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Android Businesses Google Microsoft Operating Systems Patents The Almighty Buck

Finding Fault With the Low, Low Price of Android 364

Posted by timothy
from the armchair-quarterbacks-and-the-forces-of-envy dept.
bonch writes "Google's accusation of patent abuse toward its competitors has generated many responses, some of which have asked whether Android's free price is anti-competitive. Drawing comparisons to Microsoft's antitrust trial, in which they were accused of giving away Internet Explorer to drive competitors out of the browser market, Thurrott argues that Google's rivals are 'leveling the playing field' through patent fees by removing an artificial price advantage funded by monopoly search revenues. 'One could argue that Google is using its dominance in search advertising to unfairly gain entry into another market by giving that new product, Android, away for free. Does this remind you of any famous antitrust case?'"
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Finding Fault With the Low, Low Price of Android

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  • by Haedrian (1676506) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @06:51PM (#36991904)

    Its free. Lets be happy about it.

    Oh noes, its ruining my ability to sell stuff. Lets attack their patents to ruin it. Its got nothing to do with Microsoft's antitrust trial - that was something bundled with a sold product - this is something free which Google is using to sell something else (apps for example). Its kinda like how certain open source stuff works.

    • by zero.kalvin (1231372) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @07:00PM (#36992000)
      The analogy is flawed, they can't compare Android to IE. IE was shipped with WinOS. WinOS was the more or less the only used OS out there ( I mean for the general population) , that's why it was anti-competitive to give for free ( or why it was anti-competitive by MS ). Now the case with Android is that it does not enjoy a monopoly, the hardware is diverse, and on the same hardware provider ( Like HTC for example) is offering different OS. If they want to offer it for free then it's not the Open Handset Alliance's problem, if others want to out compete Android, then they must offer something distinguished so that people will consider paying for it. It is the same more or less with Linux on the desktop.
      • by rudy_wayne (414635) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @07:18PM (#36992170)

        The price of Internet Explorer was never the real issue. What created anti-trust problems for Microsoft was telling computer manufacturers that they couldn't install any other browser on the computers they sold.

        • I'd have to look it up to be certain (and who has time for that?), but I think the main complaint is that they intentionally designed the browser to be inseparable from the OS's GUI. So not only was it bundled with Windows, it was also impossible to remove. But in those days I'm sure they didn't think twice about strong-arming manufacturers to keep other browsers out as well.
          • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @07:59PM (#36992514)

            I'd have to look it up to be certain (and who has time for that?), but I think the main complaint is that they intentionally designed the browser to be inseparable from the OS's GUI. So not only was it bundled with Windows, it was also impossible to remove. But in those days I'm sure they didn't think twice about strong-arming manufacturers to keep other browsers out as well.

            IIRC correctly there was additionally the complaint that Microsoft designed Windows to crash Netscape.

            Basically there were all sorts of different ways Microsoft was (rightly) accused of anti-competitive behaviors. Pick and choose your favorite.

          • by postbigbang (761081) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @08:02PM (#36992538)

            And it was a lie; it was removable and not intrinsic to the operation of the OS. Microsoft just *wanted* it that way after standing on the shoulders (and farting on the head) of Netscape.

            The overall argument doesn't hold water. Free is fine. There are other Linux derivates on smartphones and tablets NOW with a similar price. Does Google do other evil stuff? Yeah, including not defending Android from litigation foisted on its OEMs.

          • by Aighearach (97333) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @09:24PM (#36993058) Homepage

            No, being inseparable was their defense.

            The accusation was that they leveraged their windows monopoly to get an unfair advantage for their browser. They claimed it wasn't a separate software product.

            What is missing in this case is google using the search dominance to assist android. They seem to just be claiming that since google makes a lot of money, spending that money is an unfair advantage. It just doesn't pass the laugh test.

            If google was refusing to include iPhone in search results, for example, that would be equivalent to the MS case. Going from the MS case opinions, if google was putting iPhone results on the third page or something, even that would probably be okay. They're not prevented from getting any natural advantage from their monopoly, they're just not allowed to use it to de-facto prevent competition.

