back to article Google hardwires its Android app store into new Chromebooks

Google is hardwiring its Android app store, Google Play, into all new Chromebooks. After an initial rollout in just three Chromebooks last year, a webpage listing which Chromebooks support Android Apps has been updated to read: "All Chromebooks launching in 2017 and after, as well as the Chromebooks listed below, will work …

  1. whoseyourdaddy

    This is how you keep Malware out.

    Oh, wait. This is Google Play?

    Never mind.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You clearly don't understand how a chromebook works. It's a readonly signed runtime. Nothing can modify it, OS updates are patches to the OS image (signed patch and signed resultant patched OS).

      It's unlike any other operating system on the market.

      1. Dave 15 Silver badge

        quite confused here

        Take A, signature is basically a checksum system on the contents of A

        Add B, at this point it doesn't matter if A and B are both signed A+B is not, to sign A+B you have to checksum A+B and then use your private key...

        And obviously things can modify it, even if after modification the runtime wont run

        1. Planty Bronze badge

          Re: quite confused here

          You are indeed confused. The running OS is read-only and signed and checked on each boot and as each process is loaded it's also signature checked, it's physically impossible to boot something that's not the Google image, nor is there any way to change it at runtime. There is a cache partition for all browser data, that's it.

          It's no coincidence that Chromebooks are generally not part of hackathons, or if they are, they walk away unscathed. The downside of course is they are limited in what they can do, but the vast majority of people would fit perfectly with what they can do. The people I have carefully sent towards a Chromebook, can't believe how cheap and hassle free they are, and I never ever get support calls, they just work, end of.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am unhappy about the behaviour of Apple, Microsoft and Google with regards to their never ending land grabs but do I really need the government to intervene and determine what I want or require? Nobody is forcing me to buy a chromebook/windows pc/ios device.

    I understand how monopolies work, I usually pick the top hat.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Your post starts by saying that you're unhappy with the behaviour of the mega tech corps, but then you seem to indicate that you don't need the government to step in and stop them. They won't stop this behaviour until it starts to cost them money which is where the government legislation comes in to play.

      Sounds to me like you're perfectly content with the "never ending land grabs"....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        From a personal perspective it doesn't really affect me because I choose what to put on my devices and what devices I choose enable me to do this.

        Fines do nothing but put money in the government coffers to replace the tax these companies don't pay though it comes no where near.

        Realistically and it won't happen because these companies fund governments but what should happen in that when they abuse their position they should be forced to implement the remedy immediately once it has been determined by a judge and failure to do so should result in a suspension of trading in the country. We have a big firewall, why can't it be used to block Google/Microsoft or Apple? If you were a monopoly would you risk that?

  3. ratfox Silver badge

    Hard to see why Microsoft wasn't allowed to bundle a browser, and Google would be allowed to bundle an app store... Though now that I think of it, it's hard to claim that Chromebooks represent a monopoly comparable to the grip Microsoft had (and largely still has) on the PC. And Apple has a similar market share of laptops, and they bundle their App Store on MacBooks.

    Still, Google is already in multiple parallel trouble with the EU regulators, they'd better be careful. At this point, they practically are guilty until proven innocent.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Chromebooks are what 2% of the market?

      At the time of the MSFT anti-trust they were >95% of the desktop market and were able to lock out all competing software from the system and had done so on numerous occasions.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Exactly. No one in the EU apparently appreciates the irony of saying "Google may be able to use Play Store as an unfair competitive advantage, unfair competitive advantage in the sense Chromebook will break Microsoft's monopoly in PCs and turn it into a competitive market."

        None of the EU's recent anti-trust pursuits have anywhere near the market share of Windows in the PC market. Even after MSFT screwing everything up for a decade, they still have dominant market share. It's crazy. Before taking new cases, lets try to fix the obvious monopoly which they have allowed to carry on for 20 plus years. How in the world can they accuse anyone else of having a monopoly given the precedent they set with Microsoft being allowed to skate?

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "recent anti-trust pursuits have anywhere near the market share of Windows in the PC market"

          Sorry, but in the EU Android and Google Search have the equivalent market share that MS had in the PC market - and what matters in the EU is the EU market share, not the worldwide one.

          Without UK, the Android vs iOS market share will be even higher.

          Chromebooks are a little percentage and EU will probably not bother about them.

