Before Android, Google thought Microsoft would control the market for smartphone operating systems

Before Android, Google thought Microsoft would control the market for smartphone operating systems
The current court battle going on between Google and Oracle has revealed some interesting information. As you might recall, Oracle claims that when Google developed Android, it used Java APIs (owned by Oracle at the time) for the open source OS without licensing them. After a series of court battles, the Supreme Court sent the case back to lower court which is where both sides are currently battling. Oracle is seeking $9.3 billion from Google.

While their previous court appearances gained notoriety due to an Oracle attorney who revealed sealed information about Google's profits from Android ($31 billion in revenue, $22 billion in profits), the new lawsuit has resulted in the dissemination of even more interesting information. Before Android was unveiled in 2008, Google co-founder Rich Miner made his case for an open source mobile OS in a written letter to colleagues working with him at Google.

Miner wrote that without an open source platform, "Microsoft will own the programmable handset platform." He put down Palm and RIM and said that Symbian was becoming a Nokia-only operating system. Now, years later, Google's open source OS Android owns a commanding lead in the global smartphone market with Apple's iOS next. Microsoft owns a minuscule share of the business, and the one-trick pony now called BlackBerry is relying on Android. Palm thought that it had found its miracle with webOS, but its failure to market the Palm Pre and offer a viable apps market, led to an opening that Google gladly took advantage of to make Android what it is today.


source: Quartz

FEATURED VIDEO

46 Comments

1. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

And without Microsoft, Google would have been a nobody. Google has good products, but need to fix their conditions.

4. meanestgenius

Posts: 21794; Member since: May 28, 2014

Agreed. The same can be said for Apple, which would have disappeared without Microsoft's aid.

10. sgodsell

Posts: 7236; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The author got it wrong. Oracle has taken Google to court over the API call names. However the source code to the Java for Android was never Oracles. At the time there was so many open source Java runtimes for Linux, Pocket PCs, and more. Not to mention all the open source Java compilers. Its like IBM trying to take someone to court because that someone uses the names for IBM's RPG, or Cobal for their version of Cobal or RPG. Oracle doesn't have a leg to stand on for this one.

14. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Also the Java APIs were owned by Sun at the time, not Oracle Sun's CEO at the time, Jonathan Schwartz, actually celerbrated the release of Android (Oracle has deleted his blog, but its archieved on various websites) Jonathan Schwartz also gave evidence support Google in both this and the previous trailhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/05/suns-jonathan-schwartz-at-trial-java-was-free-android-had-no-licensing-problem/

20. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

TIL ORACLE is actually an acronym: One Rich Asshole Called Larry Ellison

26. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Beat me too it. Apparently Alan doesn't know the difference between Oracle and Sun.

16. meanestgenius

Posts: 21794; Member since: May 28, 2014

Nowhere in my post did it say I agree with the author concerning Oracle and Google.

29. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 718; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

Lol! What did Apple owe to Microsoft if Microsoft owes Apple because Apple design the first running computer complete with user interface?

31. meanestgenius

Posts: 21794; Member since: May 28, 2014

42. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 718; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

Don't bring an article related to money. We're talking about operating system here and application as well. Other than bankruptcy because of scullery. Bring me a good reason as to how Apple owe Microsoft in a form of softwares.

46. meanestgenius

Posts: 21794; Member since: May 28, 2014

I brought you FACTS. Whether you choose to accept the reality or be blinded by fanboyism is up to you.

50. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 718; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

Okay, I conceed.

49. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Because not only did they save them from bankruptcy they also entered into....tada...a patent truce if you so will that also gave them patent crossing with MS for many years.

2. AppleVersusAndroid unregistered

"One-trick pony now called Blackberry," damn ... shade.

3. tedkord

Posts: 17318; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Right?

5. IAMBLCKJ3ZUS

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

The day of reckoning is coming the Surface Phone will take over.

6. meanestgenius

Posts: 21794; Member since: May 28, 2014

I am eagerly anticipating the Surface Phone, and the HP Elite X3. The industry desperately needs a disruptive third player.

25. sgodsell

Posts: 7236; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Microsoft could have made a Surface Phone a while ago. It's not like we haven't seen x86 smartphones. Asus Zenfone and their version 2, Motorola Razr I had an atom phone back in 2012, these are a few examples of x86 smartphones. The problem has been the WP ecosystem. Everyone compiles and optimizes their apps to work on Microsoft's WP Arm platform. Therefore those compiled apps don't work on x86 Processors. That's why Microsoft came out with Universal apps (Universal only to Microsoft's platforms). So developers can develop agnostic apps like Android. Only Android has been agnostic since day one, and now has 2 million apps to prove it. So building up an app ecosystem is going to take time. Apple is in the same predicament, and that's why Apple came out with their Swift.

27. meanestgenius

Posts: 21794; Member since: May 28, 2014

NONE of what you just said disproves the FACT that we desperately need a disruptive third player, and Microsoft CAN be that disruptive third player in mobile phones.

39. mitchytan92

Posts: 92; Member since: Mar 02, 2015

Microsoft can be the third disruptive player but the problem is so far it is just failing to do so. Also just curious what is the big deal about universal application? I didn't go read up much on it. Is it just the ability to run the universal applications on both windows computers, phones and Xbox? If so, won't the UI designed for touch screen phones not work well on mouse?