        • by sjames (1099) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @08:19PM (#36992626) Homepage

          Exactly. Google in no way forbids Samsung or HTC from installing iOS on other phones in their product line. OTOH, APPLE forbids that. Also MS retained all rights in IE, they just happened to set the price at free. Google has GPLed Android. The practical difference is that they can't wipe out the competition and then jack the price up to $1000/unit on the existing product.

          This is nothing more than oxygen tank makers claiming that free air is an unfair infringement on their profits.

          That or they're well aware that their behavior is just short of mustache twirling and they are trying to talk their way into a good night's sleep.

          • Google has GPLed Android

            They used the Apache license for pre-3.0 and it's essentially closed source for 3.0. Their kernel modifications are about the only thing that they've GPLed.

          • by tlhIngan (30335)

            Google has GPLed Android.

            Incorrect. Android's license is GPL (Linux kernel ONLY) and Apache (everything else).

            In addition, it's also available in a COMMERCIAL license.

            Yes, there are two Androids. The one you get with your phone you buy is the commercially licensed one, access given only to OHA members (who get early access to the next software). The Apache-licensed one is AOSP (Android Open Source Project). Periodically Google opens the code and relicenses it to Apache, usually when a new version is release

      • by unrtst (777550) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @07:24PM (#36992212)

        Agreed, but more importantly (IMO), they aren't bundling Android with their "monopoly" produce of search.

        Microsoft didn't just give IE away for free... they took their dominant position of OS distribution, and bundled in a free-as-in-beer IE, AND (initially) did not provide any way to remove it. They also provided major "incentives" (read; deterrents) to hardware distributors to encourage them to only ship Windows.

        Google is not providing any additional incentives to handset makers who use Android. And many of those (ex. HTC) make just as many handsets that run other OS's, and push/market them equally. When Dell started selling some boxes with linux on them, it was only a couple, and they were underpowered; ditto for their no-os choices; and the price difference was not the equal of the cost of a Windows license.

        Google's offering is also free-as-in-freedom, which IE was not. You can argue about v3.0 if you like, but it's not officially in distribution yet, and the source to IE was never free.

        Also, when you go to google.com, you don't have to use Andoid, and it's not pushed on you either. A more comparative example - when a mobile user goes to google.com, they can still use the site just as well as if they came from Andoid. When a Netscape user went to Windows Update, it simply did not work - and still does not work - it requires IE.

        Can some similarities be drawn? Yes. Fortunately, by doing so, it should be obvious that they are actually making the right decisions with how to distribute this product, as opposed to the many anti-competitive choices that Microsoft made.

        • No, they're not bundling Android with Google Search, but are they bundling Google Search with Android? I don't know, just wondering. MS became a powerhouse because of its pre-Internet systems software whereas Google's beginning *was* the Internet. Their paths were different but they do seem to have converged.

          So far, I think Google has been a fairly respectable company. Microsoft? Not even on their best day.

          • Yes, but, for instance, Verizon sells Android phones with Bing preinstalled.

          • by Patch86 (1465427) on Friday August 05, 2011 @04:21AM (#36994768)

            And Apple sells iPhones with iTunes & Safari pre-installed, and Microsoft sell Windows phones with Bing search tools and probably some mobile form of IE. What's your point?

            On an Android phone, I can install many different browsers (as many as anyone could care to programme). I can use Bing on it, and if Apple wanted to release an iTunes product (I don't know if they have), I'd be able to use that too.

            What we're talking about here is Google funding their software with a non-standard funding model (that is, using mobile advertising revenue rather than point-of-sale prices). There's nothing stopping the others companies doing the same (not least Apple, who we're told time and time again by their fans that they're slaughtering the competition in terms of market share, or Nokia, who were number one in market share for a very long time). They're all just complaining that their business model is being trumped by someone else's business model, and they want the law of the land to fix it for them- which is not what the law of the land is for.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by nevermore94 (789194)

              Apple has not released iTunes for Android, nor do they currently intended to. I think this is where they are making a huge mistake. They are so focused on making iTunes an exclusive feature of the iPhone that they are missing out on all of the revenue that they could be generating if they also made an Android version. It is no different than making a Windows version of iTunes as well as a Mac version. Where do you think iTunes would be if they had left it only available on Macs? So, now I buy my music

