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back to article Jobs dubs Google's 'open' Android speak 'disingenuous'

Apple cult leader Steve Jobs has hit back at Eric Schmidt over the Google boss' repeated claims that Google is "open" and Apple is "closed." During a surprise appearance on Apple's quarterly earnings call on Monday afternoon — "I couldn't help dropping by for our first $20bn quarter" — Jobs called Schmidt's characterization " …

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Jobs Horns

Jobs has a point about...

The question is: Who's "fragmented" and who's "integrated"?

"Fragmentation" is an issue, but for the err.. more enlightened(?) users, it's really usually only a minor one.

it's like desktop OS's... Apple only has to cater for a certain hardware subset on the desktop. M$ and GNU/linux etc have to cater for nearly everything else. But, we've been doing that for _YEARS_.

We'll get round that if they don't tie our hands behind our back. Honestly, If that were our only problem, we're home free.

The problem, imho, with android devices as we have seen most starkly recently with the G2 is lockdown. Although google purports to have an open source OS, telcos and device manufacturers still have the option of making life quite difficult for the more inquisitive user.

Google in my mind, would have to balance appeasing the likes of us end users and the likes of the open handset people. Whom do you think they listen to?

However, as long as there are android devices out there that are still hackable to the point I still have some degree of reasonable control over, it will be the platform of my choice.

We'll see what Maemo Meego thingo wotsit will bring.. but the fact that it's still not here apart from on a n900 is a bit worrying. I wonder how much lockdown such devices will eventually have.

Why why why why why lock down devices? Just bill us for bits transmitted and keep it at that.

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Re: Jobs has a point about...

You are somewhat right, but you are missing one thing. You have to understand the difference between the "open" in "Open Source" and "open" in "Open Systems". The former is a philosophy, while the latter is a business model.

"Open Systems" is an industry catch all for a platform which is based on conventions and standards, in which every manufacturer offers only a single piece of the solution. This leaves invariably leaves the end-user as the systems integrator, as Jobs pointed out.

This problem is easily addressed in the "Open Systems" model by some parties fulfilling the need to integrate parts for the end-user. But then this party becomes a vertical integrator, abstracting the choice of the open manufacturers from the client, and in essence you end up with the same "close" system model.

"Open" works for large organizations when they have an IT team able to integrate the parts themselves. However, as Jobs suggested, it doesn't always work like that. If your sole supplier is IBM or Dell, you are not buying "open" anymore, nor taking advantage of the "best out there", but purchasing what IBM or Dell decide to sell you.

What you call "lock down" is just the integrator protecting their interests by ensuring a coherent vision and a unified experience.

Apple eschew this façade completely and embrace the integrator model at once.

-dZ.

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But, we've been doing that for _YEARS

exactly. ANd there is still tons of bugs and security issues, unstable drivers and all kinds of other misery.

For the reference : i don't own a mac and am a windows / unix user. But Steve has got a point.

Create a controlled environment. We provide the hardware and the software and the compiler. You can only do what we let you do. Step out of line and we boot you off our system. OF course this brings the danger of control freakery but, think about it.

I'm going to write a piece of code to read a certain memory area where sensitive information is stored to steal someones credit card info.. Err, sorry can't do that... compiler wont let you go to that area. ok, i'm going to hardcode it in a handcrafted assembler. err, it won't pass through our software submission procedure. we run code profiling you see. if there is access to that region of memory in your code that is a no-no as we provide an api to retrieve a key. that means we have a bit of code somewhere, that you need to call, that will verify if you are entitled to the contents of that memory. try to bypass that and we'll catch it.

fine fine. i'll compile it with my handcrafted tool , find a way to cram it on the phone using email attachment or security hole. ok, you can attempt that but we will close the hole in the next update.

That was the whole concept of having a ring 0 ni the processor. any code not running with ring 0 privileges does not get access to what is in there. except the programmers botched it by providing backdoors. ( it has to do with the fact that code in ring0 runs in ram and is thus subject to possible changing. )

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Jobs Horns

ANd there is still tons of bugs and security issues...

One thing: for a production box (ie a server) which would you rather trust?

a GNU/Linux/BSD box you set up yourself?

Or

an OS X box?

Just saying...

(I'm not including windows here but please feel free to say windows if you like)

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Choice...

