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I agree with you, but the fact that you have to root your phone and only a few of the handsets seem work well with the open source builds limits how open it can be.

Not saying this is google's fault.

True, but I think there are things google could do to alleviate many of the problems here. My understanding is that drivers appear to be a significant contributor to the portability problems of Android across devices. This is the same problem that Microsoft had for years and thankfully seems to be largely resolved with 7.

The fix is relatively simple, all "certified" devices must register their driver software with Google so it can be centralized, pooled, shared and reused without restriction.

Another problem is the bizarre proclivity of manufacturers to encrypt their boot loaders, then release a "fix" for it a month later. Just require manufacturers to not lock the bootloaders, that easy. Locked boot loader? No license. Done.

Note: Insterestingly, I believe it was HTC that accused Google of requiring the encrypted boot loaders to comply with the DRM'd distribution of media through Google's market.

Don't forget the fact that they use Google's closed source software like GMaps, GMail, Market... and strictly they don't allow you to run that on custom firmware.

"and strictly they don't allow you to run that on custom firmware"

That is strictly incorrect. I have all of Google's proprietary software on my rooted devices with custom roms, and didn't have to do anything special except get them from the Market after installing the roms. Just like I did when I got the phone from the carrier in the first place.

That's also not true. They don't allow custom ROM developers to illegal distribute copyright protected proprietary apps, no.

But they haven't C-D'd anyone rehosting the GAPPS zip files, nor do they care about the backup and restore script in CM to back them up from an existing Google-packaged ROM and restored into a custom one.

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