∞ Google exec on Android: 'We are using compatibility as a club'

When you think of an “open” company, you don’t often associate using a club to get people to do what you want, but that’s how a Google employee sees it.

[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]A Massachusetts court released email messages from Google last week as the company battles Skyhook Wireless in court. One of the emails is garnering quite a bit of attention.

In that email a manager in the Android group, Dan Morrill, said that it was obvious to phone makers that “we are using compatibility as a club to make them do things we want,” according to a story in the New York Times.

While Google does allow companies to change Android in some ways, they must be in compliance with the compatibility standard, which is determined by Google.

Android’s openness first came into question in March when Google made it clear there “will be no more willy-nilly tweaks to the software. No more partnerships formed outside of Google’s purview. From now on, companies hoping to receive early access to Google’s most up-to-date software will need approval of their plans. And they will seek that approval from Andy Rubin, the head of Google’s Android group.