Sure, potentially there may be more holes in Android,

Firstly, I do not know how secure Dalvik is as a JVM from all kinds of exploitation. Secondly, because one can run unsigned code on the thing, a user blindly run any and everything.

But, no OS as you well know is free from exploitation.

I'd rather freedom (and the price that it comes with, ever vigilance) than lock down.

If I break something, I have no one to blame but myself. On Apple, I have to ... err.. trust Apple.

I agree, it's not for everyone. But we should have a choice.

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Anonymous Coward

That was a truly inspired speech.

Mr. Jobs, you have supassed IBM and Microsoft; what I have read in this article was the single most epic amount of FUD I have personally ever been exposed to. Bravo! It's nice to see Apple on the leading edge of innovation again.

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Jobs Halo

lunch munch

I think you'll find that, according to George Costanza, eating whilst on an important 'phone call helps to give a more relaxed air to the whole conversation and put the other party at ease.

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Grenade

Eating on a phone call

Gets the phone hung up on you.

Get some manners, Jobs.

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Anonymous Coward

@hplasm

Manners? This is the man that regularly replies to random emails from customers with one line gems such as "You're holding it wrong", or "We don't care about you". I think it's a little late to teach him manners :D

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Grenade

Not to mention...

...all smartphones have this problem; meaning share our responsibility onto all the other makers who don't have the problem.

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FAIL

Open

>And we'd be very pleased if the world dropped this open and closed nonsense. Thanks to both Apple and Google, the words are now close to meaningless

Google's meaning of Open is really easy to grasp:

http://source.android.com/

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Re: Open

FAIL again!

Schmidt is actively muddling the terms by interchanging the context between "open" as in "Open Source" (the philosophy) and "open" as in "Open Systems" (the business model). Remember, Microsoft Windows is a key component of an Open Systems solution, yet there is no source available.

Obviously this confusion works to influence the geeks' perception.

-dZ.

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FAIL

LOL

Good luck building that for anything other than an emulator or a G1.

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Anonymous Coward

@LOL

Huh? Get a clue.

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Jobs Horns

Freedom

Once could also make the argument the options are freedom of choice and vendor lock-in.

I choose freedom and therefore do not buy Apple.

Others choose vendor lock-in in the expectation they will be rewarded for their loyalty. I say a company that sells hardware with 25% profit margins after tax looks after their shareholders, not their customers.

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25%?

If you think 25% is looking after shareholders more than customers then you've obviously never worked in manufacturing.

One could also make the argument that THAT'S WHAT A COMPANY'S SUPPOSED TO DO, YOU DOUGHNUT!

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Grenade

mm

I'm all for nice open googliness and wouldn't touch apple locked in stuff with a barge poll but 25% profit margin isn't exactly a huge mark up!

Given the price of Apples kit I'm sure it must be more than that!

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So Google looks after you?

After it's collected all your personal info and your web habits.

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Jobs Horns

No! Android is OPEN! And powered by unicorns!

"Yes, the man's arguments are bit muddled. But he's certainly right that Android faces a fragmentation problem. And we'd be very pleased if the world dropped this open and closed nonsense. Thanks to both Apple and Google, the words are now close to meaningless. ®"

And when it starts up, magic open pixies come out and give me a Linux blow job. And there will never, ever, ever, be any bugs in it.

Also, Steve Jobs can be readily compared to such historical characters as Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin.

And that's basically a summary of the rest of the comments underneath this one.

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Gold badge

Damn it...

Godwin in six.

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Happy

@ The Other Steve

You, sir, are a great big trollpants!

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Happy

"Trollpants"

Is my new favourite word.

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Jobs Horns

The distortion field isn't working this time

C'mon now Steve, even the reality distortion field cannot hide that Google licenses Android widely on a lot of different devices, while Apple keeps its OS to itself.

Keeping things so closed has worked so well with market share in competition with Windows, so we need to repeat this again with Google.

Perhaps you will end up with more than 5% of the market this time, or most likely: NOT!

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FAIL

RE: The distortion field isn't working this time

"Keeping things so closed has worked so well with market share in competition with Windows, so we need to repeat this again with Google."

It might have worked with market share... but Windows is shit.

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There's a difference between a PC and a phone

MS got a monopoly on the desktop in a very different time, selling to very different customers.

I'll happily keep my Android device and put up with a few minor foibles but I can certainly appreciate why my wife loves her iPhone and why the average man or woman in the street would prefer that type of experience.

