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Android Tablet Version 'Honeycomb' Won't Be Open Source For Foreseeable Future

Android Tablet Version 'Honeycomb' Won't Be Open Source For Foreseeable Future

March 25, 2011 | By Kris Graft

Search engine giant and Android OS creator Google said that it would delay for the foreseeable future the public distribution of its new tablet-centric Android OS, Honeycomb, according to reports.

A report on Bloomberg Businessweek said the delay in distribution could be up to several months. "To make our schedule to ship the tablet, we made some design tradeoffs," said Andy Rubin, VP for engineering at Google and director of its Android group.

"We didn't want to think about what it would take for the same software to run on phones," he said. "It would have required a lot of additional resources and extended our schedule beyond what we thought was reasonable. So we took a shortcut."

By withholding the source code for Honeycomb, Rubin said Google intends to keep non-optimized software that uses the new tablet OS off of phones. "We have no idea if it will even work on phones," he said.

Google would typically release the source code publicly a few months after giving device makers early access to the OS. Motorola's Xoom tablet, released earlier this year, was the first one to launch that uses Honeycomb.

Major device manufacturers like HTC, Samsung and Motorola already have access to Honeycomb so they can optimize the system and software for their devices.

But smaller developers, including game and app makers and enthusiasts, will not have access to the code for the time being. "Android is an open-source project," claimed Rubin. "We have not changed our strategy."

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