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Will Android Flavors Spoil the Platform?

CmdrTaco posted about 4 years ago | from the kajillion-dollar-question dept.

Cellphones 405

rsmiller510 writes "Open source operating systems have a lot of upsides, but when you give cell phone makers and providers the power to customize the phones to whatever degree they like, it could end up confusing consumers and watering down the Android label."

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405 comments

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The "choice is bad" argument (5, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about 4 years ago | (#33587228)

Since the competitors don't have choice and can't get it they have to argue that "choice is bad". If you like choice though - if you prefer a less expensive phone or one with all the bells and whistles, or larger or smaller or whatever, Android is an obvious choice. If you like to choose the phone network based on pricing or features, quality of network, or how badly they restrict the phone's features to maximize your bill, again Android is a clear winner. If a single great design that's wholly integrated and secured by a single vendor is your preference, iPhone is a grand choice - and that's great! You get to choose that too.

Lack of choice as a feature though is in general a tough sell.

Re:The "choice is bad" argument (5, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 4 years ago | (#33587294)

This is the old fragmentation debate.

Choice isn't a bad thing. Too much choice is. What can Android 1.6 offer me that 2.2 can't? It's a little ridiculous. Why should cheaper phones be stuck on 1.6 when they're fully capable of running 2.2?

Re:The "choice is bad" argument (3, Informative)

mark72005 (1233572) | about 4 years ago | (#33587702)

Right now there are a few Motorola devices that are still on 1.6, and the expected release for 2.x keeps sliding and sliding.

Many of Motorola's phones are marketed as "1.6, upgradeable to 2.x", but in truth there seem to be hardware issues that make this complicated, and it remains to be seen if 2.x will ever actually be distributed to owners of the lower selling phones.

We've already seen Motorola cancel the upgrade for non-US phones of the same models, to "ensure the best user experience".

Point being, advertised capability is not necessarily capability.

Re:The "choice is bad" argument (1)

ichthus (72442) | about 4 years ago | (#33588200)

Yep, I'm a Cliq XT owner too. I bought it with the understanding (as promised by the T-Mobile goon that sold it to me) that 2.1 was a month away. That was in May. Still waiting...

PSA (3, Insightful)

mark72005 (1233572) | about 4 years ago | (#33588248)

All this has completely soured me on Motorola.

I advise everyone to stay far, far away from their Android offerings. After this burn, I'm not buying anything from them again.

The phone was so locked down to start with, I should have done my homework and realized this was a trap.

It appears they care about the Droid series, but nothing else. Don't assume Motorola will live up to their commitments.

Run, don't walk, from Motorola.

Re:The "choice is bad" argument (0)

HappyClown (668699) | about 4 years ago | (#33587852)

Unfortunately with 6 month or less shelf lives of phones, there's not a lot of motivation for manufacturers to upgrade old handsets, unless there are glaring support problems that are costing them money. Having said that, most android phones do seem to be getting an encouraging level of upgrades, even if it takes the vendors a bit longer to release the upgrades than many people might like.

What I don't understand is why is no one complaining about the state of fragmentation of iOS [androidpolice.com] ?

Given Apple are a single manufacturer with a very small (iOS) product range, they seem to have done a pretty good job of messing [cultofmac.com] things up [cultofmac.com] , arguably worse than Android even with the far greater diversity of companies and products involved.

Re:The "choice is bad" argument (5, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | about 4 years ago | (#33588158)

The issues on the iPhone you linked to are for a model that is over two years old. I had a 3G until two weeks ago, with iOS 4 it could get slow at times launching certain apps but it wasn't a big enough issue to warrant reverting back to iOS 3.x and it's not a big enough issue that my fiancee complains about it.

It's not like there are any iPhone 3Gs sitting on shelves across the planet with the slow ass iOS 4 while a iPhone 4 is sitting next to it for sale. The fragmentation chart you linked to comparing iOS to Android is flawed in that the 3.x flavor fragmentation isn't because of Apple, its because users just don't update their phones. The Android fragmentation is the fault of the vendors, so apples and oranges for that argument.

So really its 44.54 iOS 3.x, 34.05 iOS 4.x and 21.42 running jailbroken or iOS 2.x and are never going to patch anyway or get apps anyway so who cares? At least in early August

The Android issue being discussed here is fragmentation of current phone models. Apple is shipping iOS 3.x for iPads and iOS 4.x for iPhones and iPods, so mobile wise Apple is shipping one flavor of the iOS, 4.x

Re:The "choice is bad" argument (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33587954)

Choice isn't a bad thing. Too much choice is. What can Android 1.6 offer me that 2.2 can't? It's a little ridiculous. Why should cheaper phones be stuck on 1.6 when they're fully capable of running 2.2?

The choice isn't directly between Android versions (no one would intentionally choose an older version of Android if that was the only deciding factor), it's between HTC Sense, Motoblur, GalaxyS, and other "enhancements" that manufacturers add onto the plain vanilla Android OS. These "enhancements" are the reason that cheaper phones don't get upgraded, because the manufacturers don't have the time/money/interest to adapt their special skin to the new stuff.

Unrelated comment: TFA is utterly useless. Reading the /. comments is much more informative.

Re:The "choice is bad" argument (2)

AllergicToMilk (653529) | about 4 years ago | (#33588044)

"What can Android 1.6 offer me that 2.2 can't?"

Reliability, that's what. Not that 1.6 is inherently more reliable than 2.2. It is that 1.6 has been fully verified by the manufacturer to run reliably on their hardware. There is a cost to doing such verification so for some phones, especially ones toward the end of life, verifying them for 2.2 will not happen. This is a large part of the reason why a new Android OS release isn't instantly available for your phone when Google releases to the general market.

Re:The "choice is bad" argument (3, Insightful)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | about 4 years ago | (#33587296)

Yeah, but let's not forget the crapware that used to (still does?) ship with pre-build computers. You end up spending hours just getting rid of the crap Dell, HP, or eMachines decided should belong on your computer, all because they each wanted to have a custom install. I'm sure many users would have gladly paid even more to just get a vanilla copy of Windows.

