared the most rudimentary steps to overcome a problem, i.e., at stone age.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: very funny
by PieterGen on Thu 11th Apr 2013 12:26 UTC in reply to "RE: very funny"
PieterGen Member since:
2012-01-13

This is right. Sharing knowlegde, data, methods and so on is the way science works. It's also the way culture works. (Metal rock music builds on R&R, which builds on black blues and white folk music, which build on.... etc etc.) The idea that music, or software, or scientific knowlegde are built up from zero by some genius (or some genious company) who works in isolation and then "patents" it, is rather silly.

Reply Score: 3

Epic turn-about
by SonicMetalMan on Tue 9th Apr 2013 22:10 UTC
SonicMetalMan
Member since:
2009-05-25

Get this..... picture Steve Ballmer dressed as Doc Holliday and spewing the classic line "My hypocrisy knows know bounds....."

LOL LOL LOL

Reply Score: 1

It would be the EU, wouldn't it?
by darknexus on Tue 9th Apr 2013 22:17 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

Only the EU would waste time even hearing this crap.

Reply Score: 1

vidarh Member since:
2011-10-14

Actually, no, any legal system in any country that's not an authoritarian dictatorship (and quite a few in countries that *are* dictatorships) would hear a complaint like this, as the foundation of a real legal system is that the courts don't make up their mind about the validity of a claim before they've actually heard arguments from both sides.

Reply Score: 4

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Actually, no, any legal system in any country that's not an authoritarian dictatorship (and quite a few in countries that *are* dictatorships) would hear a complaint like this, as the foundation of a real legal system is that the courts don't make up their mind about the validity of a claim before they've actually heard arguments from both sides.


Actually, no. Anyone can make a complaint about something that is not in any way actually illegal. The fact that a nonsense complaint was made should not oblige a legal system (in any country) to actually hear it.

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/De+Minimis

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Failure+to+State+a+Cl...

Reply Score: 0

The solution
by sb56637 on Wed 10th Apr 2013 04:38 UTC
sb56637
Member since:
2006-05-11

Too much bloatware shipped with Android phones lately anyways. This is clearly cutting into other companies' bottom lines. They should really just distribute new Android phones with only the Linux kernel source code and the Android Debug Bridge, and maybe a README file with links to some popular launchers and browsers for Android. Let users compile their own userland and apps.

Reply Score: 2

RE: The solution
by Alfman on Wed 10th Apr 2013 05:09 UTC in reply to "The solution"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

sb56637,

Sarcasm aside, many of us geeks would jump for a hardware-only bring-your-own-operating-system ARM portable device! Unfortunately very few companies will sell just hardware to geek niches. It's a bit sad, but often times the easiest & cheapest way to acquire good hardware is to buy off-the-shelf consumer devices and re-flash them with a custom mod.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: The solution
by sb56637 on Thu 11th Apr 2013 03:32 UTC in reply to "RE: The solution"
sb56637 Member since:
2006-05-11

Very true!

Reply Score: 1

Antitrust, there we go again
by wannabe geek on Wed 10th Apr 2013 09:41 UTC
wannabe geek
Member since:
2006-09-27

This is one more piece of evidence that antitrust legislation is about as bad as patents. No matter how careful a company is, as soon as it succeeds to serve the customer better than the competition, they are in trouble.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Antitrust, there we go again
by lemur2 on Wed 10th Apr 2013 10:35 UTC in reply to "Antitrust, there we go again"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

This is one more piece of evidence that antitrust legislation is about as bad as patents. No matter how careful a company is, as soon as it succeeds to serve the customer better than the competition, they are in trouble.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_competition_law

Competition law in the European Union has some similarities with the law in the United States antitrust, though there are some key differences; not least, while US law is designed to protect competitors from the power of monopolies, EU law is designed to protect consumers from anti-competitive behaviour.


EU competition law (antitrust law) is designed to protect consumers. If a company "succeeds to serve the customer better than the competition", then it should have nothing to fear from EU competition law. If trouble for a company which serves the consumer better does arise from EU competition law, then the law is broken and does not achieve its actual intent but rather the opposite. The Open Handset Alliance (and hence Google) would therefore have excellent grounds for appeal in the event of a (wrong-way, against the intent, about-face) decision against them in respect of this complaint from Microsoft, Nokia and Oracle.

Edited 2013-04-10 10:37 UTC

Reply Score: 2

wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

Okay, the theory sounds better. In practice, though, there are always ways to present damage to competitors as potential damage to customers, usually in the form of reduced choice as competitors go out of business.


