The Google Revenue Railroad: Whoo Whoo

February 14, 2014

I don’t pay much attention to mobile anything. I am nosing near 70, and I find life works just fine without checking a mobile device every few minutes.

I read “New Android OEM Licensing Terms Leak; “Open” Comes with a Lot of Restrictions.” The main point is that open does not mean “open.” Since the artful explanation of the meaning of “is,” most of the words used by folks possess fluid definitions.

“Open” is a good example. Open invokes images of free and open source software. As my columns in Online Searcher document, open is usually closed. For software, open is a way to open the door to consulting services.

Open in the Google context is similar. The monetization angle is different. Google has a huge appetite for revenue. The system Google has constructed over the last 13 or so years is an expensive puppy to operate, upgrade, and maintain.

The goal of Android is to provide cash in little ways (conferences) and big ways (advertising).

The write up states:

The agreement places a company-wide ban on Android forks, saying OEMs are forbidden from taking “any actions that may cause or result in the fragmentation of Android” and specifically disallows distributing or encouraging a third party to distribute “a software development kit derived from Android.” Google has full control over the countries its apps are released in and distribution methods used to distribute the apps. This allows Google to restrict its apps to the Play Store and will keep them out of competing stores like Amazon and Samsung. Google also stipulates that the Google apps must be distributed free of charge, and they cannot be modified, reverse engineered, or used to make a derivative work, and ads are not allowed to be placed in, on, or around Google’s apps.

This is news? To whom? Online provides a terrarium for monoculture. The trajectory of Google has been evident for a decade. Now a single example of how the online service takes steps to ensure its sustenance is surprising.

I am turning off my mobile phone, silencing its beeps that inform me of “new” news. For those curious about Google and some of its revenue seeking actions, I have provided a list that links to versions of my different essays about Google. Most of these fill in the gaps between my books Google Version 2 and Google: The Digital Gutenberg. You can find the list at

My view is that increasingly robust monetization is chugging down the Google tracks. There are few signals on this railroad. Look before crossing.

Stephen E Arnold, February 14, 2014



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