One of the biggest talked about issues with Android has always been fragmentation, which is essentially the difference in operating system versions on the myriad of available Android devices in the hands of users and on store shelves. While Google has been moving closer to a less fragmented mobile OS with each release, there is still a gap between users with the latest software and users with older versions. It’s this particular area about the platform which Microsoft’s Chief of Windows, Terry Myerson, chose to highlight and attack at the recent Microsoft Ignite conference in Chicago this week, stating that “Google ships a big pile of…code.”
Myerson’s statements are such that Google has no responsibility to the state of software updates on a user’s device and that they have no plans to take responsibility for them in the future, mentioning Google has a lack of commitment to the user in this area which “leaves end users and businesses increasingly exposed every day they use an Android device.” As Android has always been an open source piece of software, Google provides the software to basically anyone that wants to work with it, and from there it has to be taken and worked with by individual companies, who must then pass it on to the carriers to test on devices on their networks before sending things out to the end users. Things change hands at least twice, which, unfortunately, means a longer waiting period for most devices, but, this is part of having an open source OS, and there may always be some small portion of fragmentation.
Despite taking jabs at Android over what Microsoft is clearly painting as a downfall and a security flaw, they failed to explain any plans for their own Windows 10 operating system (due to hit devices at some point in the future) in regards to getting around this same issue, which is making sure that end users are able to have their hands on timely device updates to the software. However Microsoft feels about the status of update commitment in the Android ecosystem, this past year has seen plenty of growth and efforts to open up Windows software to Android users, as well as open up their Windows 10 OS to support the use of Android apps.