Businessweek reports that Google has decided to delay Honeycomb source code release.
The search giant says the software, which is tailored specifically for tablet computers that compete against Apple’s iPad, is not yet ready to be altered by outside programmers and customized for other devices, such as phones.
“To make our schedule to ship the tablet, we made some design tradeoffs,” says Andy Rubin, vice-president for engineering at Google and head of its Android group. “We didn’t want to think about what it would take for the same software to run on phones. It would have required a lot of additional resources and extended our schedule beyond what we thought was reasonable. So we took a shortcut.”
Rubin says that if Google were to open-source the Honeycomb code now, as it has with other versions of Android at similar periods in their development, it couldn’t prevent developers from putting the software on phones “and creating a really bad user experience. We have no idea if it will even work on phones.”
Here is my opinion on this:
As long as Google releases the full Honeycomb source code within a month or so from now, and hurry up to confirm (even sooner) that the updated Compliance Definition Document for Honeycomb will open up to allow many more smaller manufacturers (such as Archos, Rockchip, Telechips, ARM11 and many other small tablet makers) access to the full Google Marketplace (that can provide filtering), then all will be good.
My expectation is that Google is working to make sure their Honeycomb source code release supports all types of hardware, not only including cheaper ARM Cortex-A8, ARM9, ARM11 tablets, but also optimize things for Laptop use (see Asus Transformer, how awesome would Honeycomb be on devices like Toshiba AC100!), and also they might try to coordinate the Honeycomb source code release with the first open source release of Google TV thus making all those devices Set-top-box ready when HDMI output is used on any HDTV.
One can expect Google to synchronize full open source release of Honeycomb, Google TV and Chrome OS by the Google I/O conference coming up on 10-11th May or before.
What is your opinion on Google’s Honeycomb source code and updated CDD release delay? You can write in the comments.