Android on netbooks is BIG money for Google

Android on netbooks is BIG money for Google

Summary: The guys at VentureBeat succeeded (after only a couple hours) in getting Google's Android operating system to work on an Asus EEEPC 1000H. During their experiment, they stumbled across some interesting tidbits in the code that pretty much spills the beans on Google's plan for Android on "mobile internet devices" or MID's.

TOPICS: Android, Banking, Google

The guys at VentureBeat succeeded (after only a couple hours) in getting Google's Android operating system to work on an Asus EEEPC 1000H. During their experiment, they stumbled across some interesting tidbits in the code that pretty much spills the beans on Google's plan for Android on "mobile internet devices" or MID's. MID is what Intel calls devices like the netbook which was used in this experiment. Read the entire article about their experiment here.

androidnetbook.png [image from VentureBeat]

If Google gets this right, the possibilities are tremendous. Currently Google plans to use 30% of the revenue generated from sales of Android applications to pay carriers and billing settlement fees. Think about it though -- that 30% only makes sense if we're talking about mobile devices on a wireless network. I'd suspect that the 30% rake will still exist when Android makes its way into netbooks -- and in that case, Google would be the sole recipient of the money. Imagine if Google was able to make 30% on all software sold for their operating system -- that should make investors happy. Perhaps this is precisely what Ballmer failed to understand when he said:

I don’t really understand their (money making) strategy. Maybe somebody else does. If I went to my shareholder meeting, my analyst meeting, and said, ‘hey, we’ve just launched a new product that has no revenue model!’...I’m not sure that my investors would take that very well. But that’s kind of what Google’s telling their investors about Android.

Depending on how far down the road Google's announcement of Android for netbooks is, perhaps the Android Development Challenge II will actually be aimed towards the development of applications designed for larger clients like these?

I'm definitely going to be keeping my eye on this one!

Topics: Android, Banking, Google

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  • Don't worry Steve...

    By the time you do understand it, it will be too late. Come to think of it, it's too late now.
    • Not at all

      I'll go with Google being a bit late to this one.

      Why would anyone willingly lock themselves into a lesser OS then Linux, then have to hope that Google has an app you'll actually need?

      Heck, this just shows how much better Linux is over Android: a Free OS AND free apps.

      Google should have tried this when they actually mattered more.
      • And so the Android FUD begins....

        Google only has a few apps in the market. The rest are developed by....anyone that wants to develop and Android application.

        I don't really see how its a lesser OS than Linux since it IS Linux with a Java stack on top.
        • And where do you get the apps at?

          I just don't see it as the next big thing. What advantages does it have over Linux itself?
          • ummmm....the App Market?

            Android has a built in App Market similar to the one on the IPhone. Honestly if you don't have an Android device the you really can't comment on the state of Android applications because you won't see what the community is saying about them or even the apps that are being offered.

            As for advantages over Linux....none because it IS Linux. You could in a sense say its a desktop for Linux just like Gnome and KDE except that its written in Java and does more enforcing of applications. I don't know what constitutes "the next big thing" but it sure does appear that almost every major phone maker is ready to roll out Android phones this year. Take that however you want.
      • You're getting desperate Pliny.

        You're beginning to sound like Mike Cox. Just FYI.:-)
  • So how is that good for the user?

    The model presumes that, on a netbook, you are locked into an app store? In which case, how is having to buy all your netbook apps from one vendor (Google) somehow a better model than MS? Or Linux for that matter? Or any other traditional PC/software model?

    If you aren't locked into the app store model, then big deal. You have to want to buy the apps Google sells, just like you would on any other OS. So please tell me what is so great about this model.

    The app store model works when you are able to lock the device down, or tie it to a data provider. If it can't be locked down, there's no way this works. Apple would have done this already if it could be done.

    For all of MS's faults, I can't see how being forced to buy all your apps from one source is "do no evil." Unless you wear Google goggles of course.

    If it turns out that people prefer to lock themselves to a single application seller, sure, SteveB is dead wrong. I can't see why anyone would willingly do so though.
    • .apk files

      People have always been able to download .apk files and install them under Android. I don't see this changing.
      I do however think most people will prefer the built-in store because of the convenience.
      • netbooks vs.phones

        True, but the comparatively "closed" (i.e. "appliance-like") nature of a phone makes an app-store more attractive. Distributing apps for phones is much easier through this means, and doesn't require another device as a portal to install (which is one major failing of Windows Mobile.)

        Not owning a Android phone, I don't know if the app store is common to all Android users, or there are specific ones for each carrier. (do the carriers get a cut of the apps sold?)

        Now, if the nature of netbooks shifts to where people think of them as a more "closed" appliance (like a phone, or video game/iPod/TiVo, etc.) then perhaps the idea of a netbook app store might be reasonable. I don't think this will happen though because PC's are still general-purpose devices, and I don't see any purchaser of such a product limiting themselves only to what a vendor provides.
    • Not really lock down....

      The App Market is open to any an all developers willing to pay the $25 signup fee. The store is generally not regulated by Google. Its only a channel for installing software much like the repos for Linux distros. You can always get software outside but its easier to go through the built in channel. Besides I believe its easier to get an app into the App Market than it is to get one into a Linux distro repo.
    • Why locked?

      Android on notebook, netbooks, even desktops (as appliances) won't be locked down. It is Linux, and Open Source, so anyone can take Android (if Google doesn't), repackage it, add repositories and you can get Android apps or regular apps.