          And it was EU to force MS to open its APIs and protocols - something that was far more important than IE and Media Player removal and ballots - and open source took great advantage of it. If it was for US antitrust actions, MS would have stronger than ever.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "recent anti-trust pursuits have anywhere near the market share of Windows in the PC market"

            "Sorry, but in the EU Android and Google Search have the equivalent market share that MS had in the PC market"

            1) No, they don't.

            2) There is plenty of competition in those markets. You can flip to Yahoo or Bing tomorrow and never look back. You probably won't, but that is because Google is better not because they are unfairly limiting alternatives..... The equivalent to what MSFT did with Windows in the 90s and early 00s would be if you could only use certain, essential, websites if you used Google. That isn't the case.

      2. LDS Silver badge

        No - the difference is MS never locked out all competing software like Apple and Google do.

        MS has used at its own advantage "undocumented" APIs and protocols, internal knowledge of new releases features, up to optimizing the OS for its own application, but was never in the position to lock out applications - moreover "legally". Nor you have ever had to pay royalties for the privilege of deploying your applications on Windows.

        It's attempting it now with Windows 10, UWP and the store, after Apple and Google has been so successful in achieving it, while almost nobody complained.

        1. Richard Plinston

          > It's attempting it now with Windows 10, UWP and the store, after Apple and Google has been so successful in achieving it, while almost nobody complained.

          Google does not block Android users from using other stores, for example F-Droid. Nor does it block Android based device makers from implementing alternate services and stores, for example Amazon and Nokia/Microsoft (Nokia-X).

          Nor does Google block its competitors, Microsoft has many products in the Android store.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "No - the difference is MS never locked out all competing software like Apple and Google do."

          It is true MSFT (like everyone else) never actually completely blocked Lotus or Netscape, for instance, from building software for Windows... but the steps you outline (optimizing their OS for Office/Outlook and vice versa, lack of documentation for integrations, bundled discounts, copying and giving away competitor's software with the price of Windows (Netscape), etc did exactly that in practice. Until Google Apps came around, Microsoft had a 95% market share in productivity. Do you think that was just the free market at work? In theory anyone could write apps for Windows to compete with Microsoft, in practice they could not. Microsoft had to work it that way just to keep the regulators off their backs.... This isn't even debatable. There was a year long anti-trust trial. Microsoft was declared not only a monopoly, but a monopoly which abused their dominant position to stifle innovation/competition.

          Google and Apple don't lock out competing software. You can run all of the Office applications on Android or iOS or Macbook or (view browser) Chromebook.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "MS never locked out all competing software like Apple and Google do."

          Who has Google ever locked out? Microsoft just put every piece of software they make on the Play Store. Do you see Google messing up the Microsoft app experience to push people into Google Apps (as Microsoft did with Windows in the 90s, see Lotus). I don't. Apple as well. You can run Office and so forth on Mac and iOS. It doesn't work all that well on mobile, but that isn't Apple's fault. Office is just 90s software retrofitted for mobile.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Apple app store

      The only time I use it on my MacBook is to download updates to the OS.

      In effect it is just like the windows update thingamijig.

      Yes I could download other things and even pay money for some but it is not mandatory.

      When it does become the only way to load apps on my MacBook (And the same goes for the MS thing and the Google Play thing) then I'll go 100% to Linux.

      I do get the feeling that Google will get their first and stop side loading on their Handsets and Chromebooks.

      all the people I know with chromebooks have wiped them and installed Linux anyway.

      1. Boothy Silver badge

        Re: Apple app store

        Quote: "No - the difference is MS never locked out all competing software like Apple and Google do."

        Neither do Google.

        Apple I can understand, but for Google, you're free to install 3rd party app stores on Android, for example you can download and install the Amazon app store direct from the Amazon web site.

        Plus of course a lot of Android devices are the Amazon Fire Tablets, as they are cheap, and readily available (in stock in local supermarkets etc), and those don't come with Googles app such as their Play store.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Apple app store

        So could someone package Debian's "apt" suite as a Google Play app? ;-)

    3. fuzzie

      It's not the Chromebook that's the monopoly.

      The issue is that it's the Play Store's existing monopoly/dominant market position that's being leveraged/abused to bolster/enlarge Chromebook's market share.

  4. jason 7 Silver badge

    Don't hold your breath

    Still waiting for the 2015 and 2016 models they promised would get it to be rolled out.

    1. Boothy Silver badge

      Re: Don't hold your breath

      What promise?

