Google's Eric Schmidt promises a free future for Android on South Korea tour

by Kristen Nicole

The question of whether or not things will change for Android OEMs after Google completes the Motorola acquisition has been lingering ever since Google first announced its intentions. But the company’s Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, says the takeover won’t adversely affect other Android handset makers. And as far as Android goes? It will remain a free, open-source platform and Google’s committed to keeping it that way.

During a tour of South Korea, where several Android OEM’s are based, Schmidt clarified several questions on the minds of many, regarding Android’s accessibility as well as his take on Microsoft’s litigation tactics. Easing tensions around Android’s future that other OEMs can rely on, Schmidt assures that Google “will run (Motorola) sufficiently independently so it will not violate the openness of Android.”

Schmidt takes on Microsoft, too

That may be a comforting statement for some, but others, like Samsung, have already taken steps to broaden their reach beyond Android. Samsung’s not only pushing its own Bada platform across its devices, but it’s succumbed to pressure from Microsoft for an Android licensing deal and a Windows Phone manufacturing partnership to boot. Samsung’s playing it safe in many regards, but Microsoft has targeted every major Android manufacturer for similar licensing deals, to the dismay of Schmidt. “Microsoft is not telling the truth on this issue, and they are using tactics to scare people because they are scared of the success of Android,” he said. It seems more Google representatives are vocalizing their opinions on the Microsoft matter, defending their position on freedom of ideas in what ReadWriteWeb calls another use of populism for the Internet search giant.

Big plans for Google TV

Nevertheless, Schmidt wants to convey a bright outlook for Android moving forward, especially in South Korea. His company is looking to take Android beyond mobile devices and into more TV sets, another initiative that’s gained interest from Samsung and other manufacturers. Google TV launched last year to bleak reviews, but has revamped its efforts just last month with more partnerships, services and Android integration. Google’s really looking to OEMs and developers to build out Android’s ecosystem through Google TV, and some are already seeing the benefits of an added distribution channel for Android apps. Adult film studio Vivid Entertainment has plans to launch the first adult Android app for Google TV, another outlet for its subscription-based service.