Re:The "choice is bad" argument (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33587538)

And if you go to a Verizon store and look at the current Android offerings, you can see the crappware is already becoming a problem. The original Motorola Droid looks vanilla compared to the Droid X, 2, etc.

Re:The "choice is bad" argument (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | about 4 years ago | (#33587726)

the non-Droid phones from Motorola also include the bloatware suite "Motoblur", which you can't disable or remove.

Re:The "choice is bad" argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33587734)

The original Motorola Droid *is* vanilla, compared to something else or not. Other than the G1 and the Nexus One, is there any other vanilla Android phones? It's sad and makes me reluctant to give up my Droid any time soon.

Re:The "choice is bad" argument (5, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 4 years ago | (#33587730)

you can remove pc crapware. we really do own complete control (even bios) over our pc's.

do you really think you can totally re-program a phone from open source code?

really?

when you buy a phone and it comes with icons and features you want to remove and can't, how is this OPEN again?

its not open. its open on some areas but not in the ones we need. when ATT comments out the software sources menu option, this is a prime example of what we are complaining about!

locking boot code is also evil and yet allowed by the android system or architecture.

really bad move, google. google just bad much worse deals than apple did with the carriers. apple DEFINED what was ok and what was not. google said 'hey as long as we can insert ads, we don't really CARE what you do mr. vendor.'

very different models in how to reign in your carrier. google had as much control as apple did but chose not to flex their powerful muscles. they made bad judgement call when they let the carriers run wild with THEIR codebase.

Re:The "choice is bad" argument (1)

DukeLinux (644551) | about 4 years ago | (#33588150)

Since I use Linux, I simply buy a box full of "parts" from Tiger Direct and spend an evening putting together another computer. I did this for my in-laws and bought an OEM copy of WinXP. Set them right up with a powerful box for very little money. I have made only one support visit in the last 6 months or so. I guess things are working out well for them.

Re:The "choice is bad" argument (2, Interesting)

richdun (672214) | about 4 years ago | (#33587550)

If you like choice though - if you prefer a less expensive phone or one with all the bells and whistles, or larger or smaller or whatever, Android is an obvious choice. If you like to choose the phone network based on pricing or features, quality of network, or how badly they restrict the phone's features to maximize your bill, again Android is a clear winner.

Yet none of these things (hardware and network) have anything to do with Android (software).

Regardless of what us the technically inclined think, most users don't care about choice or technical ability or "free open source" or any of that. They have one requirement - "How can I make my gadget do a particular thing?" And if my gadget, which is supposed to be the same kind of gadget as my friend's gadget, has a completely different set of things it can / can't do, I'll just want my friend's gadget.

The only thing keeping this debate open is that in the US, where most of these arguments are made, carrier lock-ins make true direct comparison impossible for most consumers. Make every device available on every network and we'll get an answer.

Re:The "choice is bad" argument (3, Interesting)

FyRE666 (263011) | about 4 years ago | (#33587984)

As a developer this is exactly the reason I've moved to iPhone development, and away from Java on mobile devices. Nokia, Samsung etc ruined it for themselves by introducing conflicting extensions and quirks to their platforms, along with expensive certification schemes in partnership with the carriers that made distribution as a small company or sole developer prohibitively expensive and time consuming. Apple smoothed this out no end with its single store and platform.

I'm no fanboy of Apple, or anyone else, but increased fragmentation, and the "embrace and extend" attitudes of phone manufacturers could well end up frustrating Android developers in much the same way.

Yes... (4, Insightful)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 4 years ago | (#33587260)

... in the same way that all the flavors of GNU/Linux have spoiled that platform.

Re:Yes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33587412)

So for commercial software, a lot?

Yeah that's a great way to entice people to write for your platform...

No! (1)

bogaboga (793279) | about 4 years ago | (#33587494)

You compare apples to oranges here. When I need a phone, I first look out for the phone itself then the service provider. Others may look at the carrier first. Can you say Android has done miserably so far? No!

On the other hand, when I am looking for a computer system, I look at the applications available, ease of use then the support. In this department, Linux is still wanting.

Google should stay the course with its Android licensing regime. It gives us choice...much deeper than anything otherwise. Just recently, LG launched entry level [tgdaily.com] Android phones. This would be an after thought if it were not for Android's licensing regime.

Re:Yes... (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 4 years ago | (#33587516)

How is it spoiled? There are a few mainstream distros that everyone knows about, and people interested in running GNU/Linux usually choose one of those, and are not intimidated by the choice. The rest of the distros are either special purpose, novelty, or the product of small communities; most new users never hear of them anyway. What is the problem, exactly? Why blame choice for the lack of success on the desktop, when there are so many other reasons (poor cooperation from hardware makers, intense anti-GNU/Linux campaigns on the part of large companies, etc.)?

Re:Yes... (3, Interesting)

camperdave (969942) | about 4 years ago | (#33587710)

Three or four main distros each with three or four main desktop variants, each available in 64 bit, 32 bit, and who knows what else. To a newcomer, the choices are mind boggling.

Re:Yes... (2, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 4 years ago | (#33587520)

you don't see the point.

the point is that with 'gnu linux' you really CAN own your own pc and do anything you want.

cell phones are NOT the same no matter how much the vendors want you to think so.

each phone has its own way to do things, upgrade, change, etc. its as fragmented as it can be!

if you're in the middle of it, you probably won't see it. as a non-owner (but looking, every so often) I do have to say that the market is quite insane and unless you invest a LOT of time researching it (boring...) you end up with a crapshoot.

it does not take that long to pick a pc or motherboard or cpu or add-on card. but to research a 'new phone' can take days or longer. too much variation!

and this is fully on purpose. confuse the consumer and cloud the issues.

a really ugly market; but vendors see a lot of money since almost all living human beings now 'carry a cellphone'. its not just computer users they are selling to, its anyone who is still alive. HUGE market. it attracts, uhh, the wrong kind of sellers and marketers.

Re:Yes... (2, Insightful)

alvinrod (889928) | about 4 years ago | (#33587880)

It wouldn't say spoiled completely, but it seems like the recent surge in desktop-Linux mindshare is mostly an effect of Ubuntu becoming popular. Most consumers don't want a whole lot of choice, they just want something that works. If they can have several choices of things that work, even better, but the Linux community was so fragmented across different distributions for a while that there really weren't any working solutions for a lot of folks.

