> Android is a 'full stack' while OpenWRT or OpenEmbedded isn't? What we are seeing is the power of marketing.
True, altho to the corps the enormous resources behind android suggest that much like MS Windows, it isn't going away anytime soon. Once someone's that big, even a fatal wound won't take them out immediately -- the zombie tends to continues moving for years, often decades, long enough for dependent companies to make other arrangements. (How long has it taken SCO to die? How long has Novell been headed down? Even the DOJ's actions didn't take out IBM or MS, tho neither one is the factor it once was, but not many companies can survive a patent onslaught from IBM.)
OpenWRT and friends... not so much, at least from the perspective of the corps. From the FLOSS perspective we know there's enough *WRT projects around that even if a couple die there's all sorts of alternatives, but that's not the view the corporate types see.
> And a win for Android is not a win for 'Linux.' Above the kernel is an all alien stack that would run just as well on a closed kernel or the BSD one.
While I agree with the sentiment, both the general consensus kernel community and the GNU/FSF folks (well, at least Stallman, one wonders if that meme would die out if he did...) would disagree, tho for different reasons.
To the GNU/FSF folks or at least Stallman, the system as a whole is GNU/Linux, with Linux being just the kernel. And while it might not exactly be a /win/ by his freedomware perspective terms, Android deployment of the kernel into millions of additional devices isn't something to laugh at, regardless of one's viewpoint on the rest of the stack.
As for the kernel community, Linus specifically but in general the consensus of the community as a whole, really doesn't care about userspace that much, both with the kerne's explicit userspace exception to the GPL, and in repeated confirmations over the years. Additionally, they explicitly don't even care if the kernel as deployed is user replaceable or not, see both the tivoization lockdown and GPLv3 debates. As long as the kernel sources are available under the GPLv2 to be hacked on for deployment to /other/ devices (which may or may not themselves be locked down), Linus and by consensus the community in general explicitly don't care if they can hack and replace the kernel binary as shipped on specific hardware, whether as hard/firm/soft-ware.
So from that viewpoint, Android is indeed quite a win for Linux, regardless of wehther an end user can do anything with the kernel firmware image in the device he actually has and regardless of what the userspace stack looks like, as arguably, only the kernel is "Linux", and Android seems to be quite a win indeed, for the kernel.
That said, regardless of whether it's a win for the Linux (kernel), from the perspective of a freedomware lover, Android is a rather mixed blessing, indeed.
(Since the Google/Oracle legal fight became public, I've thought, and previously posted here, that perhaps the best outcome might be that Android continues gaining market share as the legal issues wind their way thru the courts, so it's well established by the time the decision comes down, but that when it does, Google loses in its attempt to skirt both Java's GPL and commercial licenses and is forced to either call a halt to further deployments or go full GPL (in this scenario, Oracle refuses a commercial license on terms Google can live with). True, that won't /force/ a copy-lefting, but given a large enough share of the market, they'll go GPL rather than call a halt to their money printing machine. That in turn will force all the heretofore servantware folks on the platform into similar decisions, ideally with similar outcomes since it's a money-machine on a smaller scale for them too. But for that to work, Andorid must not be just comparable but have a huge lead over the nearest competitor, or the money machine simply won't be big enough to overcome the inertia. But imagine the fallout from an either-GPL-comply-or-stop-ship order if Android has, say 60% of the market by then!! Of course it's unlikely to turn out that ideally, in part because even if the Oracle/Google thing happened that way, some will certainly not be able to get the required releases from their upstreams no matter what they'd do if they could, but one can certainly dream. And if it did happen, the vacuum created by anyone unwilling or unable to go GPL and thus continue shipping would be quickly filled by others! Anyway, one can certainly dream, and if one's going to dream, might as well dream big! =:^)