There’s sort of a universally accepted meme that Google’s Android platform had become to the mobile ecosystem what Microsoft Windows was to the desktop, albeit without the gross, per-copy licensing and maintenance fees Microsoft bankrolls with Windows.
Strip away Android’s open-source mein, which some would deem pretense because of the proprietary code the search engine allegedly lifted from Java, and Android is Windows for your pocket: phones and now tablets made by multiple manufacturers distributed by multiple parties and retailers all over the world.
Google’s Andy Rubin could probably speak till he’s a shade of Android green in the face on why the Android as Windows comparison doesn’t hold up.
I invite him to do so. Meanwhile, let’s have fun.
Earlier this week, Google’s legal eagles filed a motion to have a California court dismiss Oracle’s claims that it should owe the database maker 50 percent royalties from Android, including sales derived from mobile ads running on Android phones.
Preposterous, Google’s lawyers claimed. Android and advertising operate independently of one another. That will play out in court. In the meantime, let’s use something patent expert Florian Mueller broached regarding the legal spat.
Noting that Google could actually be forced to pay 150 percent royalty damages to resolve the Oracle dispute if the court finds the company willfully infringed on its Java patents, Mueller argued that Google would actually have to begin charging licensing fees for Android. He wrote:
“Even in purely financial terms, there’s serious doubt as to whether Google would be able to meet Oracle’s requirements while continuing to make Android available without charging a per-copy license fee.“
So offering the Android open-source software free would no longer be tenable.
One might call that another point in the scorecard of those who like to compare Android to Windows. One might further note that such a move would make Windows Phone, RIM BlackBerry and other platforms more attractive to hardware OEMs and carriers.
One could envision a scenario where Android actually loses share to Windows Phone because Google has to begin charging OEMs to license it.
Wow. Insane, silly or a dark possibility? Tell me your thoughts.