What's going to spoil the Android market is carriers adding tons of shovelware to the phone that can't be uninstalled [magicandroidapps.com] , locked down the phone so you can't sideload applications [xda-developers.com] , and all the other evil crap that they do.

Yeah you can fix all of these problems if you root the phone, but the average user isn't going to be able to do that. You could also buy an unlocked phone, but I really wonder how many people know these even exist.

Re:Yes... (1)

mirqry (861861) | about 4 years ago | (#33587898)

The problem is they aren't naming their distros, they are all called Android. You go to the store, but an Android phone and have no idea which one your getting.

Re:Yes... (3, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | about 4 years ago | (#33588132)

... in the same way that all the flavors of GNU/Linux have spoiled that platform.

I would not be surprised at all if the sheer profusion of dists have scared off a lot of people unsure even where to start.

pfft (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33587262)

I love the fact that there is such a wide variety of Android phones. Different features are important to different people, and being able to choose between different phones gives them the opportunity to buy one that caters towards whatever the find most important (good screen, good keypad, good camera, etc.)

Re:pfft (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33587324)

The problem is not the fact that there's choice, but that there are distributions that lock you in and give you no choice (which is most of them). The Android distributions available, currently, are not very good and are actually very poor representations of Android as a platform. If we had a choice of device as well as a choice of Android distribution without the lock-in, then it would be a Good Thing.

You are not the average demographic (2, Informative)

iONiUM (530420) | about 4 years ago | (#33587718)

Sorry to say, but you (and me) are not exactly the primary buyer of these phones anymore. It's "normal" (i.e. non-geek) people. When they see some phones on AT&T running android and offering features XYZ, and some others on Verizon running android and offering features ABC, there is going to be some serious confusion. Is it the phone? Is it the carrier? Is it android? They don't care, they just want the best stuff.

This is part of the reason why android also keeps being shunned (in articles) for business: there's no single model like RIM has. For consumers, if you buy an iPhone, you know exactly what you get. When you buy android, it's not exactly certain.

All that said, I personally prefer android, but that's probably because of customization and choice, which is exactly what you stated :).

Re:You are not the average demographic (1)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33587918)

All that said, I personally prefer android, but that's probably because of customization and choice, which is exactly what you stated :).

Absolutely! I can't stand leaving gadgets stock, I always HAVE to do SOMETHING to them. Android is the perfect platform for just such a thing :-)

Re:pfft (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 4 years ago | (#33588034)

having a wide variety is good.

we don't have that.

if we want THIS hardware and THAT software, can we really do that?

no!

this is a misleading argument. you cannot just install any 'distro' to YOUR phone. carries are sort of hoping you think that way and plunk down money with that misunderstanding but its just not true.

fragmentation WITH FREEDOM is great. we don't have the necessary ingredient to make fragmentation work for us; it works entirely against us as its locked to this and that hardware model!

yeah it sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33587326)

they are definitely annoying me. My biggest problem isn't with the customizations but the insane lag to update. Froyo came out months ago but my Droid X still hasn't been update.

Re:yeah it sucks (2, Informative)

mark72005 (1233572) | about 4 years ago | (#33587758)

Talk to the owners of Motorola's older android phones, many of whom are still getting the run-around on an upgrade.

its a valid point (5, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 4 years ago | (#33587330)

I'm not a smartphone owner, not yet. I don't have a company paying my way for me and I'm not about to foot a $100/mo bill on my own. not yet and not with the current level of phones.

a few weeks after you buy a 'smartphone' some other model makes yours a POS. well, almost. how can anyone buy in that kind of market and retain sanity?

vendors are destroying the 'beauty' of the system. apple (I hate apple, btw) had it almost right when it controlled the carriers. the carriers are little children that run wild if not controlled. apple controlled them; android simply let them run even MORE wild.

google fucked this up. and I think its too late now, the market is SO fragmented its actually damaged. fanboys won't agree but who cares what they think; its the rest of us middle-guys who simply want something stable and something SUPPORTABLE for a few years. the throw-away model every few months is not do-able for me, for this pricepoint.

if there is ever a 3rd choice, I hope they learn from the 2 that 'came before'. apple model is too extreme but actually so is the android model. a middle ground needs to be there, really; and is not. we have the walled garden and the wild wild west where vendors can fark up YOUR phone and mostly get away with it.

I'm still on the sidelines and not willing to fund this insanity until it levels out.

Re:its a valid point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33587498)

America just has a fucked up system where the carriers run wild. CDMA/GSM and the general shitty coverage doesn't help either. We don't have as many problems here in Europe.

Re:its a valid point (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about 4 years ago | (#33587946)

and you have micro-USB connector imposed on all carriers. How is that working?
How is Apple coping with that? (MacHeads here are dying to know.)

Re:its a valid point (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about 4 years ago | (#33588118)

What I'm dying to know is where you got the idea that it was imposed, and why you think it's a bad idea for chargers to have a common plug.

Re:its a valid point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33587508)

a few weeks after you buy a 'smartphone' some other model makes yours a POS. well, almost. how can anyone buy in that kind of market and retain sanity?

Yes, I hate it when I buy a new phone, and then a new one comes out and the one I have commits suicide. It's really annoying how every time the phone companies release a new phone my existing one dies and I'm forced to upgrade.

Wait, that was bizzaro world. In this world my phone continues to function exactly like it did when I bought it. This market is exactly the same as the computer market. You'd go insane and broke trying to keep up with the latest and greatest in computer hardware, which is why almost nobody does that. They're happy with what they have.

Re:its a valid point (2, Interesting)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 4 years ago | (#33587616)

Who has a throwaway phone they have to replace every few months? The Motorola Droid came out almost a year ago, and it's as usable as it was then. Hell, it even supports 2.2 of the OS. Who fucks up anyone's phone? Mine doesn't get an update I don't tell it to. Apple was just as hamstrung by the Vendors as the Vendors were by Apple. For one, look at the terrible press the Iphone/ATT got over the oversaturation of the networks in places like NY.

