As someone who follows browser development pretty closely, a friend sent along this perfect summation of Google’s open source strategy a la Andriod and Chrome by Dan Lyons (formerly known as Fake Steve Jobs):
[Android is] the desktop Linux of mobile phones — a solution in search of a problem that doesn’t exist. Or, to put it another way, Android was indeed created to help solve a problem, but it’s not a problem that customers have, it’s a problem that Google has. Same for Chrome, when you think about it. Google is all about solving the world’s most difficult problems — specifically, those problems that prevent Google from owning every last piece of the world.
I couldn’t ask for a more succinct, merciless quote about these two products. And from the linked FT article:
Disparagement of Android has touched on everything from an alleged lack of sophistication and stability in the software, to the fact that successful devices such as the iPhone and the BlackBerry are based on a different technology model. “The best experiences out there today are ‘vertical’ experiences, where the hardware and software come from the same company,” said Tom Conrad, chief technology officer of Pandora, whose internet music service is one of the most popular applications on the iPhone.
Critics asked why consumers would buy the phone when there was no “killer app” to set it apart, in the way Apple’s iTunes service helped to sell iPhones. “If I was a customer I would say ‘I get Google on my iPhone or my Nokia N95, why do I need this?’”