HP’s chief Meg Whitman, in a presentation at her company’s Global Partner Conference on Wednesday, was concerned that Google’s likely completed Motorola acquisition would create a chilling effect in mobile.From electronista:
While she knew Apple’s iOS by definition was closed, she was concerned Google might flip on the concept of openness now that it had its own hardware manufacturer, according to Channel Buzz. To her, this signaled the importance of Open webOS, since it might be the only option for some.
She went on to characterize Apple as “on fire,” but was more reserved about Android, calling it a fragmented platform. HP’s own perceived remedy to Android’s effect would take two to five years to “fully play out,” Whitman said.
Google itself has delivered self-contradictory messages about what level of hardware and software integration it wants. It initially announced the Motorola acquisition was for patent defense, but chairman Eric Schmidt has made statements showing an intent to pursue hardware development. The recent hiring of an Apple employee involved mainly in hardware also indicated an intent to control Motorola’s fate.
electronista reported, “While Google has often touted openness, frequent criticism has accused it of often being very selective. It withheld source code for Android 3 out of claims that it wasn’t ready to be worked with, and it keeps certain parts of even the opened Android code off-limits for developers. Third parties likewise can’t contribute code back to the main Android branch, making Google the only one that can dictate certain kinds of new features.”
Google could still prioritize Motorola phones for support, by giving them updates first, and giving them early access to hardware. Other manufacturers, like HTC and Samsung have publicly sang the praises of the Google-Motorola marriage, but have privately voiced concerns over the merger.