Oh, by the way, I pay about 70 USD/month for my phone, have an unlimited data plan, and I'm on Verizon, which as I understand, is one of the more expensive carriers right now.

Re:its a valid point (2, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 4 years ago | (#33587646)

$70 is still very close to the general $100 point.

plus, many carriers are FORCING this $30/mo '4g' fee just, well, because THEY CAN.

Re:its a valid point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33587858)

$70 is still very close to the general $100 point.

As close as $40 is to $70, and let's be honest, $40 is not $100 either.

Re:its a valid point (1)

bicho (144895) | about 4 years ago | (#33587836)

The Motorola Droid came out almost a year ago, and it's as usable as it was then. Hell, it even supports 2.2 of the OS.

Except that is not completely true.

Although that is Motorola's fault, not every phone that can is getting an upgrade.

Even more troubling is that it seems to be region based.
And that goes not only for Motorola's droid

Also, unrelated but still a problem for android, is the availability of paid apps on the market.
How long before paid apps get to my country? (rhetoric question)

Re:its a valid point (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 4 years ago | (#33588012)

Admittedly true, but I would have phrased it differently: Not every phone that can is getting an OFFICIAL upgrade. I suppose there are phones that genuinely can't support the latest versions of the OS, but that's the nature of hardware in general. A 486 would be hard pressed to support Windows 7 or Ubuntu 10 with Desktop Effects enabled.

In anticipation of how you might respond to that: Does your big box manufacturer support your OS when you upgrade to the latest linux kernel? If not, why do you have to only use the OS provided by the manufacturer of you phone then?

Re:its a valid point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33587644)

>a few weeks after you buy a 'smartphone' some other model makes yours a POS.

Really!? Are you talking about an Android phone here? That would be really awesome news, ince I've been desperately needing to find a point of sale system built on top of Linux!

Re:its a valid point (2, Insightful)

socsoc (1116769) | about 4 years ago | (#33587664)

a few weeks after you buy a 'smartphone' some other model makes yours a POS.

I agree with your points and I think the quote above illustrates the Android fragmentation problem. My 3GS is still going strong and I'd likely buy an Android device, if that phone could sustain itself with updates for awhile, like NexusOne has done. Instead, they'll just come up with an an X and a 2 version...

Re:its a valid point (1)

slapout (93640) | about 4 years ago | (#33587820)

"a few weeks after you buy a 'smartphone' some other model makes yours a POS"

That happens with all computer hardware

Re:its a valid point (1)

Lifyre (960576) | about 4 years ago | (#33587846)

My only requirement when buying an Android phone was a reasonable expectation I'd be able to get root and load whatever android flavor I wanted. I have a low end phone (Eris) that still makes me happy almost a year on. Sure there are faster, prettier, and more expensive phones. Mine is still quite fast thanks to 2.2 (which actually extends the useable life of old phones, likely why many companies aren't upgrading to it) and does the job significantly better today than it did when I bought the phone. I can't ask for more.

Your concern about the providers going nuts seems to be more an issue with who you pay for your service. There are many smaller companies that treat you well. T-Mobile does a pretty decent job of not screwing your phone up. Even Verizon hasn't done me or the other android users wrong (amazingly enough). Heck it's the handset makers that are locking down phones and putting all the bloat on them not the provider.

Re:its a valid point (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about 4 years ago | (#33587922)

The Carriers' lock down, the hardware mfr's lock down (Motorola) and permanent crapware are the reasons I am now leaning towards an iPhone 3GS.

At least I can JailBreak the 3GS and do what I want.

If I could get an Android that I could control with a good camera, I would jump.

Unfortunately the Carriers want to treat all their users the same way: like idiot users.

Re:its a valid point (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about 4 years ago | (#33588052)

apple had it almost right when it controlled the carriers. the carriers are little children that run wild if not controlled. apple controlled them

Apple was like a little kid who thinks he's telling the elephant he's riding where to go. AT&T showed them pretty quickly how much control they had regarding tethering, bandwidth, etc.

Re:its a valid point (1)

Jakester2K (612607) | about 4 years ago | (#33588070)

Whoa - flashback to 1985:

I'm not a PC owner, not yet. I don't have a company paying my way for me and I'm not about to foot a $2,000 bill on my own. not yet and not with the current level of computers.

a few weeks after you buy a 'computer' some other model makes yours a POS. well, almost. how can anyone buy in that kind of market and retain sanity?

vendors are destroying the 'beauty' of the system. apple (I hate apple, btw) had it almost right when it controlled the hardware and software. the IBM Clone vendors are little children that run wild if not controlled. apple controlled them; IBM simply let them run even MORE wild.

IBM fucked this up. and I think its too late now, the market is SO fragmented its actually damaged. fanboys won't agree but who cares what they think; its the rest of us middle-guys who simply want something stable and something SUPPORTABLE for a few years. the throw-away model every few months is not do-able for me, for this pricepoint.

if there is ever a 3rd choice, I hope they learn from the 2 that 'came before'. apple model is too extreme but actually so is the PC model. a middle ground needs to be there, really; and is not. we have the walled garden and the wild wild west where vendors can fark up YOUR computer and mostly get away with it.

I'm still on the sidelines and not willing to fund this insanity until it levels out.

Or until Linux comes along. Oh, wait....

Re:its a valid point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33588086)

"a few weeks after you buy a 'smartphone' some other model makes yours a POS. well, almost. how can anyone buy in that kind of market and retain sanity?"

Sounds exactly like the PC market. How can you look at yourself in the mirror knowing the PC you just posted this from is obsolete?

The thing people have to remember is that new phones with better features don't make your existing phone worse. You still get all the pleasurable stuff you had when you bought it, probably plus some OS updates over time. Its just time marches on and tech improves. And it happens to every phone, not just Android. Just because some other phone purchasers have blinders on (if it doesn't run my OS, it doesn't exist) doesn't mean that their platform isn't falling behind on its once a year, one size fits all release plan.

Re:its a valid point (1)

qwertyatwork (668720) | about 4 years ago | (#33588168)

a few weeks after you buy a 'smartphone' some other model makes yours a POS. well, almost. how can anyone buy in that kind of market and retain sanity?