If trouble for a company which serves the consumer better does arise from EU competition law, then the law is broken and does not achieve its actual intent but rather the opposite.


Exactly, and I don't think it can be fixed. IMO, once you abandon respect for private property and contract in favor of nebulous concepts of market dominance, anything goes.


The Open Handset Alliance (and hence Google) would therefore have excellent grounds for appeal in the event of a (wrong-way, against the intent, about-face) decision against them in respect of this complaint from Microsoft, Nokia and Oracle.


From the fact that the law is broken, it doesn't follow that the appeal would succeed. Broken laws lead to broken results, until the law is changed. I do agree that, in this case, the complaints seem to be without merit, even within the current legal framework. I don't see the EU siding with Microsoft against open source.

Reply Score: 2

IE bundled with Windows
by raboof on Wed 10th Apr 2013 11:48 UTC
raboof
Member since:
2005-07-24

What I find interesting is that no-one is making the comparison between this and the antitrust case against MS about bundling IE with MS Windows.

If I recall correctly, complaints were made to the EU that MS was abusing Windows' monopoly position by bundling IE with Windows, putting other browser producers at an unfair disadvantage. And they won.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/what-is-the-browser-choi...

People seemed to be pretty happy with that ruling (though I'm not sure what MS is doing about it nowadays). This one doesn't seem all that different.

Reply Score: 4

RE: IE bundled with Windows
by lemur2 on Wed 10th Apr 2013 12:04 UTC in reply to "IE bundled with Windows"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

What I find interesting is that no-one is making the comparison between this and the antitrust case against MS about bundling IE with MS Windows.

If I recall correctly, complaints were made to the EU that MS was abusing Windows' monopoly position by bundling IE with Windows, putting other browser producers at an unfair disadvantage. And they won.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/what-is-the-browser-choi...

People seemed to be pretty happy with that ruling (though I'm not sure what MS is doing about it nowadays). This one doesn't seem all that different.


With IE on Windows there were web-facing features like ActiveX which were strictly Windows-only.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ActiveX

If a web service used ActiveX, as many chose to do, then they required anyone wishing to utilise that service to be running IE on Windows. Hence IE was an attempt (one of many by Microsoft) at consumer lock-in to Microsoft's Windows platform.

The Android OS has no similar characteristics whatsoever. There is absolutely no lock-in to any app at all. Unlike other smartphone OSes which one could name, Android is the exact opposite of a walled garden.

http://www.howtogeek.com/106175/the-top-5-alternatives-to-the-andro...

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: IE bundled with Windows
by lucas_maximus on Thu 11th Apr 2013 10:00 UTC in reply to "RE: IE bundled with Windows"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

With IE on Windows there were web-facing features like ActiveX which were strictly Windows-only.


Nobody that developers modern websites require ActiveX, it is mainly used on bespoke intranet systems.

ActiveX is usually used for Browser plugins (Java and Flash).

If a web service used ActiveX, as many chose to do, then they required anyone wishing to utilise that service to be running IE on Windows. Hence IE was an attempt (one of many by Microsoft) at consumer lock-in to Microsoft's Windows platform.


The bolded statement is total bullshit. ActiveX is a client side tech not server side. You can expose a legacy ActiveX dll as a WebService but that no way ties you into IE.

Please don't tell lies.

The antitrust violation was that IE was bundled with Windows. In anycase, lets forget back at the time people actually wanted IE because it was better than netscape (IE4 was downloaded by a huge number of people on launch, which considering the speeds at the time is astounding).

Edited 2013-04-11 10:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: IE bundled with Windows
by lemur2 on Thu 11th Apr 2013 11:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: IE bundled with Windows"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

" With IE on Windows there were web-facing features like ActiveX which were strictly Windows-only.


Nobody that developers modern websites require ActiveX, it is mainly used on bespoke intranet systems.
"

This is why I used the past tense. Not the bold words above and below.

"If a web service used ActiveX, as many chose to do, then they required anyone wishing to utilise that service to be running IE on Windows. Hence IE was an attempt (one of many by Microsoft) at consumer lock-in to Microsoft's Windows platform.


The bolded statement is total bullshit. ActiveX is a client side tech not server side. You can expose a legacy ActiveX dll as a WebService but that no way ties you into IE.
"

It does, however, tie you into Windows, no bullshit. "ActiveX" and "dll" are Windows terms. They have no place in web-facing services.

Please don't tell lies.


