In an interview with PCMag, Rubin said,
“Look, the world doesn’t need another platform. Android is free and open; I think the only reason you create another platform is for political reasons. Why doesn’t the whole world run with [Android]? They don’t like the people who developed, or “not invented here [NIH]“
I note some irony in the suggestion that Windows Phone is superfluous when the acquisition of Android was an attempt to limit the growth of Windows Mobile. But that historical footnote is not entirely relevant here. The point Rubin raises is that WP is politically motivated. And by political he suggests two things: that there is mistrust of Google or NIH among potential licensees.
The NIH argument falls flat because anyone considering WP7 would also have NIH issues with Microsoft. So that really leaves only the question of trust.
Why would anyone mistrust Google when they offer operating systems software? How about these reasons:
- There is the IP hidden liability issue
- There is the question of who is selling whom
- There is the question of split loyalties
- There is the question of copyright infringement in the Android Market
- There is the Nexus One
It’s clear that Microsoft is buying its way back into Mobile (it went so far as to pay incentives and guarantees to established developers to convince them to port existing apps or write new ones for WP7), but that is not a political ploy. It’s just good old fashioned brute force.
The mistrust that Google earned for itself with operators, device vendors and potential content partners is rooted in its business model with Android. Hiding the costs of “openness” behind a veneer of freedom. In addition, putting forward competing products like Nexus One threaten the entire value chain.
I’d say the politics of Microsoft licensing are a lot more transparent. Redmond is the devil they know.