Amazon, amongst Google’s Android partners, strikes me as the greatest threat to direct competition with Google’s expanding efforts to become… Well… Amazon.
Kyle Kramer on HN wonders what happens if:
[Google] Fork[s] the platform in a new direction that renders Amazon’s devices useless…
Large portions of Android are open source. The top layer — the “Google” layers — belong to Google, but Amazon has the option to fork Android as well.
Amazon is an online retailer and an infrastructure company. They’ve got a ton of brilliant engineers that understand software (AWS), as well as products (Kindle). One could argue that Google has more “product” people, but one could also argue that their product people don’t have that much of a lead on Amazon.
I’m not saying this is a walk-on win for Amazon, but I see the next 10 years shaping up to make the old IBM vs MS vs Apple battle look like an undercard fight.