Google fined for restrictions on Android - affecting alternative Android versions!

Probably very significant for this community. EC has rules restrictions placed on Android since 2011 illegal. This includes disallowing manufacturers from selling devices with non-approved versions of Android.

See also the 13:21 message on the live feed linked on that page for more explanation ^

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I was going to publish this right now! Damn, hahaha

Original EU press release (€4.34 billion):

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-4581_en.htm

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Thanks for posting the original. I’m on mobile right now so I could not do as much research.

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Wonderful news, my many thanks to the European Union! :heart_eyes::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap:
More details here:

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The best part of the article:

Google blocked manufacturers from selling devices running alternative versions of Android, known as Android forks, not approved by the company.

To preinstall Google’s apps — including the Play store and Google Search — on their devices, manufacturers had to commit not to develop or sell even a single device running on an Android fork.

Vestager pointed out that Android forks were not a “remote possibility from a theory book,” using Amazon’s Fire OS as an example. The commission found that while manufacturers were interested in Amazon’s operating system, Google’s restrictions meant it could launch only on Amazon devices.

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Who knows if, how and when Google will react on this being such a giant player.
Money is not their problem, more money is…
in english:

Part of the core business threatened

In addition, according to the Juncker team, Google prevents manufacturers
of smartphones and tablets based on open source code from selling devices with competing operating systems. These competitors also lure the company with a lot of money to install only Google Apps. “We have different responsibilities,” emphasizes Competition Commissioner Vestager. Google
is committed to owners and shareholders, the European Commission to
more than 500 million Europeans and fair competition.

Even a significant two-digit billion fine can not shake Google, because
the parent company Alphabet has cash reserves of up to 90 billion euros. But
if the Commission forces Google to shut down its practices and
competitors no longer need to pre-install Google apps, Google would lose
some of its core business. Then the cash reserves would be threatened.

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Absolutely, the important decision isn’t to fine it, as it was reported, but to stop Google’s abusive monopolistic practices, this would allow alternative and much more decentralized models to flourish.

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Even with that (which I agree 100%), it is a quite big bite in Google’s bucket of money. A friend of mine have mentioned to me today that Google’s last year income was 109 billion $, with 12 billion being net beneficts. 3.34 billion $ is roughtly a 4% of Google’s yearly income, more than 25% of yearly benefits (!).

Yeah, they perpetrated those practices for years (all of those have been previously mentioned in the forum in one way or another, BTW), but it’s still a painful bite.

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Yes, that´s one point.
A lot of dependencies would fall then and also Fairphone would benefit from it.
Unfortunately we have to wait up to 90 days and who knows what will happen then. The goals are set, but changes need time.

@Roboe

Yep, giving away money always hurt in one way or another :grin:

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Well, they appealed, so that timeframe could be extended, I guess, :confused:

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Yes, unfortunately. But now these points are listed in a big scale with the EU involved. So there is a decent counterweight to handle with.
Patience is now required as proceedings of this size usually take their time until a final result is certain. Again this can take years as we have learned already.
Anyway now it´s rolling and a change is ahead.

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Probably because your phone only came with that crummy Google search engine? :slight_smile: LOL :wink:

That’s a good punch in monopoly business, thanks! :+1:

Now, what about Micro$oft and their pre-installed-unable-to-get-computer-without Windows? That thing has been going on for almost 20 years (being illegal in France, as “tied” marketing) but nobody ever cared. Now with the smartphone business being so huge, I just hope we can also see such fines on the computer business. :crossed_fingers:

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Google just hit another jackpot:

Google’s creepy location-tracking policy just landed the company a brand-new lawsuit

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Microsoft argued OEMs should sell their PC with an OS included because else people would buy Windows from illegal sources. So it was, from Microsoft’s PoV, an anti-piracy measure. An OS basically meant Windows, though some OEMs did sell FreeDOS, so practically it was anti-competitive and anti-Linux. The whole EFI/secure boot shenanigans, same story. Discounting Apple, the result was that you could buy a PC without Windows but rarely unless you self-build. Laptop without Windows was basically impossible (I remember buying a ThinkPad in the '00s and it had Windows Vista included which I immediately replaced with Debian GNU/Linux). In that sense, Chromebooks were revolutionary but they’re subsidised with Google’s advertising & tracking. Nowadays, Dell XPS come pre-installed with Linux at your option, and are very good.

The problem with Google is that their products were very good at launch (Google Search, for example, crushed the competition of that time) and they’re a Linux / FOSS shop. They do tons with Linux and FOSS, employing many FOSS developers. Which is pretty much a counter culture response to Microsoft and Windows [1] (which itself was a counter culture response to IBM, AT&T, SUN, HP, etc, as well as UNIX in general). Now, what didn’t happen is that the US DOJ broke up Microsoft like it did with AT&T. The big problem (with the internet) why competitors don’t take off is network effect but that existed back in the days of AT&T as well.

The US in general doesn’t seem to act on the behaviour of its tech giants. So its up to the rest of the world, I guess. Hopefully other nations follow the EU, and eventually the big 5 must be broken up before we end up with only the big 5 remaining.

