Launching a software platform is complex. Openness is vital to the long-term success of a platform, since openness is required to attract investment from developers and ensure a level playing field. However, the platform itself must also be a compelling product to end users.
That's why Google has committed the professional engineering resources necessary to ensure that Android is a fully competitive software platform. Google treats the Android project as a full-scale product development operation, and strikes the business deals necessary to make sure that great devices running Android actually make it to market.
By making sure that Android is a success with end users, we help ensure the vitality of Android as a platform, and as an open-source project. After all, who wants the source code to an unsuccessful product?
Google's goal is to ensure a successful ecosystem around Android, but no one is required to participate, of course. We opened the Android source code so anyone can modify and distribute the software to meet their own needs.
Posted in: Android