This is what Google buying Motorola is all about:
Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.
via Official Google Blog: Supercharging Android: Google to Acquire Motorola Mobility.
When you buy an Android phone you’re not necessarily buying a phone with an free/open source operating system. Most of Android operating system is licensed in a way that allows manufacturers to lock down the device and make it physically impossible to install new and better software. Bradley Kuhn wrote an interesting article after Motorola finally admitted that they don’t want users to exercise their freedom:
the company just doesn’t believe users deserve the right to install improved versions of their software. At least they admit their contempt for their customers.
The lesson here is not to buy phones from Motorola and buy Google ADP1 or Nexus One which allow improvements to be installed.
This is good news for mobile free software (or open source, as you wish to call it): Maemo and Moblin joined forces today. I had lots of expectations for Maemo, but so far Nokia hasn’t pushed it enough. This merge of the two project may give it a new life. Now the issue is only to have more mobile devices and phones out there that use this platform, without getting tempted with proprietarization (like evil Motorola is doing –hint: don’t buy a Milestone).
MeeGo combines Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo projects at the Linux Foundation to create one open source uber-platform for the next generation of computing devices: tablets, pocketable computers, netbooks, automotive IVI and more.
Why should you pay attention to this announcement? With MeeGo you have the world’s largest chip manufacturer and the world’s largest mobile handset manufacturer joining forces to create an incredible opportunity for developers who want to reach millions of users with innovative technology.
via Bringing the Magic to Linux with MeeGo | Linux.com.