      I'm not aware of Google ever stating that the beta would be rolled out to any other devices other than the small handful they've been using to date.

      The supported device list (linked in the article), that's been available for quite some time now (well over a year), isn't a roll out list, it's a list of devices that can support the new Android capabilities, and so they plan to support those once the final version is out.

      My guess is the devices they chose to support in beta, cover a wide enough cross section of underlying hardware, to cover most (or all) of the other devices.

  5. AstroCam

    It had potential ...

    For the price they are charging they need to improve the specs. Min should be 4gb 32gb hd.

    It is a good portable computer but hardly essential as it basically is a keyboard with a phone gui. I had thought that they would try to improve it but so far it is just getting increasingly dated.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: It had potential ...

      >Min should be 4gb 32gb hd.

      Why ?

      How many of the customers have said - mmm I like the idea of a cheap webbrowser + screen + keyboard with long battery life, But really I would like it to have a bigger number for some spec I don't understand?

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: It had potential ...

        Many have said...

        But some have said, Hmm, yes, that looks and interesting piece of hardware, I wonder if I can run native Linux on it (or even for all I know, Windows)?

        Turns out you can, and for some of those people's use cases, it's an ideal package (I favour the no-longer-available Toshiba Chromebook II, myself). If you want to use a computer to do things other than entertainment and shopping (okay, that's probably a minority) then they're an inexpensive solution that worth a look.

        I'm not at all sure though I'd be willing to pay the top end prices asked for some of the chromebooks out their, particularly from Google itself: I am not sufficiently enthused by easy access to fart apps.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: It had potential ...

          Why Google should subsidize cheap laptops to allow people run Linux, or - god forbids! - Windows and don't bring revenues to its business? The greed of some people is unbelievable... c'mon, spend some money, you won't bring them into the tomb...

          1. nematoad Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: It had potential ...

            "The greed of some people is unbelievable... c'mon, spend some money, you won't bring them into the tomb..."

            Perhaps your remark should be better addressed to Google, Apple, MS and Facebook.

            I mean what the hell do they want all that money for as a lot of it is just sitting offshore doing nothing. Or is it as some people have said "It's just a way of keeping score."?

            Oh, did you forget the <sarcasm> tag?

        2. nijam

          Re: It had potential ...

          > But some have said, Hmm, yes, that looks and interesting piece of hardware, I wonder if I can run native Linux on it...

          As a Linux user, it pains me to say that - statistically - near enough nobody has actually said that.

          1. nematoad Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: It had potential ...

            "But some have said, Hmm, yes, that looks and interesting piece of hardware, I wonder if I can run native Linux on it..."

            Given that it is Linux then the answer must surely be: "Probably".

            1. Chemical Bob

              Re: It had potential ...

              >"But some have said, Hmm, yes, that looks and interesting piece of hardware, I wonder if I can run native Linux on it..."

              Given that it is Linux then the answer must surely be: "Probably".<

              Sadly, Chromebooks have stripped down BIOS which makes it easier to install regular Linux on a Windows laptop.

              1. Richard Plinston

                Re: It had potential ...

                > Chromebooks have stripped down BIOS which makes it easier to install regular Linux on a Windows laptop.

                Windows laptops have UEFI firmware and Secure Boot which, potentially*, makes it impossible to install regular Linux.

                * With Windows 10, OEMs need not cater for turning off Secure Boot. http://www.pcworld.com/article/2901262/microsoft-tightens-windows-10s-secure-boot-screws-where-does-that-leave-linux.html

                1. LDS Silver badge

                  Re: It had potential ...

                  It's a two years old article. How many Windows 10 systems have Secure Boot locked, actually?

                  1. Richard Plinston

                    Re: It had potential ...

                    > It's a two years old article. How many Windows 10 systems have Secure Boot locked, actually?

                    Neither you nor I know that, but you shouldn't assume that being able to unlock is a given. Already some devices cannot be unlocked, and there may be others that will require this along the lines of "Windows for Bing" where they were subsidized, or had actually free Windows licences.

                    """For logo-certified Windows RT 8.1 and Windows RT PCs, Secure Boot is required to be configured so that it cannot be disabled."""

      2. Chris 125

        Re: It had potential ...

        Agreed. I've got three Chromebooks - a Samsung 3G model with SIM card, a little HP 11" that charges from a MicroUSB (very handy for travelling light) and a newer Acer with an Intel chipset.