        • Agreed, but more importantly (IMO), they aren't bundling Android with their "monopoly" produce of search. Microsoft didn't just give IE away for free... they took their dominant position of OS distribution, and bundled in a free-as-in-beer IE, AND (initially) did not provide any way to remove it. They also provided major "incentives" (read; deterrents) to hardware distributors to encourage them to only ship Windows

          I don't really care if Google is doing exactly the same thing as Microsoft did back in the day. I don't care whether corporations are doing what they do out of a desire to be evil or not. If somebody becomes so dominant in some market segment that they have a 80-90% market share that company has become too big a player. Why did you put the word monopoly in scare quotes when referring to Google and the internet search business? The last time I looked Google had something like a 85% share of the internet se

        • Ah, but Android is free as in beer, and a poorly cobbled together one at that. Not free as in speech. Go ahead, buy a phone from a carrier and vendor combo that doesn't bundle a bunch of crapware. Then take what you can find from the Android source repository, build it, and see how it stacks up to what your phone came with. If you've got a Samsung phone good luck getting that kernel built. If you're using a phone with a Qualcomm MSM7xxx chipset, good luck getting the GPS working (well). If you're usin

      • It may not be like that, but it certainly is like giving away the OS of game systems for free and heavily subsidizing the cost of the hardware to get people on your platform and then generate profit off the software sales. Every vendor does that, and we've got Simian running on millions of devices. I believe they are still the biggest install base, but were for a long while even so. I don't pay money for iOS on an iPhone either. Or maybe I do, but who can tell since it's all rolled into a big contract w
      • by hey! (33014) on Friday August 05, 2011 @09:06AM (#36995836) Homepage Journal

        You're not incorrect, but you are missing the point.

        What's at issue isn't whether primary monopoly (desktop OS or search) is legally obtained. What's at issue is whether once obtained that monopoly is used to gain monopolies in other markets.

        The issue with the browser isn't primarily the price; it isn't even really whether or not IE was an intrinsic and inseparable part of Windows. The issue in the Microsoft/Netscape case is whether MS used its desktop monopoly power to take control of the market Netscape was in. There's documentary evidence that this was Microsoft's intent.

        So the analogy's validity hinges on this question: did Google use its search engine monopoly to enter the mobile OS market or eject other players from that market?

        I think the answer is no. Google doesn't prevent other mobile OS's such as iOS from using Google services, and the APIs for Google services are open and documented. Google search is the primary search engine on my iPod touch, and GMail, Google Maps and Google Earth all work fine on it. Nor are users of Android devices tied to Google services. One of the hallmarks of Android's architecture is how easy it is to replace built-in services like contact management. It is possible that some handset makers may be tied to Google's services contractually as part of an Android co-marketing or technical support agreement, but if they don't want Android they aren't barred from Google's search. And if they wanted to go their own way entirely, say make a Microsoft service-centric Android phone without Google help, they could, although they'd have to stay clear of using any Google trademarks.

        Having a monopoly in one area does restrict you in others, but not to the point where you have to price and package your products to suit your competitors. It just means you can't use that monopoly to bar access to the market to your competitors.

    • by erroneus (253617)

      It's not free. Android needs hardware to run on. In most cases, hardware makers are reluctant to create upgrades for the hardware they sell because it gives them less incentive to buy the next model they want to sell. With the exception of a fairly small, though busy community, most people keep their phone's software as-is unless an OTA update comes down.

      This is not at ALL the same as bundling a browser with the OS. The only ones who see a benefit from "free" is the phone makers and with all the hacking

      • While I agree that it doesn't make the phones cheaper, and that it's not in the hardware maker's best interest to allow upgrades (for the reasons you mentioned, as well as the added support required by users who have problems with the upgrade), Android itself is still free. You can use it on multiple platforms (architectures), and no one's forcing you to "hook it up" to Google. You can download the source code, you can use it without paying anyone, and you don't have to sign up for anything in order to do s
    • by HermMunster (972336) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @08:22PM (#36992646)

      You cannot lend any credence to Thurott, he's a long time microsoft shill. He's also a proprietard that believes there is no room for free. That in and of itself is an indication of his fanboism.