The fact of the matter is that for most people the iPhone does "just work"* and for that reason they'll continue to sell and Apple's marketing machine will continue to try to present them as an aspirational device.

It all comes down to this - the iPhone is EASY and does 99.9% of what 99% of people want to do. We can go on in our geeky way about how it isn't "open" and how Jobs is taking our "freedom" but the fact of the matter is that we are in the minority. Deal with it. Or, better yet, stop linking your own personal happiness to whether or not your choice of phone OS has the largest market share or not - IT DOESN'T MATTER!!

*By "just works" I of course don't mean they don't go wrong, I mean that you don't need a degree to make it work. Anybody who tries to claim that it means they don't go wrong is just as guilty of issuing FUD as MS, Apple, Google and the Linux crowd.

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And what a disaster that turned out to be

Years ago people may have put up with the frustrations and security issues surrounding Windows when they didn't know any better or could call their IT departments for help. But they wont put up with such nonsense on their phones today.

This wont be a re-run of the 1990's, people suffered way too much back then. This is 2010. Stuff is meant to just work. Now many have experienced iOS they wont be swapping this for the fragmentation, integration and security issues of yesterday. Issues that Android and its conservative followers wish to have foisted upon us... Again!

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Sensible

Bloody hell. A sensible post on an Apple/Android topic.

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IT DOESN'T MATTER!!

+1 for voice of sanity, are you sure you're in the right place ?

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RE: There's a difference between a PC and a phone...

Eloquently put. I think the thing that the fanboys on all side miss is that the market place is big enough for everyone and that with an almost equal share, innovation will continue at a great pace. They have gotten so used to pissing contests based on market share and it's irrelevant. Use what works for you. Simple really!

As an aside; free, freedom and choice are mentioned an awful lot. This "choice" and "freedom" is deemed only OK when it follows the rules of those espousing their own particular moral view. They seem to believe that choice is only valid if choosing their particular ideology. That's where I personally have a problem. As a consumer it's my right to choose closed and managed if I want. Sadly a lot of FLOSS people seem unable to grasp this...

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WP7?

This is where Windows Phone 7 gets useful! Android is old windows mobile 6.x period.

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FAIL

Imbecile

"Keeping things so closed has worked so well with market share in competition with Windows, so we need to repeat this again with Google.

Perhaps you will end up with more than 5% of the market this time, or most likely: NOT!"

Market share != quality. By your primary-school thinking, BMW, Rolex, Mercedes, Aston Martin, etc etc are all shite? You stick to your lowest common denominator, thanks, I'll stick to high-quality, low-market share, and be happier for it.

It stinks of anti-Apple-tards around here this morning.

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Proof?

"The iPhone is the least secure mobile phone platform on the market to date having suffered more vulnerabilities than any other mobile phone platform in history." <remaining dribble trimmed>

Link? I didn't think so.

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Politics

Authoritarianism vs Libertarian. Personally I always favoured the industrial/new money world to the old Feudalism, sure the new system is a bit more fragmented and we have lost of people who don't have a title but still find themselves with money/land or what have you. But I think we've put together an impressive set of systematic functions to cope with the scary freedom.

It's no less what we do in the Free Software world. Making the freedom understandable and systematic.

Apple of course, and Jobs and anyone who aspires to his thinking, is two sandwiches short of a Lordship psychosis.

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Badgers

Did you just fail the Turing Test ?

I'm notl sure that I understand what you're trying to say.

I _am_ sure that you don't.

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Jobs Horns

One phone...

Well of course when people write apps for the iPhone they only have to test on one phone - Apple only make one bloody phone at a time, and they expect the sheep to all buy the latest one when it comes out.

Android is still Android even on other devices. If Steve Jobs really got his way with making developer's lives easy, we'd all be using a single phone with a single OS. Probably some sort of Nokia.

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Stop

Except they don't just drop old models...

... unlike some Android manufacturers.

This year's iOS release is the first that doesn't support the original 2G iPhone, so it's had 3 years of software updates before it got to the stage where the hardware really can't handle the new update.

Contrast the number of Android phones that have already been dumped by their manufacturers, with no more official updates.

Now, I'll happily agree that developers only have to support 3 generations of iPhone and iPod Touch, plus optionally the iPad - so 6 or 7 devices, instead of the couple of hundred plus devices Android developers have to cater for, but "they expect the sheep to all buy the latest one when it comes out" just isn't true.