[1] The people who experienced pre 90s experienced the IBM monopoly (which never got dealt with from a law PoV AFAIK), and the people who experienced mid 90s and 00s experienced Microsoft monopoly. For a good history on the AT&T monopoly I can recommend the book Exploding The Phone, though it is mainly a recount of the US phreaking history and community. It even includes anecdotes on Woz & Jobs selling blue boxes, and almost got caught with it too. That was pre-Apple.

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Yes, for sure - probably because that maybe would had been the way B. Gates would had helped himself in such a situation…:wink:…what a allegation.

In the early beginning of mass home computers when I started of I never had one without an “OS”. Even though it was implemented in a ROM chip.
C-16 -> C-64 -> Amiga 500 … they all had an original OS. Also Apple and Tandy shipped a form of OS so someone could use the hardware for more than just switching it on and off. No need to purchase an OS.
B. Gates made it rather complicated as he was out for computer domination.

Yep, in the beginning of the 00s many people did not know what Google was standing for as I saw my colleague already using it.

I believe these tech giants also have options and ways in the US to only pay the minimum tax rate possible. The deviation seems to be paid directly to the NSA in form of user data.
Instead of poking into each economy marked by rising import customs this Tramp guy should rather poke some more into these almost world ruling tech giants and btw. get his national budget leveled.

Yes, although I luckily never was depending on both as I stuck to Commodore & Amiga Inc.

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What happens is that Microsoft (not defending it) has a stronger business model, well, based mostly on selling to businesses (probably around 60 to 70% of their revenues). And as they sell to businesses they sell mostly real services, not “lifestyle.” Office is their main product, meaning that Windows is important only to the extent that it promotes Office use. I feel that they relaxed their grip on Windows (remember the “free” upgrades to Windows 10?) once they realized that, if it’s marketed as an expensive paid product, it would be at market share risk. For most people today, using Windows is the result of only two factors (1) you know nothing about computers and (2) your employer basically gives you no other option. Number 1 couldn’t care less if their boxes came with another equally functional system that gives them web cat pictures, but Windows is what they know and get, and number 2 unfortunately is locked in due to the laziness of the IT back-offices that buy the whole Microsoft package, and in this sense, not like Apple or Google, Microsoft, like IBM before, really knows how to keep those IT back-offices happy. In some sense Google and Apple helped Microsoft to stay alive by owning and destroying any FLOSS or equivalent alternative model that would allow smaller players to compete with Microsoft. So I expect Microsoft to remain on its current sweet spot, no significant competitors at view, and out of the spotlight (no M in GAFAs). They will go on hoping that the GAFAs will keep doing all the dirty work for them.

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This one:

As for Microsoft’s market segments, my PoV is they have a few cards: Windows, Office, Azure, and Xbox. (And personally I’d say Surface line could be included as well but revenue gains don’t show that.)

Windows Phone failed. They were too late with it to get market share; people are accustomed to iOS and Android just like in the desktop market people are accustomed to Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office.

For some information about their segments from Microsoft directly:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/Investor/segment-information.aspx

Though you can see it here as well:

Notice the restructure of the segment.

This one’s sadly from 2015. I had a better source, but I can’t seem to find it.

The pie charts on bottom show the change. I’ll link the one I found most interesting:

Sadly there’s no comparison with past and future (the source I had which I can’t find had this). As you may know they pretty much quit the phone segment. However it does show how advertising is a relatively small revenue for Microsoft though their data profiling has increased with Windows 10. Microsoft is prepared for desktops becoming less and less relevant. They might’ve lost the smartphone market; the tablet/laptop market appears to suit them better with Surface market penetration. But their main preparation is by having additional cards besides Windows/Office in the form of Xbox and Azure. The latter’s relatively new but fares very well. In 2015 it did better than Windows, and almost as good as Office.

The question is whether this change is good. Because they’re becoming more like Google and Facebook. But by how much?

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Again something to keep the players happy (users dependent).
I never had an eye on any XBox and also lost interest on any younger PS after the PS2.
It is becoming more common having to stay connected to whatever network and if it´s just for the fun. I don´t need this and try to stay offline as much as possible.
All this cloud computing is not my favored way as data security and reliability
are still somewhere below ground.

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Microsoft, as usually happens to incumbents, assumed arrogantly that they could use Windows as the hook for creating Windows Phone loyalty and grabbing market share. They didn’t anticipate however that the majority of users would take their smartphones as an almost totally independent device, and even as a replacement for PCs. So Windows became unnecessary or even redundant - except again for business softwares (not just Office) that keep you going back to the desktop to complete your work. This was a really big mistake, which was compensated by successfully integrating Office with other platforms than Windows, I didn’t expect them to succeed but they did it, and it saved them. Not dealing intensively on personal data has become a surprising strength for them during the last two years, I wonder then if they will keep pushing for becoming more like GAFAs or not. It appears that they’re also losing the “intelligent speakers” wars, but since I hate those devices and would never ever have one, I’m not sure if this is a bad thing for them, but evidently I may be wrong, people’s data hygiene today is as good as that of medieval gong farmers.

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