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

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