Google to Acer: Use another OS on your phones and you'll regret it

Google isn’t feeling very comfortable with the thought of its OEM partners trying out other OSes behind its back. At least that’s the impression Acer got, when Google politely informed them if any partner releases a non-Android handset ‘Google will terminate its Android-related cooperation and other technology licensing,’ forcing Acer to postpone the launch of a new device, the CloudMobile A800.

The statement comes from Alibaba, the Chinese internet group behind Aliyun, the OS that Acer’s new device was to run. If Alibaba is telling the whole story, then it sounds like Google is using a lot of the same tactics that (supposedly) got Microsoft in trouble back in the ‘90s. What’s ironic is that it’s obviously going on the opposite direction this time – if Google is serious about this, you can bet that they won’t be afraid to make the same threat over OEMs trying to use Windows Phone on their devices, either.

Acer’s comment was a bit more neutral, simply noting that Google was ‘concerned’ by Acer’s use of Aliyun, and that “Acer will continue to communicate with Google and the company still wants to launch the new smartphone…”

Obviously, Google is mum on the matter. But if Alibaba is being truthful, this could turn into something big, especially if Google is making similar threats against other manufacturers. Most governments probably wouldn’t look too kindly on it, either.

Via: NASDAQ
Source: Wall Street Journal

Thanks to Neowin member Max Norris for the tip

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74 Comments

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It's as they say: Google are the new Microsoft. They said they'll try not to be, but they are. As for Microsoft, they are the new Area 51, with the ridiculous amount secrecy they have these days.

Exactly. Aliyun using apks means it uses dalvik, and I know Android is open-source, but something tells me Google has got IP they're trying to protect rather than just straight bullying.

From what I've seen there is likely way more to this story. Aliyun OS uses APK files for their apps and Acer could by violating their license agreement with Google by using a competing OS that uses a part of Android.

It also looks to me like apps are getting ripped off the Play Store and added to the Aliyun app store from other developers.

For example: (Translated to English using Bing)
Angry Birds Seasons (Developer: kandee)
http://www.microsofttranslator...?id=58819&from_hp=hpnew

Angry Birds Space (Developer: KtouchMobile)
http://www.microsofttranslator...catcode=183&from_page=1

You can't tell me that doesn't look a little fishy.

tanjiajun_34 said,
Hmm but Samsung and HTC uses WP7/WP8 but why didn't Google do anything?

Because Samsung is number 1 phone manufacturer and without them the Android will be in the crapper

Until Google releases a statement, who gives a ****. This could be an isolated incident or something that didnt even happen. Right now is just one sided.

This is amazing. Just because the Chinese internet group behind Aliyun, the OS that Acer's new device was to run, says something. People immediately takes this as the truth.

Besides, Acer is an Android OEM partner, so they are bound to have some more licensing going on that just the Android one.

Frazell Thomas said,
I wonder why Google fails to use this pressure to get updates to their fan droids...

I wonder why people are foolish to take one side as the truth without hearing the other side. Not saying Google didnt do this...but pretty dumb to take one sides word and call it true without hearing the whole story.

techbeck said,

I wonder why people are foolish to take one side as the truth without hearing the other side. Not saying Google didnt do this...but pretty dumb to take one sides word and call it true without hearing the whole story.


That never stopped people from ranting against Microsoft, were you one of them?

techbeck said,

I wonder why people are foolish to take one side as the truth without hearing the other side. Not saying Google didnt do this...but pretty dumb to take one sides word and call it true without hearing the whole story.

This is nothing new. Google did the same thing when it came to Motorola (pre-buy) and their use of SkyHook.

see: http://searchengineland.com/sk...ng-google-pr-headache-77870

The truth for Android OEMs has always been that the "open" part of Android has always been a PR stunt by Google. As Google will pull their apps unless the OEM allows Google all the control they want.

But as I said, Google never uses this power to pressure for Android updates for users all the while claiming they care about this to users. They seem to always just lie in whatever way suits them.

smooth3006 said,

oh yeah? so what is apple then?

Why do this? The article has nothing to do with Apple. There are enough threads and commentators slamming Apple here on a frequent basis...

i like google, but even i cringe at hearing about this, there must be a bigger reason at play, maybe a "behind-the-scenes" deal that google would contact (or work with) Acer for a certian amount of years under contract with the agreement that Acer would only use them.

