Why is this Google's responsibility?
So google wants to make things proprietary? Apple does this too, far more restrictively, and no one (i.e. Microsoft) complains when they can't put their own launcher on a phone. Where is the story about how Microsoft is going to start flashing iPhones in-store? NOWHERE!
Now, just because parts of Android are open-source, doesn't mean Google is in any way responsible for making the open-source portion succeed. At least they contributed TO the open-source (unlike Apple that took the open-source (BSD) and ran with it).
But no, somehow Google is the bad guy here. Now, I'm no apologist, the decisions Google makes annoy me and my wife to no end. Why do things have to change or disappear or be so user-unfriendly? I don't know. But if you don't like Google, you should just move.
Oh wait, move to what? Apple and Google are your only two options here. Microsoft SHOULD have been a third option, but their own B.S. screwed them over and now they're complaining about how hard it is to work within Google's restrictions.
Microsoft should take off where Cyanogen left off. You don't need Google Maps, you don't need Google Search, and you don't need the Google app store, right? After all, the biggest complaint is being locked-in to Google's services. So branch and create your own.
OH, you WANT the Google services, you just want to use them to supplement your own, lacking services? You want people to use Bing search and Bing ads, but you NEED the power of the Google app store? Well, I'm sorry, but if you want that FOR FREE, you have to use Google's search and Google's ads. No free lunch!
Microsoft. Cyanogen, and others want all the benefits of the powerful Google-sphere, without the costly membership fees.