Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 25th Sep 2015 18:54 UTC
Android

Google doesn't hold a monopoly over the entire smartphone market, and it doesn't have the same level of influence globally. But in the two areas where its Android operations have aroused regulatory scrutiny, the United States and Europe, Google enjoys a practical stranglehold over the mobile operating system market - thanks to Apple's non-participation and Microsoft's chronic failure to compete. It's arguable that other tech giants, such as Apple and Amazon, are better subjects for antitrust investigations, but US and European authorities are right to at least consider the circumstances of Google's relationship with its hardware partners.

I don't know if Google has a monopoly over the phone market - and neither do you, because the laws regarding monopolies are ambiguous, incredibly complex, and differ per jurisdiction and sometimes even per sector - but I do know that as far as I can tell, Google isn't blocking anyone from shipping Windows Phone devices, nor is it stopping developers from publishing applications for other platforms or even in other Android application stores, nor does it stop anyone from taking Android's code and building something that competes with it (see China and Amazon, for instance).

In fact, we should thank Google for building and releasing Android, because without it, iOS would've evolved a lot slower, we'd have less choice, and we could've even been stuck with just iOS and something from Microsoft - much like on the desktop.

That being said - I'm always in favour of keeping very close tabs on powerful companies like this, and in my view, the Microsofts, Googles, and Apples of this world should always be kept an eye on. Better yet, in an ideal world, all code in our computers and mobile phones should be open - from operating system to firmware - because of how crucial they've become to our society, but alas, that will never happen because reasons.

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RE: Comment by majipoor
by kaiwai on Sun 27th Sep 2015 05:34 UTC in reply to "Comment by majipoor"
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

It isn't even that, the biggest problem is Google using its dominance in many parts of the online world to maintain Android's dominance in the smartphone market. For example, can third parties make a YouTube application? sure, but it'll be half assed and half baked when compared to the secret API's that Google is privileged to meaning that any operating system that tries to go up against Android is either faced with creating a crippled third party version when compared to the one created by Google or they have to try and go up against Google by recreating those services from the ground up. If there was an easy solution it would be forcing Google to either open up all their API specifications and mandate that no Google applications (on desktop, smart phone or tablet) can use secret API's thus all applications are on the same level or force Google to provide all the applications they provide for iOS and Android on Windows Mobile 10 as well.

Edited 2015-09-27 05:36 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by majipoor
by christian on Mon 28th Sep 2015 10:33 in reply to "RE: Comment by majipoor"
christian Member since:
2005-07-06

It isn't even that, the biggest problem is Google using its dominance in many parts of the online world to maintain Android's dominance in the smartphone market. For example, can third parties make a YouTube application? sure, but it'll be half assed and half baked when compared to the secret API's that Google is privileged to meaning that any operating system that tries to go up against Android is either faced with creating a crippled third party version when compared to the one created by Google or they have to try and go up against Google by recreating those services from the ground up. If there was an easy solution it would be forcing Google to either open up all their API specifications and mandate that no Google applications (on desktop, smart phone or tablet) can use secret API's thus all applications are on the same level or force Google to provide all the applications they provide for iOS and Android on Windows Mobile 10 as well.


Or the user just goes to http://youtube.com instead on their platform of choice through the browser?

Why should Google open the API from their websites to their applications, any more than my bank opens up it's API from online banking to its banking app?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by majipoor
by Lennie on Mon 28th Sep 2015 18:12 in reply to "RE: Comment by majipoor"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

It isn't like it hasn't happened before that a company was forced to properly document their API's and protocols because of their market position.

EU forced Microsoft to document all their APIs and protocols:
http://www.toptechnews.com/article/index.php?story_id=121009GB25BY

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/openspecifications/default

(now I can still find stuff Microsoft didn't document, but it's gotten a lot better)

I do think there is a big difference, when Microsoft was forced to this the APIs and protocols were all about running software locally.

In your case it's about Google services, this means if you open up the APIs to allow for more competition. You aren't going to get the same effects. Because Google will still get the data.

If you really want to open things up you'd need to force Google to create a system which allows existing apps to connect to other services.

(obviously kind of silly, because why would Google keep funding Android development ?)

Edited 2015-09-28 18:19 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2