How does some other model coming out effect the phone that you have? I have an iPhone 2g, and since it's come out we're up to the iPhone 4. Android has come out since, palm pre, etc. My 2g still does the same things (and more) that it did on the day that it was released. The iPhone 3g did not make my 2g any less functional. Neither did the 3gs, or the 4. My 2g is jailbroken so I get both sms and mms natively, and I pay much less than $100 a month for cell/data/sms/mms service.

If your waiting for the last smartphone to come out, one that will have all the final features you're going to be waiting a very long time. Still holding off on that 486sx because of the dx? It never ends, technology always progresses forward.

Re:its a valid point (1)

aztektum (170569) | about 4 years ago | (#33588180)

Hm. Yeah, not really seeing it. I've been using the same apps on my EVO 4G that co-workers and friends are using on their Droid, Droid Eris, Droid 2, Galaxy S series phones, Hero, Cliq, etc. Oops wait a sec, my turn on Wordfeud with a friend on a Droid X.

Re:its a valid point (1)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | about 4 years ago | (#33588236)

if there is ever a 3rd choice, I hope they learn from the 2 that 'came before'. apple model is too extreme but actually so is the android model. a middle ground needs to be there, really; and is not. we have the walled garden and the wild wild west where vendors can fark up YOUR phone and mostly get away with it.

My suggestion: Palm pre with WebOS. You can wait a bit until the new phone comes out (should be a few month, according to rumors). It's like Apple in the way that it is a standard package, not to be changed by the vendors, but it is not a closed garden. As a bonus, Palm/HP have the most homebrew-friendly attitude, so you do not have to worry about each version upgrade ruining your patches.
And it's a beautiful OS, with not neat stuff coming in the next version (WebOS 2.0).

Re:its a valid point (1)

DukeLinux (644551) | about 4 years ago | (#33588238)

The insanity will never level out. Buy what works for you and be happy about it. My car is over six years old, paid for and reliable. I am happy about that. I did just get a new HTC Aria paid for by my company. I am really happy about that! For my "own nickle" I would not get such an advanced phone. Texting and talking is really all I need. E-mail supports the company during off-hours and the rest is just a perk.

Someone call Google! (4, Insightful)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 4 years ago | (#33587358)

Terrible news everyone. Android enables the ability to extend usability and functionality beyond what the native platform supports! It's not a one size fits all shoehorn! What a failure! God, I need to sell my stock quick!!1

You know. I've never bought a car thinking it had any features in it other than the ones I knew it had. How about instead of treating consumers like they're the awkward creepy man-child that greets customers at Wal-Mart, we just expect people to have enough interest in the product to do their research and read the fucking box and reviews to find out what the device is even capable of? I mean, are there any reasons other than because the expectation of personal responsibility is dead?

Re:Someone call Google! (5, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 4 years ago | (#33587448)

it also enables the CARRIER or vendor to 'comment out' stuff that we would want and adding crap to our screens that we do NOT want. and often you cannot change this, as its not really a 'portable pc' as people want to think. its still in a lock-down mode when it comes to your ability to do things with ALL 'google phones'.

google did not control the carriers. they made a huge mistake in this design aspect.

this is the problem.

Re:Someone call Google! (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 4 years ago | (#33587904)

Maybe. I look at it a different way. I see now what you meant in your other comment about it being the Wild West, but it's more that it's a double edged sword. Case in point: Verizon didn't feel I should be able to wifi-tether my phone without paying a nominal charge. An upgrade to a rooted version of 2.2 (which was not nearly as hard as you might believe, and as far as I can tell, does not void my warranty as I can flash back) and a free app available from Google themselves, and that ability is right back in my phone.

The way I feel describes it more is that Google wanted to hit as many vendors as possible, but they wanted to preserve their ideal "open phone" concept, so they compromised. Enough lip service to the vendors and superficially making it seem as though they could lock the phones down, yet for anyone who cares enough to look (the majority of which would be the power users in the first place), it becomes as open as you wish it to be.

Re:Someone call the OHA (not Google) (2, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 4 years ago | (#33588126)

First of all Android is not a Google OS, it is an Open Handset Alliance OS. Google is one member company of 73. Google adds value just as any carrier or design and manufacturer adds value.

Secondly, every phone you buy - at least in the US - is locked down, so your argument is that their Achilles heal is that - in one respect only - they are not better than the others.

Thirdly, it is locked down by default, but nothing is stopping you from unlocking it or paying someone to unlock it for you.

Finally, it is indeed a portable computer. You don't get to choose many things on the Windows platform - e.g. to IE or not to IE until recently - and yet nobody is saying a Windows PC is a not real PC.

Re:Someone call Google! (2, Interesting)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about 4 years ago | (#33587634)

The problem is that carriers do not want you to have a general-purpose computer on their networks. They want to be able to sell you each. individual. application. The last thing they want is the end-user installing software, so they take steps to disable functionality. They want you to have a pseudo-smartphone, it looks neat, costs a lot, racks up the data charges...but isn't a general-purpose computer.

This is at odds with what we all thought Android promised us: a real OS for our tiny computers that would let us treat the carrier like any other ISP.

Re:Someone call Google! (1)

CRCulver (715279) | about 4 years ago | (#33587940)

This is at odds with what we all thought Android promised us: a real OS for our tiny computers that would let us treat the carrier like any other ISP.

That's what you get with the Nokia N900. It's a fully-featured installation of Debian Linux, but few on Slashdot got excited about it because it wasn't sexy and polished like the iPhone. These days, freedom, openness and hackability definitely takes a backseat to style on this erstwhile "news for nerds" site.

Re:Someone call Google! (1)

Duradin (1261418) | about 4 years ago | (#33588212)

"The last thing they want is the end-user installing software, so they take steps to disable functionality. They want you to have a pseudo-smartphone, it looks neat, costs a lot, racks up the data charges...but isn't a general-purpose computer.

This is at odds with what we all thought Android promised us: a real OS for our tiny computers that would let us treat the carrier like any other ISP."