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Anonymous Coward

This is actually worth debating ?

English is open and fragmented. Latin is tightly controlled, integrated and closed. Which is the more successful and useful language ?

Western democracies are open and fragmented. The Soviet Union was tightly controlled, integrated and closed. Which model is still around ?

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Anonymous Coward

Errr...

..The Chinese still have communism and they are now one of the worlds economic superpowers (despite what the west may say). Palestien, Afganistian & Iraq have democracies, but apparently they are the wrong sort.

As for:

Western democracies are open and fragmented

Open? Ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaaa.

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FAIL

The answer is not the one you want it to be...

...the more successful and useful language in your comparison is Latin.

It is the root of a great many languages, it forms the basis of so much of every-day terminology, and Latin itself is still in use today thousands of years after it was first spoken. English is a fraction of that age, and a significant portion of it is Latin or Latin-derived.

e.g. (sorry, that's Latin) "fragmented" is derived from Latin. As is derive.

Heck, English as a word itself is from a Latin root.

QED.

Ooops, there goes that Latin again!

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Wow...just, wow

Phewee, you sure know how to group together completely dissimilar things. Hang on, I reckon's I can plays at this game too:

Android is open, but so is space, and space is cold, and having a cold is caused by a virus, hence Android is a virus!

Or maybe the other way 'round: Whats the difference between Android and a mallet with a cold? One's a sick duck; I can't remember the rest, but your mothers a whore.

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Silver badge

hmmm...

I hate to nitpick but in actual fact English is a Germanic language. The Latin bits came to us via French, but the grammar, syntax and general wibbly bits are german. We really speak a fresian in french knickers (but, to be accurate, fresian is a language that descended from the same parent as english, which makes them distant cousins rather than direct descendant/ancestor).

Latin is a dead language. It isn't "spoken" anywhere outside high catholic mass and educational institutions. Its descendants are not Latin, though they share some features of it, just as I am not my grandfather, and just as latin is not proto-indo-european.

Still, a better comparison for the op to make would have been English or Spanish vs French. the former are loose, widely spread and "fragmented" but still work together and are spoken by a significant majority of the world population. The latter was once the language of diplomacy and art, but fell out of favour in part because someone wanted to peeserve the "purity" of the language.

posted from my n900. i suspect it is fresian to android's english...

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Go

Damn!

My fridge is a virus! And it has no chips so it can't be a cow. post hoc ergo propter hoc.

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Big Brother

You gotta be kidding....

"Western democracies are open and fragmented. The Soviet Union was tightly controlled, integrated and closed. Which model is still around ?"

I can only assume you've done a Rip Van Winkle & haven't experienced the same last thirteen years in the UK which I have.

Open????????

Democracy??????????

FFS!!

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WTF?

Uhm no...

... not really. If English were mostly Frisian (please note the spelling; after all, you're the one claiming to be an expert), we'd still be talking like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QE0MtENfOMU

Latin's influence on English is undeniable, but is seen primarily in vocabulary. Latin was the lingua franca of the Enlightenment and Renaissance, so there's that influence too, as well as that of Old French. But these new words didn't usually replace existing words; they just added to them, with each option shaded with its own nuances and meanings.

Some of the grammatical changes came from the English themselves. Which is why English went through three phases—the YouTube link above goes to a recording of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" read in its original Middle English—and neither Old, nor Modern English would be intelligible to Chaucer.

Modern German reads like Shakespearean English—"Sprachen Sie Deutch" translates most literally into "Speakest thou German". Yet modern English doesn't even retain that any more. It has a very loosely decoupled grammatical structure compared to most major languages.

Latin gave birth to Old French, Spanish, Romanian and Italian. Its influence can also be found in the Germanic languages too, although, being on the peripheries of the Roman Empire, that family retained rather more from other influences, including the Celtic families and Scandinavian influences.

Many languages are now importing loan words from English, instead of vice-versa. Italians use phrases like "cliccare il mouse" : "cliccare" was not only imported from the English "click", but has even been naturalised already. Even "mouse" is pronounced as the English would, instead of according to the phonetic Italian rules.

And it's not just Italy: Slovaks are seeing even greater changes.

English is therefore giving birth to new dialects already, even though it is a much younger language. Its influence will still be felt long after the nation that gave birth to it has ceased to exist.

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VIVA COMMUNISM

Still both. China, Mynamar, North Korea, Vietnam i could go on...

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