SAN FRANCISCO — While Google’s mobile operating system is currently eating Microsoft’s lunch in terms of market share, one of Android’s co-founders said that Microsoft had an important role in the creation of what is now the world’s biggest smartphone OS.
Miner, one of the co-founders of Android, said that Microsoft’s dominance of the PC market was the impetus behind his drive to create an open-source mobile operating system.
“The whole reason that I wanted to start Android back in the day, personally, was that I felt that the way PC platforms had evolved with Windows as the only OS there had stifled innovation,” he said.
But what of companies like Amazon who fork Android to build proprietary operating systems? According to Miner, Android was designed with that in mind, and he’s surprised that more companies haven’t built their own forks. That said, he thinks there’s a good and bad way to go about it.
“I think what would be dangerous is if the OEMs would do that in a way that would start breaking applications across the platforms,” Miner said. “And to date, you haven’t seen that. People still respect the fact that whether it’s a Samsung device or a Kindle device, my perception is that both of those OEMs value the fact that there’s one ecosystem for applications.”
As rumors of a Amazon smartphone reach a fever pitch, we’ll see if that remains the case.
Blair Hanley Frank is GeekWire’s Bay Area Correspondent. He has also worked for Macworld, PCWorld and TechHive. He can be found on Twitter @belril.