A less sinister reason could be that they don't want masses of rogue smartphone programs run by people who can't comprehend what it means to play nice with a common resource mucking up the network.

Want to be able to run whatever the hell you want? Get some frequencies from the FCC, set up your own carrier and make damn sure it doesn't screw with the existing network. Just because phones are starting to get enough horsepower to run antivirus and firewall software does not mean that they should have to.

There are restrictions on what can be driven on public roads. You might be pissed that you can't drive your homemade jalopy but I'm happy that I don't have to worry about dodging it when a wheel falls off at interstate speeds.

but not in that way (3, Insightful)

calderra (1034658) | about 4 years ago | (#33587368)

Yes, all these Android flavors spoil the platform, but not in the way most people are pointing to. Personally, I think the problem is that stock droid sucks. Stock droid sucks especially hard considering I can only get Droid X (I accept no substitute) bundled with a ton of Verizon bloatware that keeps running no matter how often I shut it down and I'm sure it's broadcasting my location information and lots of stuff. And the default launcher is slow, fairly ugly, and not entirely stable. LauncherPro is everything the stock launcher should be, but it bugs me constantly with pop-ups about paid features. If stock droid would learn more from the droid community, the droid brand would be faring better. Spending $200 on a phone just to hear "everything on your phone sucks- download these dozen programs to patch it up"... sucks.

Re:but not in that way (1)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33587518)

Spending $200 on a phone just to hear "everything on your phone sucks- download these dozen programs to patch it up"... sucks.

How is that any different than having to jailbreak an iPhone?

Re:but not in that way (2, Insightful)

mark72005 (1233572) | about 4 years ago | (#33587780)

Nobody "has" to jailbreak an iPhone. It works just fine without it.

Re:but not in that way (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 4 years ago | (#33588162)

I must be missing the part where anyone has to root an Android phone. Everybody I know thinks that my Android based phone blows iPhone out of the water, in fact.

Re:but not in that way (1)

daid303 (843777) | about 4 years ago | (#33587830)

The difference is that you payed $600 for the iPhone.

Re:but not in that way (1)

crazycheetah (1416001) | about 4 years ago | (#33588104)

I actually agree with you on the problems with the Droid X. I played with Motoblur/Ninjablur, and I played with Sense UI, and whatever Samsung's is called as well. They all suck in my opinion. But I love vanilla, stock Android. I have since rooted my original Moto Droid and am running Cyanogen Mod, so that's not really stock any more, but it's not that much of an improvement. Most of the improvements are because I rooted, not because the interface is much better.

Maybe look into ADW Launcher. I'm found it before I rooted and have been using it since. There's almost too many settings, and I don't like the default setup. However, it only took a couple of minutes to change those settings, and I haven't had a problem since; I almost like it better than the vanilla, stock home screen (for basically one reason only: the fact that I have a bar on the bottom for quick reference to my most common apps; otherwise, it's basically the stock home screen). It is slow from time to time, but when I OC to 1-1.1GHz, I don't have a problem at all, so I would hope the Droid X would be able to run it well.

I'm just hoping someone comes out with another open, vanilla Android phone soon. Maybe with Gingerbread, when that comes out. One without the bullshit and lets you do what you want with it, like my original Droid. I'm not upgrading until either that happens or this Droid starts falling apart.

No other company would do that (0, Offtopic)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | about 4 years ago | (#33587376)

Because Microsoft has never confused us with a dozen different varieties of the same operating system. http://art.penny-arcade.com/photos/217488538_MN88A-L-2.jpg [penny-arcade.com]

Re:No other company would do that (1)

Yaddoshi (997885) | about 4 years ago | (#33587464)

Because Microsoft has never confused us with a dozen different varieties of the same operating system. http://art.penny-arcade.com/photos/217488538_MN88A-L-2.jpg [penny-arcade.com]

True. Dell and HP never made it to the top of the PC manufacturer/vendor chain by distributing proprietary additions to the Windows operating system such as recovery tools, preloaded malware protection, various other "support" applications, etc, etc, etc...

I Agree (5, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | about 4 years ago | (#33587388)

I know I'll get modded to hell but I think that Android is in danger of suffering to forking into different carrier-specific versions. I believe that people _will_ hear about cool features that an Android phone offers, buy an Android phone and find out, too late, that it's available on _other_ Android phones, not the one they bought. This will start to result in negative user experiences down the road.

The plus side of it (being fair here) is it is really driving competition and making the different forks of Android as well as iOS better because of it. It's forcing manufacturers to drive to improve, which is good for the consumer but, for people who want Android to win, it will soon become a discussion of specific forks of Android because there will no longer be one unified version.

Heck, I find myself looking at Android phones thinking "if I were to switch from my iPhone, which one would I be interested in getting?" (I won't be switching - I like my iPhone - but I like to contemplate which version of Android interests me to keep my options open and all that.) That, to me, is a clear sign that the differentiation is real and something people need to keep in mind.

Re:I Agree (2, Insightful)

SputnikPanic (927985) | about 4 years ago | (#33587544)

TechCrunch had a really good post [techcrunch.com] a few days ago about carriers exploiting the openness of Android. Worth a read.

Re:I Agree (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | about 4 years ago | (#33587798)

Carriers love it. Someone else is coding their OS - they don't have to spend that development time on an OS now, they can concentrate on packing in bloatware and adware, more revenue-centric stuff.

The proper analogy is the 80's (4, Insightful)

rsborg (111459) | about 4 years ago | (#33587740)

It's not the 90's and 00's of Linux, but the Unix wars of the 1980's where proprietary Unixes battled it out for the workstation market. The corporate greed of Unix vendors (as opposed to the ideological Linux battles after-wards) allowed a Microsoft to flourish and eventually control the high end market.

Despite Google being the unifying factor, the carriers are even more greedy and less capable than the Unix vendors of old, and meanwhile Apple remains ascendant and proprietary.

Inconsistent user interfaces diminish network effects and will suppress Android adoption... then there are abominations like the Verizon vCast store [androidpolice.com] .

