Google’s Enclosure of Android

steampunk_andoid_caseI do like Ars Technica.

I while back Ars Technica wrote an article about Google’s Play Services on the Android.  They treated Play Services as the solution to a problem, i.e. getting updates to the phone. Carriers, hardware vendors, and users all make this hard.  Platform vendors often run into the problem that their installed base becomes immovable.  Play Services routes around these guys, it has its own update path.  Ars Technica even went so far as to suggest Google might not need to make Android OS releases as often.

At the time I disappointed.  They didn’t seem to recognize how this was really about moving Android from Open Source to proprietary. Well, this new article certainly fixed that! Now they get it.

Google is doing an amazing job of locking down the actors the complement this business. They are gaining control of the users, the hardware vendors, the carriers, and the app developers.  If you do business architecture around Open Source you need to understand this stuff!  The article is a handbook for how to enclose an open source project.

Did they plan this?  Or did it just emerged organically from the nature of the business?  I’d love to know the people who can do the former, but the latter is much easier on one’s conscience.

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