Open Source Does Not Mean Free End Product

This is a very exciting time for mobile phones and technology in general. It’s not often a company’ stock hovers between $500-$700 for months on end. But this is the case for Google. They also debuted last year as the top company to work for in America according to Forbes magazine. I know the hope inside us says something like, “Great open source everything. Everything will be free! Cheap phones, cheap computers!” I wish it was so simple. Unfortunately, someone will find ways to make money from the masses.

I do believe will will see a lot more options from Google within the next few years, including full downloadable office programs and even a Google branded OS for PC’s. They are on the rise and doing things right. Revenue will not be a problem, for they are in negotiations now to purchase double-click, an ad company. Google has gone from the best search engine on the internet to one of the best ad agencies in the world.

Let’s step over to the computer operating system world for a moment. Linux is completely free, Linux Red-Hat is hundreds to thousands of dollars. We also have UNIX and UNIX BSD, both free. Now think about Sun Microsystem’s OS and that highly favored Apple Aqua GUI. What are they sitting on top of? UNIX. My point is, if a developer can design a product that is truly unique and powerful enough to interface multiple phone brands, they are going to want paid for it. Then you may see a new brand of OS based off of Android open source software.

I want to continue to promote Android as much as I can because I believe in open-source and I believe in Google. At the same time those of us who are Google enthusiasts have to remember cash is still king. If said product is good enough, it will be made available to the masses, but somewhere along the lines, somebody will figure out how to charge for it.

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