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Day April 1, 2011

Google vs. Android Part V

When I began the series of posts on Google vs. Android I put forward some questions about the business logic of Google becoming an operating system supplier, especially as that role can be seen as being counter-productive to Google’s strategy.

I noted three strategy costs associated with a zero priced systems software bundle.

  1. A opportunity cost with other platform vendors, namely Apple who might retaliate against Google’s core business.
  2. Versions of the software being usurped and modified to provide distribution to Google’s competitors.
  3. Damage to Google’s brand and positioning and negotiating power in relation with other members of their value chain.

More fundamentally, Google-as-systems-software is asymmetric to Google-as-cloud-software and contradicts the value proposition that Google enables value in the web not in accessing the web. Android appears to be a nod in the direction that systems software still matters.

In my numerous posts on the need for integrated development