∞ Google delays Honeycomb tablet OS; what if that was Apple

Google is delaying the release of its tablet operating system, Honeycomb, to the open source community because it took “shortcuts” in order to keep up with Apple’s iOS.

[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]”To make our schedule to ship the tablet, we made some design tradeoffs,” says Andy Rubin, vice-president for engineering at Google and head of its Android group, in a Bloomberg article. “We didn’t want to think about what it would take for the same software to run on phones. It would have required a lot of additional resources and extended our schedule beyond what we thought was reasonable. So we took a shortcut.”

Rubin also said that if Google released Honeycomb now, it couldn’t stop companies from using it on phones “and creating a really bad user experience. We have no idea if it will even work on phones.”

Wow. Google, the company that positions itself as being better than Apple because it is open, is closing down Honeycomb. For now, at least.

So the bottom line here is that in order to keep up with Apple, Google took shortcuts on the development of Honeycomb and now it’s come back to bite them in the ass.

Google deserves some kudos for not releasing a half-baked OS, but I don’t understand why more people aren’t up in arms about this. Open source executive Dave Rosenberg described Google’s delay “as an affront to hard-core open-source enthusiasts,” but that’s about all that was said.

Where are the mainstream press articles tearing Google up over this? While there are a few comments, many of the articles I’ve seen told Google’s story and stopped there.

Can you imagine if it were Apple delaying a software release. What would the press say if Apple admitted it took shortcuts with its OS to keep up with Google and now they couldn’t release it? The press would have a field day with that story.

The mainstream press already had a field day with rumors that Apple was going to delay the iPad 2. When all was said and done, they released it early.

Apple gets slammed all the time for supposedly delaying its hardware and software products, but the thing that nobody seems to mention in those articles is that Apple never announced a ship date. How can you possibly be late delivering a product when you haven’t said when you will ship it?

The simple answer is, you can’t. But that doesn’t seem to stop everyone from piling on.

Still, it seems strange that many of these same people are silent on Google’s delayed Honeycomb release. Seems like a clear double standard.