        All of them have their uses - the Acer is the fastest one for displaying heavy websites, the 3G one is nice to not rely on hotel WiFi, and the HP is tiny but has a really nice keyboard. The Samsung is a first generation model and is stamped 2012 on the bottom - for a five year old computer it's working surprisingly well with just 2GB RAM and a 16GB SSD. Why? Because you don't use them the same way as a Windows PC, you don't need 4GB RAM and 32GB SSD. I can have 7-8 tabs open in 2GB on a £150 machine and it runs fine.

        1. jason 7 Silver badge

          Re: It had potential ...

          Yeah I still have my little 2GB 11" Samsung that still works perfectly fast enough. I'm not one of those needs to have 80+ tabs open at the same time. Still gives great battery life and a great little travel machine.

          I also have a i3 4GB 64GB* SSD Dell 13" Chromebook that's superb. One of the best devices I've ever bought. Just sails through the web. This should get the Android apps but as I said I'm not holding my breath.

          * upgraded with a Plextor SSD.

        2. Dave 15 Silver badge

          Re: It had potential ...

          Just? Just?

          For heavens sake 2 gigabytes.... my first commercial PC had 512 K and that was a huge step up from the laboratory computers (running on z80) that I had been using to do real time monitoring and measurement of multiple pieces of laboratory equipment and the analysis of the chromatographs.

          As for 16 gig of disk... try the PC with 32M ... dos, windows3, office, 2 compilers, assembler, sidekick (remember that?) wordstar (yup that as well as windows)... and source code and compiled output for several projects.

          Its amazing how little you can do with how much hardware with todays programming practices. Just found out the radio that I work on for a car has a minimum of 4 arm cores...

  6. Jim in Hayward

    Just stupid

    Microsoft and Apple have App Store integration. It makes sense and it does not limit competition in any way. How could it? Unless the Google App Store link only shows Google created apps. That would be wrong.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just stupid

      Exactly.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Just stupid

      Can you publish *any* app of yours (which is not a malware, of course) in any of those stores? Can you avoid to pay the "protection money" fee?

      No, you can't. And that's the issue, because actually it *limits* competition.

      1. Indolent Wretch

        Re: Just stupid

        Not sure about MS but Google had a one off very low cost fee. And for that they distribute the damn thing for you for free. Apple on the other hand had a much more onerous higher yearly payment that you had to keep up with or your software would be removed.

        So in any practical sense the Google store enabled competition because it made writing, releasing and distributing apps an absolute doddle and hardly cost a penny.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: Just stupid

          Ehm , no Google doesn't distribute it "for free" as long as it asks you a percentage of your revenues. It's "free" only if your app is also "free", because "free" apps bring users to an OS - and thereby revenues - anyway.

          It is true in Android sideloading is far easier than iOS, but it is not enabled by default and actively discouraged (yes, you can install malware if you're stupid and greed).

          As long as you are forced to go through someone else to sell your products, there's an evident competition issue.

          I find very funny people have - rightly - many issue if HP or Lexmark want to control their printer ink market, but have no issue if MS, Google or Apple want to control their devices app markets.... it's really the same issue.

          1. Richard Plinston

            Re: Just stupid

            > Ehm , no Google doesn't distribute it "for free" as long as it asks you a percentage of your revenues.

            Google pays for the servers, for the storage, for the data centre, for the electricity, for the bandwidth and you want them to collect your revenue and _not_ take a cut ?

            > As long as you are forced to go through someone else to sell your products, there's an evident competition issue.

            You are not forced by Google to go through someone else. You can do it all yourself:

            https://guardianproject.info/2013/11/05/setting-up-your-own-app-store-with-f-droid/

            > but have no issue if MS, Google or Apple want to control their devices app markets..

            Many have taken issue with MS control, some with Apple, but Google applies much less control, it is just your misrepresentation (alternate facts) that you are arguing against.

            1. LDS Silver badge

              Re: Just stupid

              "Google pays for the servers"

              Yes. But you don't pay for the service i.e. a montly/yearly fixed service fee. You pay with a royalty on each sales. So if you app is successful enough, Google earns a lot without really offering more. And don't believe Google spends billions to run that infrastructure... storage is quite cheap today, and even Android applications are just few MBs.

