Oracle’s Axe To Grind Against Google Isn’t Personal, They’ve Always Been Like This
Recently, Google were blasted for keeping Android users’ location services enabled, despite the option turned off at the device level. Now it appears that Oracle are behind the story being unearthed. This is Oracle being the sore loser to Google since it bought Sun Microsystems and Java back at the turn of the decade. Ultimately, Oracle’s case against Google is that Android contains stolen Java code as the foundation of the platform. We’ve seen Google adjusting how Android uses Java APIs in the last few years, and Google has defended itself against Oracle.
Google bought Android in 2005 and there are a number of Java technologies embedded into the Android code. In 2007, Google launched the Android beta and Sun Microsystem’s Chief Executive Officer, Jonathan Schwartz, famously thanked Google and explained they had “strapped another set of rockets to the community’s momentum – and to the vision defining opportunity across our (and other) planets.” Everything looks great until Oracle arrived.
By way of introduction to Oracle, this is an American-based, multinational corporate entity, predominantly selling expensive database software to other large multinational corporate entities. Sounds fascinating, right? Oracle have shown little to no interest in modern technology businesses for consumers beyond Java: their main business is in database technologies. The company also develops enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, and supply chain management. They provide the tools for other companies to manage their own businesses. Oracle attempted to sue Google for $8.8 billion over the way Android uses Java APIs. They have employed a dirty tricks campaign against Google, including how their Oracle’s lawyers released confidential information about Google’s business. The company has an axe to grind against Google, but Oracle executive Ken Glueck effectively denied the company is working against Google: “Google is doing an excellent job of inflicting ‘political [and] PR pain’ on themselves and needs no help from us,” he said, speaking to Recode. Oracle have spent money in 2017 lobbying against Google, and trying to snitch on Google to both the American and European regulators for anti-competitive practices.
Oracle’s latest trick was to uncover something Google’s Android was doing and letting the story out into the press. Quartz, the company that discovered the Android location issue, was tipped from Oracle. Ashkan Soltani, the ex-Chief Technologist for the Federal Trade Commission, tweeted:
— ashkan soltani (@ashk4n) November 21, 2017
Soltani has been quiet on the subject ever since.
Oracle are still banging the anti-Google drum, and people are still listening, but to what end? It’s not as though Oracle possess the acumen to develop their own mobile operating system, or are even all that interested in the consumer space. It’s also not as though Oracle have only battled with Google, or demonstrated how they conduct business. Back in 2000, Oracle were busted for hiring janitors to rifle through Microsoft’s waste, and in 2010 the company forced OpenOffice’s developers to resign from the free productivity software company because of “conflicts of interest,” to pick two notable stories from the company’s past. Here I am expecting Oracle to be manufacturing the ED-209 robot from Robocop.
Microsoft and Google stopped battling one another in 2016, and since then we’ve seen Microsoft release some great products on the Android platform. Oracle doesn’t appear to have a reason to fighting Google other than they have spat out their dummy and are sore losers. I am curious as to Oracle’s real objective here.