      Offering free in exchange for some other remuneration is at the heart of barter.

      Microsoft's trial and subsequent conviction had little to do with free and everything to do with other practices stemming from favorable pricing policy that excluded competition from entering the market. It went like this: if you include other products besides ours you will lose your special pricing, which would in effect place their product out of reach of the consumer. If they sold a computer without their OS then they'd charged for a sale anyway.

      It had nothing to do with free rather it was due to exclusionary practices. By then Netscape was free too

  • Android is open source.
    • Not yet, but after this it may be... It might be the only way to avoid charges of dumping.
      • by derGoldstein (1494129) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @07:44PM (#36992400) Homepage
        This could actually make a dangerous precedent. If you give out free (as-in-beer) software, you're accused of dumping? So Flash, Acrobat Reader, anti-virus software, Quicktime, Paint.Net, and the Opera browser are all guilty? I really hope that if someone actually makes such a case, it'd be shot down instantly.
      • by jmauro (32523)

        You cannot be convicted of dumping if you charge more than the marginal cost of a product. In this case, the marginal cost to make another copy of the software is effectively $0.00. "Selling" it for free is a perfectly rational and legal thing to do.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by throbber (72924)

      Is it? I've been trying to find a recent source release for Android .....

      I think the best you can say is that Android *was* open source.

      • Android 2.3.5 is the most recently released (on July 25) by Google, and you can easily obtain the source from AOSP. I'm running it on my phone right now, thanks to CyanogenMod.

        If you meant 3.x (Honeycomb), that's really a whole different branch based on Android, and Google has said for a long time that it will be merged back in with the rest as a combined phone/tablet OS (like iOS is), which they call Ice Cream Sandwich. Android 3.x right now is basically a private fork for a few tablets to get them into th

  • by Superken7 (893292) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @06:53PM (#36991920) Journal

    I assume that the author quoted in the summary refers to Internet Explorer, which was bundled and forced down the user's throats, as you could not even uninstall it or the Operating System would stop working.

    How can this be compared to Android, which is just an open source project? CHOICE remains, as far as I know.

    • It would seem to be a new legal theory regarding the nature of leveraging a monopoly. Presumably the notion is that the money earned from the monopoly is the leverage, not the monopoly per se. However, last I checked, Google doesn't have a monopoly on search.

      If this were to pass the smell test, I imagine any sufficiently large company that has ever run a loss leader would be guilty.

      Note I'm not a lawyer, I just like giving bad advice in general.

    • Re:Exactly (Score:4, Informative)

      by thegarbz (1787294) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @07:17PM (#36992154)

      I don't think the article or summary writer actually know how anti-trust works. IE being free wasn't what caused the anti-trust case, it was the fact it was bundled to a product that was already considered a very strong monopoly in the market.

      About the only thing that could make Android an anti-trust case is if advertisers were forced to use an android phone to create and administer their ads on Google's services.

      • Another thing that caused the anti-trust case was the fact that IE not only checked to see if it was the default browser, it checked to see if it was the only browser. In the early days, it would even check for Netscape and un-install it if it found that it was installed.

        So does Android install itself on an iPhone, and un-install IOS?

        Android is an OS, not an application. A better comparison would be computers with the OS pre-installed. Shouldn't MS, Apple, Sun, IBM and HP joined forces and sued Commadore

  • by HBI (604924) <kparadine AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday August 04, 2011 @06:54PM (#36991930) Homepage Journal

    Haven't we seen enough of these paid shills over the years to understand their point of view? They get paid money by Microsoft to influence opinion so that Microsoft can sell more stuff. They are corrupted by the money, so it isn't an honest opinion. Therefore, why pay attention?

    I suppose some variety from the usual Florian dreck is nice, though.

  • "Free?" (Score:4, Informative)

    by BeaverCleaver (673164) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @06:54PM (#36991932)

    Isn't this a free-as-in-beer vs. free-as-in-speech argument? I may be way off-beam here but I think Android is open source and IE isn't. So no, this would be nothing like the MS antitrust case.

    • Who cares what Google's prime business is? The similarities to the MS antitrust case are nonexistent.

