The Future Is Hypocrisy

Google’s Jonathan Rosenberg pens a post in Google’s Think Quarterly titled: “The Future is Open”. And what a gem it is. Let’s dissect it a bit, shall we? We shall.

Three years ago this December, I sent an email to my fellow Googlers, attempting to pin a clear definition on a term being batted around quite a bit: Open. I was concerned that within our walls it meant different things to different people, and that too many Googlers didn’t understand the company’s fundamental commitment to the merits of being open.

Your concern is well founded and still not resolved. Further, it is not a term being batted around by the world, it’s a term being batted around by Google — let’s keep that in mind because as far as I can tell “open” is really only important to Google. I’ve yet to meet someone who bought an Android device because it was “open”, typically it is because the sales rep pushed it on them.

No longer can a company so thoroughly control its customers’ environment.

Except in the case of Apple’s ecosystem. Where, if the customer buys into the entire ecosystem (OS X, iOS, iCloud), their technology environment is very well controlled. Except in the case of Google’s ecosystem. Where, if the customer buys into the entire ecosystem (Chrome OS, Chrome, Android, Google Syncing), their technology environment is very well controlled. Ditto, Microsoft.

They know the primary motivation of an open system is product excellence; if the company tried to impose some other agenda on it, the developer audience would detect it immediately and revolt. In committing a product to openness, the company surrenders the ability to do anything but make it better for the user.

I’m not going to rip into this too far, but the entire paragraph is highly hypocritical. The first half of the first sentence is pure bullshit. This may be Google’s primary motivation, but it is simply not the primary motivation of all or even most “open” systems. I’d further argue that Google is imposing another agenda on it, as seen by the delay in “opening” Google releases up and their tight control over device certifications.

Today, we’ve shot up to 51 percent, and odds are good your smartphone was made by Samsung, HTC, Motorola or another Android partner.

Or Apple and Nokia. Maybe that slipped his mind, or maybe he really believes that by not mentioning the competitors no one will know there are competitors? Nah…

Actually, I’m going to stop here, because I think you get the point. This is nothing but PR fluff with Fox News fact checking.

Originally posted for members on: October 16, 2012
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