we have to talk. We have to talk about your relationship with Google. Google screws you over and over, still you keep coming back to it. Don’t you understand Google only wants you for your developers, market share and code? Google really doesn’t care about you. It couldn’t care less. It just takes and takes and then, whenever it reaches enough power, it drops you like a hot potato. Every. Time. It does that. But just one “Summer of code” and you are back in bed with it. And continue to believe that it cares about it. But it doesn’t. It really doesn’t.
When and how, you ask? Fair enough. Let’s take a look about the most recent ways G decided to screw you over.
For example when it was lacking market share on Instant Messengers and then announced its new system will
piggy-back be based on the open, federated XMPP protocol. Didn’t it feel great when G contributed the famous Jingle Spec for live-audio/video-streaming? Totally understandable you fell for it, you believe it. So pretty and nice. Great Spec. Much awe. No wonder you convinced each and everyone to use its product (GTalk). It is an “open protocol” after all. But then, when they had enough market share, they just dropped XMPP – for no apparent, technical reason whatsoever. There is nothing it does or would do, G can’t do in a federated, open way – unless they want total control over. G got what it wanted: market share. It doesn’t need you anymore, Open Source. It never cared about an “open protocol”, it was its way of getting into that market.
Not yet convinced?
Blink, and there is a browser war
How about when Google realized that the next generation of power lies in the browser and noticed it doesn’t have
shit any market share there? It build its own browser, called Chrome/Chromium, based on the Open Source Webkit-Framework (a fork of KDE’s KHTML). It contributed a lot to that framework and to the market in general – as did you. Until its browser had a significant market share making it more interesting to have full control over the whole setup than being open and compatible – and so G announced Blink. With which G didn’t only fork the project but started another browser war with Apple by removing previously added features and making it incompatible on purpose. The supposedly technical reasons – again very much in question. With that history and G’s push to have DRM as part of the HTML5-Specs (WHAT THE FFFFFFFF), you really want to tell me G cares about an “open web”? Bullsh*t!
But there’s Android!
“But.. But.. Android!” You say. Right. Let’s talk about our favorite “Open Source”-Platform: “Android”. Yes, sure, the Source-Code of the Operating System is under an Open License and can be downloaded. And so are its apps. But unlike other Linux, Android isn’t an Operating System only, it comes with strings attached. Let’s be clear: the Smartphone Market is about the Apps and the overall Platform – the marketplace, the cloud-services and developer SDKs and services. With the stock apps not being maintained or updated, getting replaced with Google-infrastructure-tied Apps in their own version one by one, more and more Developer-SDK Features being tied to the Google Cloud Services, the open version of the platform lacks behind a little more day by day. It is a slow and subtle process.
Meanwhile more and more Apps – also from third-party vendors – have to rely on Googles own Play-Services and infrastructure. This way, overall Android is rendered “unforkable” today. Even with big resources like Nokia and Microsoft, you wouldn’t be able to pull it off. As it is also secured with contracts and legal shenanigans everywhere – Android is everything but open. Sorry, honey, but your favorite Android is probably the biggest of all those “Openess”-lies G has ever told.
Openwashing for the win
I am not writing this to make you made, Open Source. Let’s just be clear, Google is in it for the money. I am writing this because I care about you. You’ve been subjected to very well executed Openwashing by Google. But every time you get in bed with G, you get hurt and end up less powerful than before. G has just been using you all along. How do you spot whether G is lying to you? You can see their libs moving.
I know it’s hard to hear, but, OpenSource, it is time to break up with Google. Once and for all. It’s a harmful relationship and you are better off without it.