I thought android was unlicensed tech ... that's why it was free ??
if google is licensing their software than companies like MS and Apple should be able to sue them instead of all the companies that are running their software
Mark

Gibbyhome said,
I thought android was unlicensed tech ... that's why it was free ??

nothing is free, they may be giving it to the handset makers in return for what the company is built on, information, namely YOUR information, what you do, who you call, where you go, what you do with the phone, etc, etc. everybody signs or clicks a " i agree " saying they can collect information regarding what they do

Hell-In-A-Handbasket said,
Oh Apple,, i mean Oh Google....

literally if this had apple in it, it would be 500 replies by now of people flaming the company

This.

Hell-In-A-Handbasket said,
Oh Apple,, i mean Oh Google....

literally if this had apple in it, it would be 500 replies by now of people flaming the company


This. Where have all the Apple hating fanboys gone?

Hell-In-A-Handbasket said,
Oh Apple,, i mean Oh Google....

literally if this had apple in it, it would be 500 replies by now of people flaming the company

But Apple makes it own hardware

nub said,
But Apple makes it own hardware

Its a refrence to the totalitarian evil company that people say apple is the only one that acts like that,, yet here is google doing same thing

Hell-In-A-Handbasket said,
literally if this had apple in it, it would be 500 replies by now of people flaming the company

Along with dozens of comments like this...

Apple and a few other companies are hot topics right now so of course there would be more replies. It just makes sense. And maybe people are not going off on Google since it is only ACER accusing Google of doing this. The Acer employee/rep declined to be named as well and no proof as been given. And if proof is given, then I am sure Google will have to answer to it. Kinda like Apple and others had to answer with ebook price fixing.

Toysoldier said,

Lol I guess you mean "Take them to court", because "To Court" is basically to date.


Of course that's what he means, but what he said still makes sense. Language changes.

"Court" has become a verb, just as "inbox" has etc. (at least in an informal context, anyway).

Well, a few Android makers are releasing WP8 phones, so so we'll see what happens there, but at the same time, I can see Google doing something like what is being alleged.

I never bought that "Don't be evil" bull, and now that Apple is going after Android makers (and Microsoft signing patent deals left and right) and WP is coming into its own, I can see Google starting to worry.

MeltedMacaroni said,
Google with dirty tactics, nice way of manipulating OEM's.

MS is doing the same thing with tablets and OEMs. Requiring certain things or they aren't allowed to use Win8. Not to mention, a LOT of companies do the same thing. If you have a company start using another OS, why would you let them use yours. It's pretty common business practice whether you want to believe it or not.

farmeunit said,

MS is doing the same thing with tablets and OEMs. Requiring certain things or they aren't allowed to use Win8. Not to mention, a LOT of companies do the same thing. If you have a company start using another OS, why would you let them use yours. It's pretty common business practice whether you want to believe it or not.

Big difference between Microsoft's "You need to meet minimum hardware requirements to use our software" and Google's "If you use our competitor's software then you cannot use our software."

The only real limitation Microsoft has is they limit the number of companies that use an ARM chip brand (2 tablet manufacturers / ARM chip). But that limitation only lasts until January and is not intended to, nor does it limit competition - it encourages it.

farmeunit said,

MS is doing the same thing with tablets and OEMs. Requiring certain things or they aren't allowed to use Win8. Not to mention, a LOT of companies do the same thing. If you have a company start using another OS, why would you let them use yours. It's pretty common business practice whether you want to believe it or not.

How is it the same thing? Microsoft has set out specs so users get a good experience, companies who don't want to play ball and may jeopardize the end user experience are not allowed in, but where have they said these companies can't use another OS if they choose to? Sounds like the typical anti-MS FUD to me.

MeltedMacaroni said,
Google with dirty tactics, nice way of manipulating OEM's.

Oh please, every company uses dirty tactics. This is nothing new.

jakem1 said,

So you think it's acceptable.

Didnt say that. Just not going to rag on a company when there is no proof and Google has not yet responded. Call me silly, but I like to hear the whole story. If Google did this, then yes that is pretty bad but again, nothing knew so not really shocking to me.

Liaqat_ali said,

Apple is innovative. Thats all.
Yes, yes, they started the very first patent war.