    • The free as in speech part is irrelevant. A company is generally not allowed to sell something at below the cost of production in order to drive its competition our of a market. Doing so is called dumping, and lots of companies have got into trouble for doing it in the past. Typically, the aim of dumping is to raise the price once there is less competition, but I don't think that's a required part of the definition. The difficulty is defining what the wholesale price of software should be. If Google ma
  • by hilather (1079603) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @06:55PM (#36991934)
    While Android may be free (if you exclude the price to use the android market) it is still very different from the Internet Explorer case. Internet Explorer is bundled with the Windows operating system, so its installed already whether you like it or not. Android is a choice by the manufacturer and a relatively cheaper choice then the competition. Manufacturers CHOOSE to use Android, and consumers CHOOSE to use Google for their search queries. Nobody is being forced into anything.
    • by sjames (1099)

      IF (and only if) Android had a built in an unremovable firewall rule blocking Bing searches, this would be anticompetitive. But they didn't.

  • Terrible (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DanTheStone (1212500) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @06:56PM (#36991946)
    Thank you, Slashdot, for informing me of a website I never, ever, want to read again.
  • by lkcl (517947) <lkcl@lkcl.net> on Thursday August 04, 2011 @07:00PM (#36991996) Homepage

    google is using money that they receive for providing a valuable proprietary service based in part around free software to then fund free software development.

    microsoft use the money they receive for providing technologically multi-man-century-backed proprietary products and services to further fund the development of technologically multi-man-century-backed proprietary products and services.

    whilst i don't like much of what google is doing (including releasing software under the Apache2 Software License, and including restricting access to free software it develops and then dumping it on people, in bazaar-like "like it or lump it" fashion and in many cases overwhelming unfunded free software communities to pick up the dog's dinner mess that google's developers made in "secret, bazaar-like fashion") it is nothing compared to what microsoft is doing.

    you literally cannot compare the two.

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      google is using money that they receive for providing a valuable proprietary service based in part around free software to then fund free software development.

      ...

      you literally cannot compare the two.

      And even if you could compare the two it is completely irrelevant. Anti-trust law does not take into account where the money comes from only the market factors in its distribution. Just because someone has a product that shits out cash does not mean they're not allowed to build something and give it away for free.

  • by TWX (665546) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @07:04PM (#36992026)

    Microsoft used their browser to try to lock in the market. They developed client-side CGI that only works in their browser and developed server-side software that works best with IE and uses those proprietary extensions.

    Google does not engage in lock-in with Android; non-Android and non-Google browsers work with Google services essentially as well as the browsers they provide, and their browsers (both the Android-integrated browser and Chrome) work on competitors' services. I can use Yahoo or Bing or Mapquest or whatever just as well as I can use Google.

    Google provides a lot of services. Internet search, Maps, E-mail, Productivity, Browser, Mobile OS, and the like, but they don't require one to use all. Certainly there's some question as to whether they're in a little hot water for providing links to their maps or other services through their search, but Yahoo and Bing do the same thing for that, so we'll see.

    • by PCM2 (4486)

      Google provides a lot of services. Internet search, Maps, E-mail, Productivity, Browser, Mobile OS, and the like, but they don't require one to use all.

      But it does integrate them rather closely to one another, and it tie them very closely to Android. If I'm not mistaken, Honeycomb tablets require you to sign on with a Google account before you can even use them. I don't know whether 2.x handsets do the same -- certainly all don't. (Mine required you to sign in with a Motorola account.) Once you have a Google account, though, that makes you more likely to use that same account to access Google services on other devices. Said services are money-makers for Go

    • by tgd (2822)

      Microsoft used their browser to try to lock in the market. They developed client-side CGI that only works in their browser and developed server-side software that works best with IE and uses those proprietary extensions.

      Google does not engage in lock-in with Android; non-Android and non-Google browsers work with Google services essentially as well as the browsers they provide, and their browsers (both the Android-integrated browser and Chrome) work on competitors' services. I can use Yahoo or Bing or Mapquest or whatever just as well as I can use Google.