Re:I Agree (1)

socsoc (1116769) | about 4 years ago | (#33587850)

You're spot on and it's similar to what Bluetooth went through. Oh your car has Bluetooth? So does my phone. Why can't it stream to your speakers? What's A2DP? It streams to my headphones wirelessly, what's the difference, they're both Bluetooth?

it'll turn into two people that both have new android phones with different features and can't understand why

Re:I Agree (2)

Mascot (120795) | about 4 years ago | (#33587986)

As long as most people can say "I love HTC phones," and not realize they are in fact talking about a brand that sells phones with a handful of different operating systems, Android isn't going to be a label to dilute.

And that's how most of my acquaintances are. They'll tell me how happy they are with a new phone, not having any idea what OS it runs. It's just too new a concept for them.

If they see a cool feature on a friend's phone, they'll buy _that model_, they won't figure out what OS it runs and start looking for phones with that OS expecting it to have that particular feature.

Personally, I'm with the "it's all good" brigade on this one. I don't want "Android" to be the new "iPhone", where you have exactly 1 choice and virtually no ability to customize. I want carriers to be able to develop stuff like HTC Sense. I think it's a strength, not a weakness.

Re:I Agree (1)

Real1tyCzech (997498) | about 4 years ago | (#33588038)

"I believe that people _will_ hear about cool features that an Android phone offers, buy an Android phone and find out, too late, that it's available on _other_ Android phones, not the one they bought. "

Are people really this stupid? I would imagine there might be a few nitwits out there who will walk in, see a phone, buy it, and walk out without even actually *using* it, but most folks I see actually spend a good deal of time playing around with them first.

(I've spent a good deal of time lately in the local VZW store since I am upgrading in a month)

Most folks I see there are doing exactly what I am: asking questions, downloading apps to the display phones, and basically getting a pretty good look at the device before they make a decision.

Re:I Agree (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | about 4 years ago | (#33588114)

You and most of your friends (I assume) are geeks. Research tech toys is what we enjoy doing. Now ask yourself if your mom or your boss or your kid's teacher is also interested in researching tech toys the same way we are.

Re:I Agree (1)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | about 4 years ago | (#33588152)

I believe that people _will_ hear about cool features that an Android phone offers, buy an Android phone and find out, too late, that it's available on _other_ Android phones, not the one they bought.

This is rapidly becoming a problem with other smartphones as well, so it's just par for the course. It's sad when marketeers can collude with each other to provide the illusion of choice, when the reality is they all offer the same crappy deal except for killer feature x. I was most annoyed for instance, to find that BlackBerry Enterprise Server was not a feature of all BlackBerrys. Some carriers disable this functionality and charge extra for it, even though I'm administering the BES! They just assume that a home user is not capable of such a setup, and that it's a service that only they can provide.

Re:I Agree (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 4 years ago | (#33588192)

"I believe that people _will_ hear about cool features that an Android phone offers, buy an Android phone and find out, too late, ..."

Either that or they will return the phone and get the one with the feature they wanted but didn't get. Try that with an iPhone ;-)

Re:I Agree (3, Insightful)

kaiser423 (828989) | about 4 years ago | (#33588246)

Currently, the carriers have almost no chance of surpassing stock, vanilla, latest and greatest Android released by Google in feature set. They're just not that good at software, and not nimble enough to beat the big G right now.

Essentially, I think that the carriers ARE trying the "embrace and extend" business model to fragment and force lock into them for certain features. But the problem is that they're having problems with the "extend" part, because everytime they try to extend, they see that Google has moved the signposts a couple miles down the road! Your "extend" has to be better than the stock offering, and that means they have to be better than Google at Google's game. Best of luck to 'em.

Doesn't matter at all (2, Interesting)

cbraescu1 (180267) | about 4 years ago | (#33587438)

Android is not a consumer brand, therefore its flavors can't raise or sink the brand. The whole premise is flawed.

good publicity too.. (1)

questionsaddict (1277150) | about 4 years ago | (#33587482)

i've never had an android, and i don't really know what's all the fuzz about it.. but if at some point of history they could offer some variation of my default phone (i always buy small and simple phones), like, the option to add some sort of anti theft tech, i would go with android, since it looks (that is, by what i've heard) aimed to be an open platform. the same goes, i think, to anyone who stays with one type of phone (not the ones that like to have the coolest phone out there. that market couldn't care less for functionality) i think this is great to expand the market.. we could all sit and say how people don't like to have some sort of bash 'cause they 'freak out' when they see it, but the truth is that more and more people are getting used to it, at least enough to know they haven't broke anything by opening it.. and that's quite enough to change that uneasiness of having a customizable phone into a powerful incentive, as in ''i don't know how to use it NOW.. but with time this phone will rock''

no, but... (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | about 4 years ago | (#33587504)

Good for consumers (in theory), horrible for developers, which is probably why most developers favor the iOS platform.

I've already given up developing (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33587584)

Not much more I can say. After developing for a year and a half by myself, it has gotten unmanageable. I can make an app that is polished and slick for the Droid, but the ratings get dragged down by other devices that it apparently doesn't run slick on.

As a single person I can't possibly manage all of the QA and customer service that all of these devices demand. It was fun while it lasted. Never developed for the iPhone but I can see how it might be a better experience.

Re:I've already given up developing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33588022)

iphone 3g, 3gs, 4, 4.01, 4.1, original iphone, ipod touch 1 2 and 3..

Re:I've already given up developing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33588026)

For a few hundred dollars you can go to testing centers and test your app on dozens and dozens of different phones. Or pay a bit more and have someone else test your program. I'd rather see developers do that and charge a bit more for their program than release untested hobby type programs in the app stores.

Leave Android Alone! (4, Interesting)

MrTripps (1306469) | about 4 years ago | (#33587608)

The customizations many vendors tack on to Android suck (for the most part). Just leave Android alone and it works fine.

Re:Leave Android Alone! (1, Flamebait)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | about 4 years ago | (#33587932)

The customizations many vendors tack on to Android suck (for the most part). Just leave Android alone and it works fine.

I read your comment imagining you were in tears - blubbering and yelling "Leave Android alone!"

Frick'in Internet memes....