No, nothing inovative at Apple...

techbeck said,

Not even close.

true, Microsoft was never a data mining spyware company bullying complete nations like it were a supranational entity

morden said,

true, Microsoft was never a data mining spyware company bullying complete nations like it were a supranational entity

Forget your tin foil hat? If you believe that Google is selling your private info, then you need one.

techbeck said,

Forget your tin foil hat? If you believe that Google is selling your private info, then you need one.

no, i'm not talking about my search info but rather the fiascos with streetview and the stealing of wifi data, the nonsensic and continuous patent infringement with android - when a lowly data mining co grows so big it can bully complete nations and ignore the law it needs to be taught a lesson

and while at it yeah, they do sell the data they acquired from you - that's how they make a living

morden said,

and while at it yeah, they do sell the data they acquired from you - that's how they make a living

I said PRIVATE data. I dont give a crap if they see that I searched for a new laptop or a car. My name, phone number, address, cc info, and everything else is secure and they do not give that out...not that I publicly list that info anyway, but you get the point.

As far as the streetview/wifi crap...I believe they got punished for that and are paying for it. And as far as Acer is concerned, I will wait until Google responds before passing judgement.

techbeck said,

I said PRIVATE data. I dont give a crap if they see that I searched for a new laptop or a car. My name, phone number, address, cc info, and everything else is secure and they do not give that out...not that I publicly list that info anyway, but you get the point.

As far as the streetview/wifi crap...I believe they got punished for that and are paying for it. And as far as Acer is concerned, I will wait until Google responds before passing judgement.

punished? don't be ridiculous...
as for the OEMs personally i don't care about acer, never would buy any of their products but i can belive google tried to bully them into a more beneficial agreement as acer has concerns about microsoft because of the surface

and i don't know if this statement is true but if it is google needs to fire the retard that said it... android DEPENDS on oems, not the other way around - as the symbian example shows us every and any mobile os can be replaced pretty fast, and the android ecample shows that crap can be selled if cheap enough (i'm talking about the low-end category that makes the bulk of the android fleet)... so i am truly hoping this statement is only a media hoax cos if not google reached the pinnacle of their idiocy

the private data thingie: after reading the TOA i don't think even an idiot would use google docs for example...

techbeck said,

I said PRIVATE data. I dont give a crap if they see that I searched for a new laptop or a car. My name, phone number, address, cc info, and everything else is secure and they do not give that out...not that I publicly list that info anyway, but you get the point.

As far as the streetview/wifi crap...I believe they got punished for that and are paying for it. And as far as Acer is concerned, I will wait until Google responds before passing judgement.

Here is an easy one you can verify without a tinfoil hat.

Be a government and pay them, and they will hand over PRIVATE data. It is that simple.

There are countries around the world that use Google like their own private CIA, and I know of people that have been tracked using Google data, and even after escaping their small country, was hunted down and killed by ongoing Google tracking and reporting of personal data.

thenetavenger said,

Here is an easy one you can verify without a tinfoil hat.

Be a government and pay them, and they will hand over PRIVATE data.

Becoming a government is "an easy one you can verify"?

Frazell Thomas said,
Looks like WP8 has scared Google to some degree.

So you got all of that from hearing one side of the story. Ummm, ok then.

Frazell Thomas said,
Looks like WP8 has scared Google to some degree.

So, Google is scared that Acer is going with their own/different OS? I am confused, where does WP8 come in to play here and why would Google be scared?

techbeck said,

So, Google is scared that Acer is going with their own/different OS? I am confused, where does WP8 come in to play here and why would Google be scared?

Because Acer announced WP8 devices for early 2013 IIRC. Yet they haven't announced a new Android device, which suppose that they are dumping Android for WP.

Anthonyd said,
Because Acer announced WP8 devices for early 2013 IIRC. Yet they haven't announced a new Android device, which suppose that they are dumping Android for WP.

Think about it. If they were dumping Android altogether then it wouldn't matter if Google threatened them.

techbeck said,

So, Google is scared that Acer is going with their own/different OS? I am confused, where does WP8 come in to play here and why would Google be scared?

WP8 comes into play because its the only other OS that anyother company would look at ?

But I have to say, dont know why Google is threaten for as ACER is a Low-end manufacturer in Hardware ?