Google: if you support Amazon's Echo, you're cut off from Google Home and Chromecast

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When I was a kid, our family didn’t have a lot of money. My dad did some side work for a TV repair shop, and if a TV was beyond all hope the owner would let my dad take it home for parts.

Our first family TV set was a Frankenstein’s monster of something like an RCA case, Zenith screen, Electrolux power cord… (I don’t know the actual combination).

Nowadays you can’t even support that many brands and be a recognised, official repair shop.

This upstreaming, exclusivity crap just constantly cuts the bottom of the market out without letting healthy variety proliferate.


I believe such healthy behavior is a felony in certain US states now?


Good. The idea of Home had me hooked, now I’m back to WTF was I thinking? This proves the product is made for corp’s benefit and not mine.

At least they are going to be upfront about it. I hate when I buy into platforms with the “features” I want, and later realize x doesn’t play well with y, and the only reasoning is that it is a royalty/exclusivity issue behind the curtains. Now I kvnow right up this product isn’t for me.

Additional… or this could be another marketing attempt to control the story. Get everyone mad and hating on Home ( and talking about it!), then suddenly Google reverses course because of “consumer blah blah”, and now they are heroes with this product that does everything!


never forget who is the product, and who is the consumer.


This looks like a good place for a link to Schneier on ‘Feudal Security.’ Yes, in this case the issue is features; but it’s exactly the same social/power relation at work.

You aren’t really supposed to even be a ‘consumer’(who might have the temerity to shop around, the worthless ingrate); but to choose which lord to swear fealty to; and thereafter remain within your liege’s demesne (sorry, “ecosystem”).

A product that supports multiple vendors’ protocols is basically an incitement to treason; for only someone whose allegiance is wavering would need the option to consort with one of the enemy’s protocols.


So developers have to choose between Amazon and Google. Which company is more likely to see home integration as a whim? And are consumers more likely to support Amazon’s core mission - selling things through the devices - or Google’s core mission - being exposed to ads through the devices?

Ask Belkin and Phillips if they will abandon the huge maturing Echo market that’s already sold Millions of WeMos and Hue bulbs for a speculative Google market.

Short sighted on Google’s part and with their track record for abandoning projects, likely to cause the pre-demise of what probably could have been a good product.


Funny, they weren’t so exclusive when asking for Android app development. Seems like they’re shooting themselves in the foot.

OTOH, until there is a client/server style home automation or IoT, I’ll keep flipping light switches like a caveman. :slight_smile:




All this talk of cavemen and light switches can only make me think of one thing.


So there’s this book by Max Barry, called Jennifer Government, that told of a libertarian future where the major corporate factions literally fought for dominance. The thing about the book when I read it is that it seemed a little dated somehow. I think what it was missing was a dirty slugfest between Google and Amazon.


“You wouldn’t really expect our blades to work with the competition’s razors, would you?”

That’s the philosophy at work here. Unfortunately it’s going to take government regulation (don’t hold your breath) or losing a lawsuit to force the tech industry to acknowledge that what is legitimate with physical products is not legit with services.


I always figured that we are heading for a Snow Crash future… We’ll just end up living in Google/Amazon/etc city states rather than Mr. Lee’s Greater Hong Kong. Heck, Google already had proto-rat-things…


Well, Mr. Lee’s Greater Hong Kong was really about finding a niche in providing an alternative: they bought and sold tech and services of all types; provided safe haven and neighborhood stability; and of course, piecemeal, on the spot employment.


Of course, having a live, networked, corporate-controlled mic in your bedroom, living room and toilet is an idea that is so unbelievably terrible on its face that you could use it as the introduction to a term paper in 2040 explaining how human civilization nearly collapsed in the early 21st century.

Oh Cory, you optimist you.

This would be funny except it’s no joke.



I would say that, anti- competitive behaviour aside, that ad was really really annoying. It made me definitely not want Google Home.


Uh, yes?


Exactly. I think it is kind of quaint that people are worried about government spying when companies like Google easily dwarf the NSA. We really are heading towards a cyberpunk future where corporations rather than governments are the recognized powers.


Do they? I can easily imagine an open source non-product non-ad based home network capable at least of sending emails, switching things on and off, reporting news and playing media by voice command.


Your naiveté about the ways of modern capitalism is… rather quaint.

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