No problem. Please refrain from them yourself.

The antitrust violation was that IE was bundled with Windows. In any case, lets forget back at the time people actually wanted IE because it was better than netscape (IE4 was downloaded by a huge number of people on launch, which considering the speeds at the time is astounding).


The anti-trust problem was not only that IE was bundled with Windows, but also that it was not offered for any other platform other than Windows, and that it included non-open methods such that some web services could only work if the client's browser was IE running under Windows. For quite some while I was offered Internet Banking services from my bank only if I was prepared to buy a Windows machine to access the Internet with. In the end I changed my bank.

To this very day, if I want to interact with some slow-to-change government departments in my country, such as the tax office to file a tax return online, then I am required to use a Windows machine and IE as the browser.

Utterly unacceptable.

Edited 2013-04-11 11:58 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: IE bundled with Windows
by lucas_maximus on Thu 11th Apr 2013 12:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: IE bundled with Windows"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

It does, however, tie you into Windows, no bullshit. "ActiveX" and "dll" are Windows terms. They have no place in web-facing services.


Choice of developers of said websites/web-application. At no point did Microsoft mandate them to write code this way. Also as we are using the past tense I think you mean "It did tie you into Windows".

No problem. Please refrain from them yourself


I wasn't speaking utter rubbish.

The anti-trust problem was not only that IE was bundled with Windows, but also that it was not offered for any other platform other than Windows, and that it included non-open methods such that some web services could only work if the client's browser was IE running under Windows.


A web-service cannot be windows specific. If it is then it isn't a web-service.

What you actually mean is that their client side code would only work with IE.

For quite some while I was offered Internet Banking services from my bank only if I was prepared to buy a Windows machine to access the Internet with. In the end I changed my bank.

To this very day, if I want to interact with some slow-to-change government departments in my country, such as the tax office to file a tax return online, then I am required to use a Windows machine and IE as the browser.

Utterly unacceptable.


This has nothing to do with Microsoft that your previous bank's web developers didn't know how to write cross browser code.

Also it actually makes sense why there is that requirement because most banks have very tightly controlled internal computing environments and they are probably only allowed to use IE, thus the site is only tested against IE and the bank can only probably guarantee the site works with IE.

Anyway wouldn't it have been easier to change your UA string than your bank?

Edited 2013-04-11 12:21 UTC

Reply Score: 2

I have to be a pedant.
by lucas_maximus on Thu 11th Apr 2013 20:16 UTC
lucas_maximus
Member since:
2009-08-18

The fact of the matter is that Microsoft, Nokia, and Oracle are free to ship Android devices with Play and the Google applications. They are free to ship Android devices with Play, but without the Google applications. They are free to ship Android devices without any of them, but won't be able to use the Android trademark. In fact, they are even free to cherry-pick whatever parts of the Android Open Source Project they want, and build their own custom device that still runs Android applications but comes bundled with Microsoft, Nokia, and Oracle technologies at the system level.


In requirements engineering (an important part of software engineering) says that mathematically it cannot be the same if it doesn't fulfil the same set of requirements.

For example, we use Use Cases to specify requirements. If not all the use cases for a project is not fulfilled then our code is deemed to not be implementing that feature. In the same way, if something does not fulfil all the requirements that makes something "Android Certified" ... then it cannot be Android.

I actually think this would be a bad thing because then we will have several different (but almost similar versions of the same code base). It will essentially be the unix wars all over again. There is a enough problems with what a webkit browser can be defined as in mobile ... imagine various different versions of Dalvik and the NDK.

Where I work we have different code branches based on the feature set we are adding the the product. We have 11 different versions of a very similar code base ... and merging back and forth from production usually takes one developer about half a day and it is pretty easy to make mistakes. I could only imagine the headache if there was several operating systems that is similar to Android.

Edited 2013-04-11 20:24 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Morons
by Lorin on Sat 13th Apr 2013 02:30 UTC
Lorin
Member since:
2010-04-06

They all do the same thing and its not Android but the operators that bundle bloatware

Reply Score: 2

Tables have turned
by TusharG on Sat 13th Apr 2013 18:13 UTC
TusharG
Member since:
2005-07-06

I am happy to see that MS and Oracle are complaining about google! Why? Because it just shows how the tables have turned! Few years back everyone was targeting MS and was asking to provide Software choices on their windows platform. Now things have/are changing, like it or hate it... google android has become kind of what Windows was in 90's and 20's in mobile domain.

Reply Score: 2