      There also won't be any reason why Ubuntu can't add support for Android apps, you can then buy or download from there. As you can see from the story itself, the OS is totally hackable, and I would be surprised if the likes of Acer, Asus, Ubuntu, etc are not already working to port support for the Android SDK run environment to their distros.

      I must be missing something.

      • Didn't say it had to be locked down

        For my part, I didn't say the netbook was going to be locked down - quite the contrary.

        But for the author's premise to hold true (Google raking in vast $$$ by getting a cut from every app sold, because Android will be running on all those netbooks) - then I believe the device has to be locked down, to steer customers of the device to that software distribution system.

        An app store for a PC does not guarantee big $$$ for anyone, unless the apps are superior. (don't forget about piracy.) Only a locked device ensures big money for a proprietary software distribution channel. Try setting up a Linux app store and see how much money you rake in! Even a Windows app store would be a flop. And for Google to make big money, they have to get a cut from each sale. Not even MS does that for 3rd party software!
        • Great point...

          And so this begs the question.... Why are the MOST brutal critics of MSFT *cheerleading* the rise of Google?

          Its deranged really. MSFT, if it is some great evil according to the malcontents, is working all of this evil through having the largest desktop marketshare.

          The ABMers also GLEEFULLY talk about the "death" of the desktop and the "rise" of the cloud b/c this is "the death of MSFT"

          I wonder if a large percentage of technophiles and the journalists who feed them havent just lost their minds entirely. All they seem to really care about is the demise of Windows (irrationally)

          Why *else* would *anyone* be gleefully anticipating the company that essentially controls the web, controls monetization of the web, controls the collection and management and distribution of private information and controls the mindshare for the future of computing NOW also controlling the entry point INTO that cloud???

          Google owning the platform in addition to owning all of the information on it, all of the services provided for it, how you make money from it and where that money goes?

          Um... Ill pass on that one. They already make entirely TOO much money and exert TOO much control from the commercialization of the web and no one seems to notice.

          This is also why I'd use a plain old legacy Nokia phone before I'd use the best Android phone.

          Google uses Open Source purely as a means to further their own commercial agenda and amass more control. They are able to do this because they care NOTHING about technology and use it as a means to an end (which is making vast sums of money off of controling the flow of information and monetizing it)

          Of course wave "free" software in front of the happy idiots and they come running, signing on the dotted line in blood as they complain about "evil empires" yet turn a blind eye to their health care and financial information being stockpiled by a corporation.
          • Well, I'm a big critic of Microsoft

            But I don't call them Evil, I call them incompetent. Google however Violates it's "Do no Evil" with their business model selling information about people to ad agencies.
          • Business Model

            There is the product, and then there is the business model. MS produces an
            unremarkable product, MS innovation has ground to a halt since all the
            innovative start-ups have already been bought up. Google now has the cash
            and the market foresight to also strategically do this.

            Then there is the business model: "monopoly", "cut off their air supply" and all
            the anti-trust cases that confirm that business model. The mode being don't
            compete with a better product (where the customer benefits) but find a way to
            create a market monopoly by any means, including threat and intimidation.

            They cannot cut off Google's air supply, and believe me they have tried, but
            eventually Google will cut off theirs. The mobile market, web apps, web
            content and a single communications device is going to mostly replace the PC,
            and who is maneuvering into a strategic position with these? Who controls
            content, and will eventually control the tools to access that content?

            From a users perspective, who cares about the tool? It only becomes a
            concern when it is noticeable. (cost $200.00 and doesn't work the way it
            should) It is only a means to an end, to the "information and content". Google
            clearly and singularly understands this, that in the end it is about the
            information. This is the business that Google is in, MS is not quite sure what
            business they are in. It is called "lack of focus". That is why the lay-offs are
            coming up.
    • Logic Doesn't Count Here ...

      You are thinking again! Naughty boy. This forum is for flamers!
  • Isn't 30% of 0, 0?

    How many people does Google expect to pay for applications built around an Open Source culture? Aren't Open Source's most popular software free?

    It would really be nice of Google did something successfully besides search and advertising. Like a puppy, it chases every car that passes it by. It seems like every time Google embarks on an effort; it eventually becomes tired after all its yapping and brief work; then it goes off to chase another vehicle / venture. Pretty soon time will run out, and it will have discovered it squandered opportunities to make serious investments in other businesses.
    P. Douglas
    • Commercial software exist for open source platforms

      We are talking about mass market products here, the fact that the operating system happens to be open source doesn't mean that people won't be able to sell the software they build upon it.
    • Thats a pretty dumb comment you made there.

      "How many people does Google expect to pay for applications built around an Open Source culture? Aren't Open Source's most popular software free?"

      1. The App Market for Android will start supporting PAID applications this month.

      2. The OS is open...there is no requirement for the software to be open....same with most other open OS's. In this case particularly the apps don't have much to do with the philosophy of the OS.

      Its amazing how so many FOSS "pundits" know so little about FOSS. Android's being open source allows device makers to grab and customize it. That gives it the chance to quickly find itself on many devices....nothing more nothing less.
      • Yes you can try and sell applications for an Open Source OS, but ...

        ... how much money do you think you will make if Google keeps promoting Android as Open Source - driving software cost expections by users around it, to zero? My guess is that the overwhelming majority of application vendors will distribute their apps freely, and while making money from services
        P. Douglas