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Apple manufacturers both the hardware and the software and then sell it, there is no 3rd party involved in this transaction.

Microsoft builds the OS and licenses it to a manufacture, they build the device and sell it. At least 3 parties involved.

Microsoft's requirements need to be met to be able to license Windows 8 for tablets. Microsoft is forcing manufacturers to lock down their devices or else they aren't allowed to use Windows 8.

Google licenses the Android source code/platform/name whatever, and a manufacturer builds the devices. The manufacturer chooses to lock down the boot loader.

Google doesn't make any requirements on the manufacturers to lock their devices down.

That is where the difference lies. Microsoft is being bad here because they are forcing something on its manufacturers that its manufacturers may not have wanted to implement.

I don't see why Apple should have to let people install Windows on an iPad, or for that matter even make it easy for people to do so if they pleased. I don't see why manufacturers should have to let people flash whatever firmware they want to their device. But I do see why Microsoft shouldn't be telling manufacturers that the manufacturers customers can't flash their device if they so pleased.

So it's bad for Microsoft to force rules onto the manufacturers, but not for the manufacturers to force rules onto the consumers? How come?

In my opinion, both are bad. No, the manufacturers shouldn't have to make it easy (or make any effort at all) to help consumers install other OSs, but locking up the devices on purpose is no better than what MS is doing.

Instead carriers require that all phones be locked. Different causes, but the same result.

> Google doesn't make any requirements on the manufacturers to lock their devices down.

But they do. Google has many requirements and if you don't meet them, you won't be licensed the Google apps. That's the same thing Microsoft is doing here. You can choose to make a tablet that doesn't meet their requirements, you just can't sell it with Windows if you do so.

Microsoft isn't preventing anyone from making products or selling tablets running other operating systems... just that the ones they sell with Windows can't be re-flashed.

There is no requirement from Google to build a device that the customer can't change at will after they purchase it. The manufacturers themselves have locked the boot-loaders not at the will of Google.


Add to that the fact that Google releases the Android source code. Manufacturers do produce Android derivatives (e.g. Kindle Fire) by removing the Google branding. And HTC just relented by unlocking their bootloaders, providing at least one data point that customers do want the ability to load their own OS.

Must we relearn the lessons from the PC all over again?

Actually there is, sort of. The new Asus Transformer Prime comes with an encrypted signed boot loader. They will give you a tool to allow it to boot unsigned code, but according to Asus, this will cause you to lose the ability to view Google Videos (as per Google requirements).

They don't expect manufacturers to lock down the devices. Their flagship devices, which are supposed to set the bar for other Android phones, are deliberately not locked down to set an example.

"They don't expect manufacturers to lock down the devices."

He's not saying they do. No one is saying they do. That is the very definition of a straw man argument.

Dan Grossman is saying Google has a host of other compliance requirements. Why does Microsoft compliance requirement X cross some terrible line that Google and Apple requirements W, Y and Z don't?

Because MS compliance requirement X is deliberately anti-consumer, anti open-source, and openly hostile to users using their hardware as they see fit?

"deliberately anti-consumer"

This requirement negatively affects a rounding error of consumers that will probably be able to circumvent the restriction anyway.

Googles forcing G+ & Gmail apps onto a vast majority of users that don't use those platforms is arguably a bigger consumer problem. But nobody cares and rightfully so. The impact is minimal in both cases.

Beyond the negative effect there's a tangible security gain here that is probably a bigger deal for many more customers then are inconvenienced by the locked bootloader.

"anti open-source"

Microsoft is not the EFF and has no mandate to be pro-open source. Google's failure to release the Android development branch, roadmap, the honeycomb delay and their compatibility tests aren't anti-open source?

Awesome, I'm glad we're on the new HN where we downvote things we disagree with. Google doesn't have a compliance requirement of "prevent users from running another OS". MS does. That pretty clearly crosses a line that none of the Google requirements do.

"Google doesn't have a compliance requirement of "prevent users from running another OS". MS does. That pretty clearly crosses a line that none of the Google requirements do."

The fact that things are different is not in and of itself a real argument. All you're doing is restating what Microsoft's requirement is and attaching your conclusion ("this crosses the line") but you haven't actually shown this.

"none of the Google requirements do"

Can't use another OS: Sky's falling!

Can't use another location service: Who cares right?

A number of Google requirements are secret so how can we confidently say none of them cross the line?

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