Posted Mar 27, 2011 16:07 UTC (Sun) by lambda
In reply to: Google Strategy
Parent article: Google Holds Honeycomb Tight (Business Week)
Given that the Android userland code is under permissive licenses, yes, Google has the right to release the source of new versions at their convenience. That doesn't mean that I have to agree with their decision. It also doesn't mean that those new versions are open source, or free software.
In order to be open source, you need to release the source. It's pretty black and white. Android 2.3 is open source. Android 3.0 is not. A future version of Android might be open source again, or Google might release the source of Android 3.0 in the future, but that's just speculation at this point. It doesn't matter what Microsoft or Oracle does; whether Android 3.0 is open source or not depends only on what Google does, not what other companies do.
Right now, Android 3.0 is not open source. There's nothing to argue there; you can't get your hands on the sources. Do I hope that they release the source in the future? Sure. Do I expect them too? I think there's a good chance, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting. Remember, Solaris used to be open-source, as OpenSolaris, but Oracle later killed the open source project and closed development again. There's nothing preventing Google from doing the same, and while I have higher expectations of them than Oracle, the fact is that at the moment, you cannot get source access to Android 3.0, meaning that it is not open source.
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