Android may be an open source operating system, but it’s not as open as other platforms according to a new research report from VisionMobile. The research firm compared Android, Eclipse, Firefox, the Linux kernel, MeeGo, Qt and Symbian and found that, of those open source environments, Android was the least “open.” According to the report’s “open governance index,” which scored each environment on how open it is, Android scored a 23%. It was far below the others; Eclipse scored the best with an 84% open governance index and no other platform scored less than a 58%, ArsTechnica said. Google’s Android compatibility chief Dan Morrill likely swayed the opinion on Android a bit when he said Google was using compatibility “as a club to make [phone maker's] do things we want,” and the report cites that quote specifically. However, VisionMobile also backs up its findings with a statement that can be read in full after the break.
Visibility to the roadmap is limited, as there is no Android roadmap publicly available. In fact, development of the Android private branch and the roadmap is controlled by Google, with little input from external parties or the Open Handset Alliance members,” the report says. “When launched, the Open Handset Alliance served the purpose of a public industry endorsement for Android. Today, however, the OHA serves little purpose besides a stamp of approval for OHA members; there is no formal legal entity, no communication processes for members nor frequent member meetings.