      Google provides a lot of services. Internet search, Maps, E-mail, Productivity, Browser, Mobile OS, and the like, but they don't require one to use all. Certainly there's some question as to whether they're in a little hot water for providing links to their maps or other services through their search, but Yahoo and Bing do the same thing for that, so we'll see.

      But you can't use any of the "standards-based" HTML5 chrome "apps" in any other HTML5 browser, you can't do half the things on an iPhone with their apps that you can do on Android with their apps, so your examples prove your point by ignoring the actual platform the post was about (phones). Hell, Google gave away Angry Birds to get people to install Chrome. On the flip side, most of Microsoft's mobile apps current work better on the iPhone than WP7. Go figure, huh?

      Google and Microsoft are the same thing --

  • Microsoft is still using revenue from Windows and Office to fund its other adventures, including Windows Phone.

    Apple's virtual monopoly with iPod/iTunes funded (and led to) the iPhone/iPad/App Store.

    Also, I would argue that Google has a clearly stated plan to make money from Android while continuing to give it away: advertising. So, it's not like they are giving it away to achieve dominance and will then start charging for it.

  • Yes, And... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Bob9113 (14996)

    > "'One could argue that Google is using its dominance in search advertising to unfairly gain entry into another market by giving that new product, Android, away for free. Does this remind you of any famous antitrust case?'"

    Yes.

    And Google's competitors are also abusing flaws in the patent system.

    Having one set of abuses to correct another set of abuses doesn't mean that Google's competitors are good, or that the patent system is working. They are all opportunistic and sociopathic. You have identified a s

    • by Haedrian (1676506)

      What do you mean yes?

      How is Google using its search dominance to unfairly gain entry into mobile market? If I want to use Google's services on a symbian, iPhone, WP or whatever it still works. Google isn't forbidding competing mobile manufacturers from using its service, either.

      Its using the MONEY it gains from one to fund the other. Big. Deal. Its one company.

  • by chrb (1083577) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @07:08PM (#36992066)

    This entire proposal rests on the assumption that Google has a monopoly in search. Does it? The latest figures [searchenginewatch.com] show Google Search has 63.6% of the market. What percentage of the desktop market did Microsoft have in the nineties when it decided to tie Windows and IE together (in violation of its 1994 settlement with the DOJ)? I'm sure it was at least 90%.. Apparently it was news [computerworld.com] in Dec 1998 when Windows marketshare dropped below 90% "for the first time"...

    There's a big difference between Google's 63% and Microsoft's >90%.

    • by chrb (1083577)

      Dec 1998

      Correction: it was Dec 2008 when Windows market share dropped below 90% for the first time...

    • by PCM2 (4486)

      Actually the proposal seems to rest on more than that. Internet Explorer is "free" in the sense that every consumer who installs Windows gets a working copy of it for no additional charge. Android is "free" only in the sense that mobile carriers are free to use it, if they wish. I don't recall ever being able to walk into a mobile phone store, plunk down $50 for prepaid service, and walk away with my choice of any Android phone for no additional charge. Last I heard, mobile phone vendors used the Android OS

  • 'anticompetitive' (Score:4, Insightful)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @07:15PM (#36992138) Homepage Journal

    In today's world there is only one meaning of the world 'anticompetitive', and it means: didn't pay the politicians enough to be left alone to do business as one sees fit.

    So what if somebody is giving away free product? How about a free OS altogether? If they can do this and not go out of business, they should and consumers are the winners, not losers in this game. If the competition can't do anything about it, then it sucks for the competition. If the competition goes out of business because of it, it sucks for them. If eventually the company has to push prices above 0, this will just signal the market that there is a possibility to compete on non-zero price again.

  • However, what is a MUCH FAIRER comparison is the iphone and the apple app store. Want to use a different app store, sorry, your out of luck (relatively speaking). Andoird's open-ness is actually driving markets (amazon app store being an example of that) where Apple and iphone (or anyone else for that matter) are very actively trying to shut them down.

    Its also not fair to say android is free. Open source, yes, but if you want to produce a phone thats useful, you need those (licensed) google apps.