              "You are not forced by Google to go through someone else"

              Sure, you can do some "hacking" - but how many will do? Even MS didn't force anybody to use IE or MediaPlayer. You could still install others. Still Netscape couldn't compete. As long as the default way to install application is Google controlled, it's of course a competition issue.

              "Google applies much less control"

              You're living in Google alternative reality. Good luck.

              1. Richard Plinston

                Re: Just stupid

                > So if you app is successful enough, Google earns a lot without really offering more.

                And the app writer earns much more. And if the app is not successful they pay only a small, proportional, amount. A percentage markup, or a percentage fee, is very common in most commercial transactions. Try getting your product on a shop shelf (or a website like Amazon) while demanding they give you the full price they collect from the customer.

                Are you advocating that every app writer should pay a fixed monthly fee per app, or do you think that all services should be free? (which they are if your app is free).

                > Sure, you can do some "hacking"

                In what way is it 'hacking'? Install the F-Droid software, set up your apps. There is a single checkbox in 'Settings' on Android to cater for loading from other app stores. It is no more difficult, and probably much easier, than setting up a web site to cater for Windows software downloads.

                > Even MS didn't force anybody to use IE

                They forced it to be installed, they ensured that it couldn't be removed, they paid OEMs (via additional 'loyalty discount') to not install competitors. They created non-standard features and had FrontPage use those to make competitors display 'incorrectly', they made it compulsory for some websites.

                > "Google applies much less control". You're living in Google alternative reality.

                Google applies much less control than Microsoft does on its app store. Try using an alternate app store for WinPhones or UWPs, try creating your own UWP app store without having corporate licensing for several hundred copies of Windows. Try getting a competing app into Microsoft's store - such as an office app or a browser.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Just stupid

            "Ehm , no Google doesn't distribute it "for free" as long as it asks you a percentage of your revenues."

            Yeah, but you can easily get around it. See Microsoft providing Office apps for "free" on Play Store and App Store, but charging people high amounts for the license. They just don't run payment through the app stores.

      2. Richard Plinston

        Re: Just stupid

        > Can you publish *any* app of yours (which is not a malware, of course) in any of those stores? Can you avoid to pay the "protection money" fee?

        > No, you can't. And that's the issue, because actually it *limits* competition.

        Free apps can be hosted on the F-Droid store for free and any Android device can access them.

        Or you can use the free F-Droid software to set up your own app store that can be accessed by any Android. There is no competition limit imposed by Google.

        https://guardianproject.info/2013/11/05/setting-up-your-own-app-store-with-f-droid/

        But, I suppose, you will claim that without Google giving you a free computer to run your own app store on that they are *limiting* competition.

        1. Dave 15 Silver badge

          Re: Just stupid

          If Tesco were the only place you could buy your milk then the fact that they pay for the store doesn't stop it being a monopoly and a problem.

          And to suggest the get out from it being a monopoly is the fact you could in theory manage to import some from Australia in some way is not much help.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Megaphone

      Re: Just stupid

      Here we go again (and again and again)

      Binary Blobs.

      The issue being battled over is NOT, I repeat NOT about bundling Google Play. OK got that bit?

      The issue is saying to a manufacturer, If you want Google Play you MUST also include a crap load of other Google apps that most people have little interest in. They cannot be uninstalled. End Of, take it or leave it.

      1. Richard Plinston

        Re: Just stupid

        > The issue is saying to a manufacturer, If you want Google Play you MUST also include a crap load of other Google apps that most people have little interest in.

        They are perfectly free to not install Google services (granted it is on an all or nothing basis). They can set up their own services (as Amazon did and Nokia/Microsofft did for Nokia-X, and anyone else can do). Not installing Google services by default does not prevent the _user_ accessing those Google services if they wish, or anyone else's services.

      2. Richard Plinston

        Re: Just stupid

        > The issue is saying to a manufacturer, If you want Google Play you MUST also include a crap load of other Google apps that most people have little interest in. They cannot be uninstalled. End Of, take it or leave it.

        The manufacturers are perfectly free to install other operating systems, such as Windows 10 Mobile where they can pick and choose which services they install or not, and can put their own GUI on. Oh, wait, no they can't.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just stupid

        "The issue is saying to a manufacturer, If you want Google Play you MUST also include a crap load of other Google apps that most people have little interest in. They cannot be uninstalled. End Of, take it or leave it."

        Yeah, and they can leave it. Give Windows Phone a try, although I believe MSFT will also force them to take their apps in the build... completely locked down. OEMs can't change a thing.

