Open Android Alliance Poses Problem For Google

    September 29, 2009

About 11 months ago, Google made a big announcement about the Android Open Source Project.  The word "open" was used six times in a single official blog post.  But now, a group of developers has formed the Open Android Alliance to take things a lot further.

Android seems to be a little too synonymous with Google for the new group’s tastes.  Its homepage declared, "We aim to replace all closed source, proprietary applications in the base Android install with open source applications that can be freely distributed."  That would mean parting ways with things like Gmail, YouTube, and Google Maps.

The group also noted, "We don’t have anything against the existing closed applications, however, we believe in open platforms and want all users to be able to modify their systems as they see fit."  And it said, "Above all, remember, we are NOT ‘Anti-Google’.  We are ‘Pro-Android.’"

The Open Android Alliance’s level-headed position puts Google in a somewhat embarrassing spot.  The search giant has all its Android Open Source Project hullabaloo to live up to, after all.  There’s also the matter of its membership in the similarly named Open Handset Alliance to consider.

Dan Goodin reported that an alpha offering from the Open Android Alliance should come to light within two months, so Google doesn’t have a long time to figure out its approach.