Android may be a rip off of iPhone OS, but it's certainly not a rip off of Windows Mobile.
(I could barely even make calls on my Windows Mobile phone, much less browse the Internet in a meaningful way. On Android, those two things both work wonderfully.)
Before Chrome & Chrome OS :
You & me -> OS (Windows, MacOS X, etc.) -> Browser (IE, FF, Safari, etc.) -> Google Search -> internet / webapps
Perfect world for Google:
You & me -> Google (OS, browser and Search) -> internet / webapps
Cellular phones, and the iPhone in particular, bring the threat one step further. Because what should be webapps are simply Apps on the iPhone, making Google a complete outsider instead of the gateway toward mobile apps. When you look for an iPhone App, Google is an outsider. A second choice after a failure with the iTunes Store Search.
I see Android as the answer to Apple standing between Google and its customers on the mobile market. And Apple standing in the way today sounds a bit like Microsoft standing in the way back in the 90ies...
But you're right at least to a degree -- they have decided that open-ness is better for Google. Whether it is just for search or for other future things is a debatable point I guess.
Remember webmail before Gmail came along? My free Hotmail account stored something like 2 MB - it was a joke. Google gets into lots of different domains to scare companies into action, but I'm pretty sure most of their revenue still comes from search advertising (maybe someone can verify that?).
It's a fantastic long-term strategy as they're setting the stage for even more success. More than any other company I know of, Google has an eye towards the future.
For one- I would like to see you connect buying radio stations to using the internet `for longer time.`
And for two- I would be shocked if Google's only business model was "Create things which will force people to look at more of our ads".
On a similar side-note. Youtube has very little advertisement- especially compared to sites like Megavideo and Hulu (kinda not related). So advertisement must not be the number one priority always. (Advertisement on youtube is a recent addition too if I am correct.)
> And for two- I would be shocked if Google's only business model was "Create things which will force people to look at more of our ads"
is not an argument.
But far more fundamentally last I'd checked every cell provider has much greater coverage for voice than they do for 3G data, and I'd assume that VOIP over GPRS or EDGE speeds would be pretty unimpressive.
There are 5-6 steps in this process, from booting up your computer to looking for information on the web.
Google wants a stake in every step.
Why? Google wants to organize the world's information, so they can put ads on it!
AdMob, too, is not a search-based ad network.