        Also, "most people have little interest in"... do you mean Google search, Gmail and Chrome? All of which had over a billion users before Play Store was around.

    4. Dave 15 Silver badge

      Re: Just stupid

      Eh?

      Of course it reduces competition.

      a) It makes it very difficult if not impossible to set up a rival store which (for example) might have lower fees for selling apps

      b) The stores filter the applications available - you have to pay to put your app on these stores and jump several hurdles reducing the applications available to use.

      All in all it is perhaps mildly easier for a lazy punter but is not actually good for competition. It is in many ways what the supermarkets would like... for example if you want milk you could only go to Tesco

      1. Richard Plinston

        Re: Just stupid

        > a) It makes it very difficult if not impossible to set up a rival store which (for example) might have lower fees for selling apps

        Which is why there are only a few hundred of them. You can even search Google to find them or reviews of them, such as:

        http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/android-app-stores/

        You can even easily set one up yourself - for free (except for hardware and bandwidth of course).

        > b) The stores filter the applications available - you have to pay to put your app on these stores and jump several hurdles reducing the applications available to use.

        Yes, it does reduce the number of apps available to only a few million!

        Just think: if supermarkets gave the suppliers the full price that the customers paid, and the suppliers could demand as much shelf space as they wanted, then there would be so much more variety of products, so much more competition.

        > All in all it is perhaps mildly easier for a lazy punter but is not actually good for competition. It is in many ways what the supermarkets would like... for example if you want milk you could only go to Tesco

        I am not sure why you think that the "supermarkets" (plural) would want that, ASDA certainly wouldn't. But I am not sure why you think that fake argument is relevant, because it is nothing like the situation with Android apps (though it is like Microsoft's WinPhone and UWP store).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just stupid

        "Of course it reduces competition.

        a) It makes it very difficult if not impossible to set up a rival store which (for example) might have lower fees for selling apps

        b) The stores filter the applications available - you have to pay to put your app on these stores and jump several hurdles reducing the applications available to use."

        There is a difference between reducing competition and charging for your services. Google has a giant investment in the data centers which run Play Store and Android, distributes Android for free... Google pays a ton and charges no license. Play Store is how they make money. You, or Microsoft, can put any app you want on it... and not even pay, like MSFT, provided you don't run payments through Google. If you don't like that deal, Google even lets you take their OS and fork it or build your own app store. What else do you want them to do?

  7. bazza Silver badge

    Web Apps?

    Does this mean that Google now don't think that everything can be implemented as a Web app?

    Imagine that!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "defense largely composed of moaning that its competitors were doing far worse."

    In this case, that is true. See 20 years of Microsoft maneuvering around anti-trust authorities.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "In the case of Chromebooks, it is far from essential to have Google Play included"

    Yes, unless, you know, you want to download applications for your computer or something. Would it be better for some reason if Google just started putting a keyboard on Android which has always had the Play Store?

    Is it essential for Microsoft hard wire the joke that is Bing into their Windows 10 file search bar? Did they give people the option of not using Bing, an option 99% of people would have exercised. Was it essential that Microsoft removed the browser choice dialogue in Windows 10 by forcing Edge on people, which, again, 99% of people didn't want.

    1. ArrZarr Silver badge
      Joke

      I think you're being harsh on Bing. I reckon that only 98% of people would switch over given the choice.

      1. nijam

        > I think you're being harsh on Bing. I reckon that only 98% of people would switch over given the choice.

        1. It isn't possible to be too harsh on Bing...

        2. ...but, given the choice, 98% of people probably wouldn't understand the question

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Top trending Bing search term... "Google"

  10. JimmyPage Silver badge

    Actually

    I'd be happier to dump the need for a gmail account. They are a spam magnet.

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Actually

      Spam magnet?

      I have throwaway gmail account used purely for android device login / play store

      I just checked and it is totally spam free.

      But it's only used for play store, not signed up to lots of websites, mailing lists etc.

      So its essentially invisible and thus spam free (its not a first name / surname type address either but pseudorandom chars so not likely to be hit by spams that try and guess account names)

      1. jason 7 Silver badge

        Re: Actually

        Yeah if I see someone with a email account full of spam they are using the Internet wrong.

        Remove their access credentials now!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Actually

        I get the PPs point ...

        Forcing people to create a gMail account is one thing. But I have noticed that it then gets passed on via the app store.

