Google and Android - 06 January 2011
Author: Doug Simmons

kittydisapprovemsnbcGoogle-bashing MSNBC is getting under my skin. I was about to write a state of the Android defragmentation update, which would have noted that over half of Android phones in active use are running Froyo and almost 90% are on Android 2.x, but I stumbled onto an MSNBC article entitled Fractured Android leaves orphan tablets behind, by Negative Nancy M. Alex Johnson.

The article is overloaded with tl;dr even for my standards but basically out of his CES revelations he identifies Apple and its iPad as still being the “king,” Microsoft is a contender to be taken seriously and Google should start studying Microsoft in order to learn some lessons and prevent them from dethroning Google because of a marketing and programming hole Google’s opened, a window for Windows left by Google by putting Android 3.0 Honeycomb on some tablet while probably leaving all other current tablets stranded on 2.2 or lower and also because a lot of people use Windows on their PC.

Yes damnit it’s another Android fragmentation article. He identifies two single digit percent popularity Android versions as holding significant positions in the market. Under 5% is not a significant position, and when you have that number drop and drop rapidly every month you don’t call that position as being held. It’s falling. Anyway, because of all this crazy fragmentation he insists is such a big deal, Android developers will vanish, defecting to make iPad and Windows Phone apps because enough is enough.

You ready for some before and after fun? Here’s a graph from the last time I touched on this subject of Android version distribution on active devices not too long ago and to the right is the current distribution. Look at the stupid charts please:

after

before

 

 

 

 

 

Do you see the trend? Now from the perspective of a developer, from anyone’s perspective for that matter, do you see something in the change between those two charts or elsewhere that strikes you as a harbinger of doom for Google and an opening for Microsoft to put on some kind of mock funeral in recognition for their true (but still hypothetical…) mobile success? No. You either don’t understand the charts (or graphs, whatever), you don’t care about the charts or you don’t see it because that’s improvement, improvement that occurred while Android growth has continued to have been described with superlative language like explosive and exponentially this and taking over that. The developers aren’t going anywhere because there’s one of these tabs with Honeycomb on it. Not even tab-only developers. They’re staying put while more flock in and where does this asshole get off saying the opposite.

Yes there are at least hundreds of unique Android devices out there, hundreds of thousands of a mixture of them getting activated a day, some with wider screens than others, some with cameras, some with slow processors, some without a dual axis accelerometer and so on, but only a handful of them, the top shelf phones specifically, make up the majority of Android device distribution to a vast group of people. Hundreds of millions. So your app doesn’t work on the Nexus S’s three-axis accelerometer (for example), okay, thanks to the development process, you specified that your device needs such a thing, so Nexus S owners are scratched off the list of people who can see your application on the market. That way you get to reach a huge collection of consumers without pissing of the Nexus S owners who would otherwise in turn write you a bad review and give you one star. The most popular phones are similar. That seems to be the trend, consumers tend to buy the best phone. Developing for tabs and Google TV too I imagine entails the same hurdles you’d get from Apple or Microsoft.

M. Alex Johnson, MSNBC and plenty of others like him (looking at you, WMPU) rip on Android and fragmentation because, just like this article, sort of, ripping on people for ripping on Android, draws traffic, and though I try to do that too, it’s become a tired cheap shot that’s just growing too factually incorrect to use, a funny one as so many people who shout about it don’t even know what the word really means. Come up with something else. Here, I spent five seconds of creativity to think of this: “Why do they keep naming their software after deserts? They should name each release after a different fruit because those fanboys are a bunch of fruits! Who can’t even watch Netflix, boom!!” Not bad for five seconds.