No (2, Insightful)

UndeadCircus (1883202) | about 4 years ago | (#33587648)

I personally find that the Android phones that are out now all have horrendously ugly interfaces; HTC comes to mind first. They need to have one, and only one, GUI for the interface. Anything more than that and the only way you can tell it's Android is by looking at the "taskbar" items at the top of the interface.

Choice is bad, obviously (2, Interesting)

Nyder (754090) | about 4 years ago | (#33587688)

I have to say this, damn people.

Look at all the different cars we can buy, food, shoes, clothes.

Books, music, movies, etc...

Do I really need to go on?

This article is just flamebate, to cause peeps to get angry.

Anyways, didn't we have an article that like 70% of the Android Devices were 2.0 and up?

And I bummed my G1 is running 1.6? No. The phone works fine and does what I want it to. Keep my calender info, call people, receive calls, and i like to read ebooks on it.

If I want Android 2.2, I can either use a custom rom, or i can buy a new phone.

Just like everything fucking thing else.

I'm going to add this. I'm glad we have all these choices. It's good for us. Now quit thinking you need to defend what you buy, because that sort of thinking is stupid.

Seems rather contradictory (3, Insightful)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | about 4 years ago | (#33587756)

From TFA:

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of open-source tools, and Android has the potential to offer all the advantages of an open platform, but it also gives the handset and cellphone providers the power to customize and add endlessly to their phones.

So just what is the advantage of an open platform if OEMs are not allowed to customize it? I see Android like the Linux kernel on which it is built. The Linux kernel powers all manner of desktops, phones and other devices with a wide variety of user interfaces. Similarly, Android is a building block to make a phone user interface. It allows manufacturers to make an HTC phone, or a Motorola phone (etc).

And what is the alternative? Lock down the OS so OEMs can't replace applications with their own choices? Isn't that the practice that causes everyone to complain about Microsoft? Just imagine that the default browser in Android was Internet Explorer. Would anyone here complain about manufacturers replacing it with anything else on their model of phone? No? Then it seems a bit rich to complain about any other customization of the platform.

Doesn't matter much to me (1)

rhaacke (1563489) | about 4 years ago | (#33587784)

I've only got the one phone. I'll have it for 2 years. Then I'll buy whatever I feel is best at the time. Research is the only way to make a good choice when there are many similar choices to pick from.

Reminds me of Unix, forked up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33587806)

There were/are lots of flavors of Unix. It was/is really forked up. I don't see why the same thing can't happen to Android.

Again with the red herring of fragmentation? (1)

xannik (534808) | about 4 years ago | (#33587810)

Choice is a great thing! Options are a great thing! Sure, ensuring that an application works PERFECTLY on ALL handsets EXACTLY the same is more difficult on Android than the iPhone, but that simply doesn't matter. There is a saying, "Don't let GOOD stand in the way of GOOD ENOUGH". This is very applicable in the case of the fragmentation debate. You can make GOOD ENOUGH applications for Android quite easily and then stamp out the bugs as you go. Not to mention, Google makes it extremely easy to test your app on all the different versions of Android that they have out there. It is simply not that hard.

This has a straight parallel to the Windows vs Mac world. When developing application for Windows do you think that all the Windows developers are out there buying every single PC configuration to test their app? Of course not, that simply isn't practical. It is why Mac systems have always had a more cohesive/"just works" feel to them. (Apple owns the hardware) The end of the day though, Windows systems work just fine for almost everyone out there. It has also led to a much lower cost for computers that you can't get in the Mac universe. This is the same thing that you are seeing with Android. It is good enough and in fact has features that I would hazard a guess gives the iPhone a jealous eye. Android is running on all sorts of different hardware, some with keyboards, some without, some starting at $199, some as low a $0(BOGO deals). All these things end up in a highly tailored product that allows each consumer to make their own choice. The good Android phones will rise to the top and the bad Android phones will fall to the bottom. It's the way business works.

In the end, the consumer doesn't care at all about fragmentation. What the consumer cares about is, "Does the phone do what I need it to do?"

Android delivers what consumers need out of a smartphone platform and it does it well enough that any small fragmentation issue becomes irrelevant.

Just make one Solid Platform User Configurable (1)

Spaceelevators (1901700) | about 4 years ago | (#33587890)

Just make the Android platform as configurable as the Windows platform. Sure, it is easy enough to get around the BS, but why put it there in the first place? Let me install and delete (all of the) software, and don't mess with my configuration when you push an update. If you want to protect people from themselves, then put the (This is an Administrator function!) warning in that comes on the Windows 7 platform.

Made the Android mistake (1)

simianlovedoc (889543) | about 4 years ago | (#33587958)

Two things I have learned from my Android phone experience: 1. I will never purchase another Samsung product again. After advertising the Behold II as 2.x capable, users had to threaten a class action suit to get an upgrade from 1.5 to 1.6 and were told that the phone was not capable of running 2.x. Oh, and BTW, the 1.6 upgrades on T-Mobile started at the end of June and were suspended due to reports of problems with the upgrade. My phone got upgraded, my wife's did not. Users were told a fix was in the works. Almost three months later, silence from Samsung and T-Mobile. 2. I should have switched carriers and bought two iPhones. Between the 5 versions of Android OS available, the garbage dump that is the Android Marketplace, and the absolute lack of ownership of the problems by carrier, hardware manufacturer, or Google, I am surprised their marketshare continues to grow. As soon as I am able to get out of this contract with T-Mobile, I will be switching to iPhone.

They miss the point (3, Interesting)

sunking2 (521698) | about 4 years ago | (#33587966)

All it takes is a few vendors to drop the ball with bad implementations, or go out of business dropping support to create a bad association with Android. That's the real issue. Bad PR goes a lot further than good. At some point someone will put out a really terrible version that will in some respect hurt the label.

Hold on a second now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33588092)

I thought the ability to customize the software was suppose to be the big feature behind the endless screaming of "but, but it's Open Source!"

I'm getting a mixed message here. Are we now doing an about face and saying that open source is fine just as long as no one modifies it? Isn't this 'problem' the same thing that Apple and Microsoft fanbois have been screaming about for years?

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33588172)

Apparently more selection is less?

    Screw that, get your smart on and pick which suits....

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