        Certainly I am now overflowing with emails to my gMail account from "Evernote" who - despite me having 8 "unsubscribe successful" webpages screenshot *still* insist on sending emails. Counter productive for them, as it spurred me to remove it.

        The problem is quite a few app flingers will only allow the Play Store ID to register with, not the "genuine" email address for the user.

        1. jason 7 Silver badge

          Re: Actually

          I use Google and their services a lot. I don't get any emails or spam from Google or app suppliers. I don't use any spam filtering other than what Gmail provides. Never anything from all these so called spawn of satan Data Miners. Just twats from Asia trying to sell me crappy SEO services.

          So?

          If you are getting it you must have asked for it in some way.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Actually

        But Google knows about you through that account.

        You are part of their information gathering collective.

        you can not escape.

        Posting AC as I refuse to have any dealings with Alphabet.

        I am me and not a number on their Database of the whole of Humanity.

        1. jason 7 Silver badge

          Re: Actually

          Well I really look forward to the day they finally act on all this data and send me some lingerie clad Valkyries with pizza and high strength real ale for a party.

          However, in 12 years of using their services they have been deathly silent on my needs and wants.

          I think a lot of you are a bit too wrapped up in all this shit to grasp reality at times.

          Sorry.

    2. Richard Plinston

      Re: Actually

      > I'd be happier to dump the need for a gmail account. They are a spam magnet.

      I almost never get spam in my gmail account, maybe 3 or 4 a month.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Actually

      Yeah, only 1.5 billion people use Gmail. When this whole internet fad is over, people will stop using it.

  11. leon clarke

    Not sure there's an anti-trust argument

    Critical to the Microsoft case was that there was a thriving market for media players that was killed off by the bundling. Hence MS was using a monopoly in 1 market to establish a dominant position in another market. That's what's illegal.

    Assuming we can define some 'market' such that chrome OS has a monopoly (e.g. the market for cheap laptops with an OS that's just a web browser), I don't see how you can argue there's a market for 3rd party app stores that would be adversely affected by the bundling.

    1. Indolent Wretch

      Re: Not sure there's an anti-trust argument

      Everything you've said there is absolutely spot on. I doubt the author nor any of the TFHWB will appreciate it though.

      However I do find it funny that my recollection of "thriving" amounted to "oh No! Not f**king Realplayer again!"

  12. Boothy Silver badge

    The article seem to indicate that manufactures of Chromebooks would be annoyed....

    Quote: "...it is almost certain that antitrust authorities will see it differently: as Google again using its position to force manufacturers to include specific Google software on their systems."

    But this doesn't seem to cover the fact that there are no custom apps on Chromebooks! Everything on a Chromebook is already controlled by Google as they all get the same identical OS *.

    Manufacturers have to differentiate themselves with the hardware, so the keyboard, screen, battery life etc.

    I would suspect that Manufacturers will actually be very happy at this announcement, as it means Chromebooks, which are a tiny, although still growing market, are now more capable devices, without the manufacturers really having to do anything (perhaps some testing, but the devices are the same), and they can now be treated as large Android devices for marketing purposes.

    * The one caveat being that eventually devices are dropped from support of the latest builds. Although from what I've seen, this seems to be typically be a much longer time period that a typical phone (4+ years), and support seems to mainly be around hardware capability, rather than New shinny, so old shinny has been dropped tm.

  13. Dave 15 Silver badge

    Then of course

    Then once you have killed off the competition that can't compete with a free giveaway you can then stop bundling the useful software and charge for it. I went to play a dvd on an up to date windows box... it doesn't anymore without you spending extra.

    1. jason 7 Silver badge

      Re: Then of course

      "it doesn't anymore without you spending extra"

      And you post on a IT forum?

      C'mon, anyone who has been using a Windows box will be using VLC or similar. That still does it for free. So why does MS have to bother?

      I would prefer it if MS reduced the extra functionality and let me decide the majority of the extra components, paid or free.

      Plus optical media in 2017? You'll be after a infra-red port next.

      1. Dave 15 Silver badge

        Re: Then of course

        Yes I did go and trawl for a free player but I still needed to spend my time and effort. I wouldn't mind if they hadn't been bundling for years before suddenly deciding they couldn't be bothered.

      2. Dave 15 Silver badge

        Re: Then of course

        Also of course the default is to use their app store and pay the 10 quid or whatever it is for their app

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