So while Microsoft didn’t do itself any favors, I’d argue strongly that all these machinations and flailings weren’t a response (or weren’t only a response) to the iPhone. The real enemy was the company that had set its sights on Microsoft’s phone ambitions since before the iPhone was released.
That company was Google, of course, and it only tangentially wanted to take on the iPhone. Google’s real target was always Microsoft, and it hit the bullseye.
This article looks at the past, so let me take this opportunity to posit something that might come as a surprise to some.
Android is a dead end.
I really want to write a far more detailed and in-depth article explaining why I think Android is a dead end, but I can’t yet fully articulate my thoughts or pinpoint why, exactly, I’ve felt like this for months now. All this doesn’t mean Google is going to get out of mobile operating systems, and it doesn’t even mean that the name “Android” is going away. All it means is that what we think of today as “Android” – a Linux kernel with libraries, the Android Runtime, and so on on top – has served its hackjob, we-need-to-compete purpose and is going to go away.
Android in its current form suffers from several key architectural problems – it’s not nearly as resource-efficient as, say, iOS, has consistent update problems, and despite hefty hardware, still suffers from the occasional performance problems, among other things – that Google clearly hasn’t been able to solve. It feels like Android is in limbo, waiting for something, as if Google is working on something else that will eventually succeed Android.
Is that something Fuchsia? Is Project Treble part of the plan, to make it easier for Google to eventually replace Android’s Linux base with something else? If Android as it exists today was salvageable, why are some of the world’s greatest operating systems engineers employed by Google not working on Android, but on Fuchsia? If…