    Actually, c

  • As mentioned, android is not bundled with every google search you perform. This is not leveraging the monopoly, merely running a side business. I think ideally google would like to see android generate revenue for them in non-search arenas.
  • by tknd (979052) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @07:21PM (#36992190)
    It would only be anti-competitive if Google search was bundled and the ONLY search option provided. But that isn't the case as illustrated with Verizon Samsung Fascinate. [engadget.com]

    The phone does not use Google as its default search. And it doesn't utilize Yahoo! either. No, the Fascinate search engine defaults to Bing. Bing is used for the homescreen widget. It is defaulted to in the browser. It is present across the device... and there's no way to choose a different search engine. Like, you know -- Google. When we pressed Verizon reps about this, they let us know in no uncertain terms that the stock engine is Bing without a second choice.

  • Shill (Score:5, Informative)

    by srh2o (442608) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @07:23PM (#36992204)
    Paul Thurott is an unabashed shill. Nothing to see here move along
    • by kirkb (158552)

      True. I visit (and troll) Paul's sites frequently. Whenever it's a "slow news week", he'll attract pageviews by posting an inflammatory anti- MS or Apple or Google story.

      A man's gotta pay the bills, I suppose. Lord knows his Windows Phone 7 book ain't selling.

  • ...and also give Android away free.

  • by Pop69 (700500) <billy@UMLAUTbenarty.co.uk minus punct> on Thursday August 04, 2011 @07:52PM (#36992456) Homepage
    Shame there is already a precedent that makes his trolling totally irrelevant

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallace_v._International_Business_Machines_Corp._et_al [wikipedia.org].
  • Bing too! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kirkb (158552) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @08:08PM (#36992560) Homepage

    If Android is anticompetitive, then Bing most certainly is. Microsoft entered online search and advertising for the sole purpose of using its OS monopoly and buckets of cash to deprive others (specifically Google) of revenue. Proof? Losing more than $8Billion over the past 6 years isn't "trying to get a foot-hold". It's dumping. It's bundling. It's taking a dump in the pool so that nobody can swim there anymore.

  • by Locutus (9039) on Friday August 05, 2011 @01:03AM (#36994090)
    stupid ass comparison IMO. Windows is the monopoly and IE was forced on computer hardware vendors to include that with the operating system. There is no comparison with users making the choice to use Google search and the free/OSS Android version( minus Google apps and app store ).

    LoB
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Friday August 05, 2011 @01:05AM (#36994094) Journal

    This is a shill article because the lie is so fucking obvious to detect. First of all, Android is made by the Open Handset Alliance. Google is of course a very major player in it same as Nokia was a major player in Symbian BUT it is called an alliance for a reason. Google doesn't work on it alone.

    Second, and this is the big whopper. Where do you think MS gets the money from to fund WM7? If it had to charge full market price the handsets would cost a fortune because it would have to pay for ALL the losses of all the previous windows mobile versions. The constant rename campaigns alone would set you back a hundred bucks per license.

    MS is using its monopoly on the desktop and office software market to fund its other operations, from the original x-box (which was economically a dismall failure) to MS phone software which so far has NOT had the kind of sales to pay for its own development costs.

    And Apple? Same deal, no upstart company could have done the iPod whose profits were used to then launch the iPhone and then the iPad. The major advantage Apple always had over smaller players is that thanks to its massive reserves it could place orders so large that it got discounts nobody else gets making their players cheaper by comparison (MB for MB).

    So basically Google and a LOT of other players pooled their resources to create a product they could all benefit from and made it available for "free". So? MS used its monopoly resources to create a product nobody else can use for free. Apple used it fast wealth to create a product nobody else can use or even create gadgets for without paying them and they often just refuse to license stuff.

    Who is being the bad guy again? Oh of course, Google for being less evil. What people forget about Googles "Don't be evil" slogan is that doesn't say "Be good" it just means don't be as evil as the rest... and in American Business, that is a pretty low standard.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Friday August 05, 2011 @02:42AM (#36994408) Homepage Journal
    are any of the competitors prevented from doing ANYthing with android ?

    no.

    case closed.

    noone has to endure higher prices because a bastardly private corporation wants to push its proprietary shit on customers from the price the want.
  • by DarthVain (724186) on Friday August 05, 2011 @11:14AM (#36997034)

    It's these Android commies that are ruining our capitalist paradise!

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