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Android 'free operating system' not exactly free

Posted: , by Ken N.

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Android 'free operating system' not exactly free
An article from Business Insider details how, despite the initial cost of licensing a Windows Phone 7 device, an Android device might end up more expensive. One key reason they offered is that any legal dispute over the OS would be handled by Microsoft, whereas the OEM would be responsible for their legal defense in the case of Android.

Another factor cited is the cost of device driver engineering. Business Insider notes that Android device manufacturers have to develop their own drivers for the OS, whereas Windows Phone 7 drivers are built in, reducing engineering expenses and overall development time. A final powerful difference is the cost of third-party licensing. Android OEM's must pay for the licensing of Microsoft Office programs, as well as audio and video formats, but WP7 will include those licenses with their own.

All this isn't really a qualitative judgment, it's just to say that the Android OS is "free", but still costs OEM developers in the long run. The Windows Phone 7 OS will be much more of a plug and play experience, which is either a good or bad thing depending on how customizable you like your OS to be.

source: Business Insider via WMPoweruser

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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:48

1. QWIKSTRIKE (Posts: 800; Member since: 09 Mar 2010)


Yes, it may cost more if there are added tweaks to be made to Android for customizing it to run the way of each different manufacturer. That said having the choice to customize Android the way each manufacturer wants it is their choice. Also they have a choice to tweak it any way they see fit as HTC has done. Freedom to do it your own way may cost more, but that choice is always worth paying extra for. At least Android partners have a choice to distribute the OS as they see fit! This in some cases may be a good thing.

posted on 03 Sep 2010, 10:19

2. BlackberryUser (Posts: 609; Member since: 26 Jun 2009)


Marketing 101, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Android is a better OS, it's been proven time and time again. How long was Windows Mobile out before Android was even thought of.

posted on 04 Sep 2010, 10:44

3. RobC (unregistered)


Hmm... with the approaching release of WP7 I find it pretty odd that I've seen a few stories around lately that paint Google/Android in, shall we say, a less than positive light while either WP7 is noted as an alternative or Microsoft is at least indirectly related to the plaintiff in the piece. Could this be the work of a few individual but zealous Microsfot/Windows fans or is Microsoft targeting Android covertly while most of the regulatory eyes are diverted away from them for the time being...

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