Fun fact: Google does have device compatibility standards that they do enforce. Not as easy as you’ve heard to cook up a thing with a battery and a screen, slap Android inside and expect it to be cleared legally to take on the Android name in its marketing or to have access to the Android market. If you want to read about this screening process, please do, and please remember what you learn the next time you’re in a fragmentation flame war or writing another half-baked article: source.android.com/compatibility

Were you to google google site:msnbc.com (that’s a trick to force results only from that domain), every article that pops up is bashing Google, four of them right in the title, the centerpiece of the articles. Every single article! It’s like they’re Fox News but Google is the bad guy instead of Obamacare. Oh man you know what honestly just popped into my head just now, the MS in MSNBC is Microsoft.

owlconfusedbymsnbcsgooglehateThe kicker? Were you to watch MSNBC, which I do sometimes on Sundays when they’re doing shows about prostitutes and prison rape, you’ll find that whenever there’s a significant news event that’s taking place in a particular part of the world, they’ll bust out Google Earth and fly right in – and at the same time break Google’s balls over the Google Maps border snafu. Hey M. Alex, help me out here, you being an expert of both companies – didn’t Microsoft launch their own Google Earth killer back in 2006? Why aren’t they using that given that it’s their own dogfood and they seem to hate Google? Are they doing it for the irony? Google’s not the only game in town on this one, but I suppose they’re the best.

I’ll tell you why they write this horseshit: They don’t hate Google. Like me, they love Google. They love Google’s products and services, one of which is free traffic. Like me, they like traffic and they know that people like you who’ve actually read this far and people like me who go crazy over some MSNBC link David sent me, that’s one way to make money. So what if you’re writing nonsense and using Google products to help you spin your bullshit, that Google’s going to get crushed by Microsoft because of Honeycomb tablet fragmentation spawning a developer exodus.

Hey M. Alex Johnson, why don’t you switch gears and bash Microsoft? Balls not big enough? We both know there’s no shortage of material. I hope your stupid blog has a bigger audience than your television network.

That’s it I’m done.

Doug Simmons









About Author

Biographical info.. hmm. I have a history of not being able to strike the balance between what is "safe" to put into these forms and what is, in my mind at least, funny. Can't do it.

(9) Readers Comments

  1. Just so you know… MSNBC.com and the TV network are run as seperate companies..
    Being run as seperate companies is one of the reasons MSNBC.com wants to dispense with the msnbc name for the site(the other reason is msnbc.com doesn’t want to be associated with the cable channels decidely, and unapologetic leftward tilt)..
    Microsoft has no association with the channel… i’m not sure about the website…

  2. OH, and here is some reference material..
    I know, I know, it’s Wikipedia, but this article is actually accurate!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Msnbc.com

  3. Yeah I was actually just reading the two. Hmm..

    So MSNBC and msnbc.com are jointly owned by NBC Universal and Microsoft, msnbc.com is owned and was created by the same, msnbc.com is a joint venture, its own company. So what, like Hong Kong isn’t China, that kind of thing?

    They may not compare notes all the time but if I changed MSNBC to msnbc.com on the title it would hit the line break and screw the whole thing up. Is this hair worth splitting?

    Did you say that msnbc.com wants to detach themselves in terms of branding so to do that they’re changing theirs to msnbc in lowercase with a .com suffix and getting some intern to update wikipedia on that?

  4. Barbra Streisand effect much?

    Hope you’re lovin’ your hatin’ msnbc for lovin’ hatin’ google traffic.

    Hothead.

  5. Pingback: Posts Google

  6. To be fair, MSNBC actually just writes hit pieces (except iOS which they freaking love). In fact, maybe they hate themselves. Current headlines in tech:
    Microsoft’s answer to the iPad is still in pieces http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40956320/ns/technology_and_science-tech_and_gadgets/

    Microsoft quietly kicks off CES: No Windows 8 announcement
    http://technolog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/01/05/5773542-microsoft-quietly-kicks-off-ces-no-windows-8-announcement

    and
    Is Windows Phone 7 a flop?
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40717729/ns/technology_and_science-tech_and_gadgets/

  7. Fair enough, but in all seriousness, …

    So they’re just taking shots everybody indiscriminately? Now that I think about it that’s not that dumb a strategy. I’ll start flipping through their stories, not just Google and tech ones, and feel them out a little bit until I find something to get all fired up about again.

  8. None of those articles are harsher than neutral, including the flop article. The seemingly negative ones start by stating what happened at a public event (Microsoft didn’t have a complete product ready or whatever) then go on about its potential in spite of that and get soft. Can you find an unambiguously favorable Google article? How about in a subtle way?

  9. Pingback: Alex Johnson