Google Android Is Open Source: LinuxCon
Google's top-open source exec explains at the LinuxCon conference why Android is open source and why open source is a key part of Android's success.NEW ORLEANS—Google Director of Open Source Chris DiBona took the keynote stage at the LinuxCon conference here on Sept. 16 with a key message: Android is open source. DiBona plays a key role at Google in helping to make sure that his company does right by the open-source community and is compliant with open-source licensing requirements. During his keynote, DiBona explained that from the very beginning of Android's strategic development back in 2005, a core underpinning of the platform has been about being open. The challenge for Google in 2005 was that it was difficult to get its search engine onto phones. At the time, the handset market was a closed system and Google had to go through a carrier-by-carrier process to get on phones. Android in part was an effort by Google simply to make sure that its search engine could be easily deployed on any phone. "We wanted people to have the same experience on their phone as they did on the desktop, but no options were available in open source," DiBona said.
With Android, Google wanted to provide a new minimum level of capabilities that users should expect from a phone, DiBona said. What Google didn't want was to have to continuously cut deals with carriers in order for Google search—or, for that matter, any given Website—to run on any phone.