We’ve heard a lot of strange things coming out of Google’s corner of the earth lately, not the least of which is a statement from their CEO, Larry Page, indicating that he really wasn’t sure Android was a critical asset for his company. Sure he feels it is “very important” but only because it is “ultimately a vehicle for Google services like ads, not an end into itself.”
Page doesn’t stop there. He goes on to explain that the reason Google created Android was because early smartphones couldn’t seem to run Google services properly. I am sure those who are supportive of the operating system will be delighted to know that those who created it really have no visible respect for the platform and see it only as a delivery device for their other services (most of which are measurable failures).
The motivation behind the statements is actually Page giving a declaration of innocence at Oracle’s trial following the accusation that Android violates Java licensing. Page was intended to testify only to Google’s more broad policy decisions but ended up making Android seem entirely fly-by-night. Without Google’s (highly profitable) name behind the Android platform (as an operating system to be reckoned with instead of a method of serving out ads) it may soon become more difficult for other companies to succeed with devices that use it.
The more time passes the more opportunist Google appears. In the early stages of Android development the company actually partnered closely with Apple in the hopes of getting the default search provider status and generating a large amount of revenue. Many analysts also find it amusing that Google seems to make more money advertising on iOS devices than on those powered by their own Android platform.
Am I the only one who wishes Steve Jobs had been alive to hear this stuff?