41. meanestgenius

Posts: 21794; Member since: May 28, 2014

They haven't put much effort behind being the disruptive third player (yet) because Nadella is building the foundation for Windows 10 first, like better cloud experience, universal apps, etc. Microsoft is building up the ecosystem first, then they'll release the hardware. If you follow any news about Microsoft (you'll have to look elsewhere for an abundance of it, not here), then you'll see what I'm referring to. Microsoft has the money and resources to play the "long game". As for your question about Universal Apps: https://blogs.windows.com/buildingapps/2015/03/02/a-first-look-at-the-windows-10-universal-app-platform/ http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsofts-new-windows-10-universal-app-platform-a-superset-of-winrt/#! http://www.engadget.com/2015/01/21/windows-10-makes-microsofts-dream-of-universal-apps-come-true/ Hopefully, these articles will answer your questions about Universal Windows Apps. There's much more on the Internet.

43. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 718; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

But you are forgetting the fact that how will those apps run on an RISC chip if it was programmed and coded for a CISC chip? Another factor is the GPU wherein majority of these apps requires an Intel HD, NVIDIA or an AMD GPU plus software optimization. Recently, there was a rumor that the Surface phone will use an RISC chip from Qualcomm. Which BTW is an RISC chip. Same goes for the adreno gpu. Can you explain how apps will run on a RISC chip? I've been following a lot of news whether its android, ios or a microsoft. You are forgetting the fact that majority of windows apps needs a keyboard and a mouse. If you add those universal apps. This will include desktop apps that can be old or new. Now, explain to me. Are those apps optimized for touch based controllers? Can you explain how will you play CSGO on a touchscreen phone without keyboard or a mouse?

47. meanestgenius

Posts: 21794; Member since: May 28, 2014

I'm not "forgetting" anything. Don't assume. I'm willing to bet good money that Microsoft will work that all out. And a "rumor" is exactly that until the actual thing is presented.

48. meanestgenius

Posts: 21794; Member since: May 28, 2014

Also, I thought you said you followed a lot of news, Microsoft included? If so, how didn't you see this: "Microsoft's tools will allow developers to tweak a single app's interface based on both the form factor that it's running on and whether it's being used with or without a mouse and keyboard. Demonstrating how it's done using Visual Studio, Kevin Gallo, Microsoft's developer ecosystem director, said that developers will be able to "do some tuning to make apps pop on each form factor." On the Xbox One, developers will also be able to tweak their apps to work with the controller and Kinect." That was taken from here: http://www.theverge.com/2014/4/2/5574596/microsoft-universal-apps-run-across-windows-tablets-phones-pcs

51. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 718; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

You said universal apps. Which means it includes apps that exist all the way during the WInXP. This means you've included these apps that I've been playing: Yuri's revenge(with mental omega mod), Command and conquer generals + zero hour, command and conquer tiberium wars, CSGO, left 4 dead 2, star wars empire at war, Empire earth the art of conquest, conquest frontier wars, homeworld 2, doom 3, star wars jedi knight: Jedi outcast, cossacks back to war. Now as you said "tools will allow developers to tweak a single app's interface based on both the form factor that it's running on and whether it's being used with or without a mouse and keyboard" How can you be sure that once you are using your finger, you know what touches it will do? And for these statement: "do some tuning to make apps pop on each form factor." These apps that I've mentioned are old apps which they required a keyboard in order to function well. If I remember you can only connect one bluetooth device per smartphone. How can you do two devices in one Windows phone? Also, if you remember these articles:http://www.howtogeek.com/219782/is-windows-10-backwards-compatible-with-your-existing-software/ If you are in desktop mode. You can apply those compatibility modes. Now if you are on the mobile version. How would you change it?

8. AppleVersusAndroid unregistered

I honestly doubt it. If we use the Surface tablet as an example, albeit a critical success and modest sales, it's nowhere near the top-selling tablet and people will still choose Android/iOS over Windows most of the time. Unless they aggressively market it and have a market ready OS this time around, it'll just sink.

12. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

I hope note 6 come with dual boots. Windows 10 and Android

17. HildyJ

Posts: 338; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

One thing to keep in mind is that Microsoft takes the long view. The other phone operating systems are dead or dying; Microsoft just keeps chugging along. I'm old enough to remember the debate over whether the Mac OS could beat Windows; now it barely beats Win8 and is well behind Win8.1, XP, 10, and 7. As far as the Surface, the only tablet segment that is growing is those with Win10. When it comes to phones, the Surface Phone may be interesting but I think the key will be Continuum and Cortana.

21. meanestgenius

Posts: 21794; Member since: May 28, 2014

Agreed. A lot of people don't realize how tenacious Microsoft can be. They'll keep going and going. And their plan is a sound one that I think not too many people quite understand. I also think part of the key will be Universal Apps.

22. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

How long have you have you been living under that rock? You been missing the headlines showing tablet sales decline while Windows 2-in-1s rise in sale? Or you drawing that conclusion from headlines claiming the iPad XL outselling the Surface? FYI, the Surface line is just a model product for the Windows Platform, there are dozens of other OEMs selling similar products to offer similar experience. apple can outsell 1 of them, the Windows Platform as a whole will still outsell their offering.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.