Promising words of Google 5-year free & open source plan

Some readers may remember that back in February we discussed the planned Google acquisition of Motorola Mobility and concerns over the possibility that Google’s Android might not remain an open-source platform. The promising news today for Android enthusiasts is that as part of the recent agreement for China to approve the giant search company’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility, Google has said it will maintain a 5-year free and open source plan.

Although previously Google had declared its intent that Android would remain open-source it seems that there must have still been fears amongst some that Google would favor Motorola as an OEM at the expense of other Android manufacturers. This move seems to have been to alleviate those concerns then and should manage to keep the majority of people happy.

News of this development came to us from The Verge (sources below) and it’s noted that if Google had seriously considered any plans to block other manufacturers from Android it may have had a big fight on its hands. Google doesn’t technically own Android but it is its biggest contributor via its membership of the Open Handset Alliance that created and developed the platform. Google also continues to develop and build the Android base that many manufacturers and carriers use for their customizations of Android.

The Google deal to acquire Motorola Mobility is still ongoing but would seem to be a step closer to completion because of this agreement. A Motorola Mobility spokesperson said, “we are pleased that the deal has received approval in all jurisdictions and we expect to close early next week.” A Google spokesperson meanwhile said that the company’s stance on this had not changed and that the company, “look forward to closing the deal.”

As The Verge points out, it would really make no sense for Google to change its intent to keep Android open-source considering how popular this has been as one of the major appeals of the Android platform. We’d be interested to hear your views on this. Are you pleased that Android will remain free and open-source for at least five years? Maybe you’re already concerned about what will happen at the end of that five years? Let us know with your comments.

SOURCES: The Wall Street Journal AND Associated Press AND Reuters

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