How central is Android to Google? Is it thinkable that it could be dumped along with so many closed APIs and services as part of a Google spring clean?
There are many things going on in the Google trial which are complex and a matter of legal dispute. At the moment it looks as if Google can't manage to get across clearly the message that while it might have been aware of the potential for Oracle suing it, it believed that there was no basis for such a suit. Instead it is managing to convey a shifty approach to the whole thing with memory lapses and "incriminating" emails and opinions.
"Android isn't critical, it's a delivery vehicle for Google services."
When you think about, it you know that this has to be true. Google doesn't make a lot of money directly from operating systems or mobile phones. If it was to drop its development involvement in Android tomorrow it wouldn't feel a huge loss. It could simply open source the operating system or make a gift of it to Oracle. There would be a big mess to sort out in terms of the various phone manufacturers, not to mention the various forks of Android such as the Kindle Fire - but Google could avoid a lot of complications by simply bowing out of Android development.
Eventually it would feel the loss of a platform that integrates Google services and puts them in the hands of the user. Given time, it is very likely that it could provide an alternative. Some speculate that it could be an Android replacement, based on Chrome OS. After all why have two operating systems, and being forced to drop Android is so much better than being seen to decide to do it.
Of course you can argue that Larry Page simply had to make that statement to avoid making it look as if Android was important to the company. Minimizing the effect of losing the trial seems to be a little premature, however, and there would be something to be gained from pledging allegiance to Google's creation.
It can't come as a surprise - Google announced long ago that it was stopping work on the Eclipse Android Developer Tools - but now it has ended support as well. It is well beyond time to move over to [ ... ]