Businessweek recently reported that Google is tightening the lids on what happens to Android. Yes, that is the open source OS for mobility computing. Open source? Yes. But Google does not want many fragmentations.
Do not be deceived. There is nothing open in these systems except having a strategy that enables quick and fast adoption. When it comes down to what matters, you will notice that Google does not make Android open. Only the best customers get to see the newest versions and they have the opportunity to profit before anyone else.
The truth is that companies are hiding under this mantra of open source to project different business agendas. With a market share of 34%, Android would not have been there, within this short time, without this strategy. When they acquire the OS, they knew that was the only way to compete with Blackberry, iOS and Symbian. It is largely surviving and dominating and not open-sourcing a platform for any good.
Another example is WordPress which is an open platform for blog. Unfortunately, the best of the platform goes to the VIP account holders who can put ads in their accounts. They pay around $2,500 per month to license the wordpress platform. Why is that possible? Because they make the wordpress.com open and many people use that platform and based on that population, they can make money at the top of the ceiling. If they say it is open, let them allow this blog to enjoy the benefits of the VIP account.
Of course, we should be happy that they make some parts “open”, yet, they must thank us for taking them. Why? Without us, they will not be making the kills on top of the pyramid. The web and mobile system have the network effects. The more people are in a platform, the better. So companies are ready to appear to be making something free to get the masses, but when a true premium value comes, they know those that deserve it – the paying customers.
Android does it as it determines winners by giving their OS to whom they choose on time before others. Wordpress does the same by providing classes of accounts in an open space. But we know one thing: nothing is open – firms are just advancing their business agendas in a model that works best for them.