Google used their Android 2.2 Froyo launch today to bring the fight squarely to Apple and Steve Jobs, saying in essence they created Android because they feared a future where one man (Steve Jobs) and one company (Apple) controlled the mobile space.
Now I'm not going to call that cake a lie (because it's technically a chilled desert this time), but let's be clear -- Google created Android because they feared any future where any company -- be it Apple, Microsoft, or some unforeseen upstart to lock them out of their cash-cow, advertising. (FYI - That's why Microsoft built Bing and why Apple is making iAds: so that one company -- Google -- doesn't control online.
That's smart business. But to claim any form of benevolence or greater-than-thou community spirit is disingenuous-to-insulting. Google, like Apple or Adobe is as open as suits them and as proprietary as their revenue generation demands. As much as Apple controls the iPhone, as much as Adobe owns Flash, Google's crown jewel of advertising is theirs and theirs alone. AdWords isn't open source.
So they can make fun of Apple curating the App Store, or that at any one time any of a dozen high-end Androids can perform certain tasks well, or that they can put Flash on a phone but not Silverlight or ActiveX, or poke at iTunes not yet being cloud-based. But they can't and don't talk about the Android Market's enormous selection of keyboards, fess up to the battery problems as a platform issue, come to grips with the inconsistent user experience, deal with the reality that is recent devices have unclear and fragmented OS paths, and acknowledge those users burned severely by the still immature cloud who want local solution options as well.
Google pushed out a lot of tech this week. A scary, wonderful, crazy, beautiful amount of tech I don't think we've seen in such volume in such a short time before. It will be challenge enough for them to realize most of it, much less all of it. It's just plain gutsy.
Even gutsier was poking Apple before the much better spoken Steve Jobs takes the much bigger stage at WWDC 2010 to announce the much more attention getting 4th generation iPhone.