Verizon neuters Android

Like Skype on Android in the U.S., Microsoft’s Bing for Mobile Android App is only available for Android devices on the Verizon Wireless network. Without an iPhone to offer customers, Verizon is cleverly working exclusive software deals with developers to gain an advantage over rival AT&T.

Apparently not content to promote a two-tiered Internet and leave wireless Interent completely unprotected, Verizon is also in the business of turning Android — you know, Google’s “open” operating system — into its own private playground.

Hot on the heels of a deal restricting Skype for Android to Verizon, Microsoft has announced that its Bing app for Android will only be available on Verizon as well.

Kevin Tofel calls these deals “clever,” but I think they’re awful. Verizon is plainly abusing the open promise of Android.

As others have noted, Android is being co-opted by greedy carriers who are taking Google’s openness and creating closed mobile gardens.

And while Verizon’s behavior might be “clever” in the business sense, it’s destructive to consumers.

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