Do not be evil

    Today is a rather difficult, but, obviously, significant day. Today Yandex had to take a step that, as I always wanted to believe, would never have to be taken.

    We turned to the regulatory authority, FAS, to return equal relations in the mobile device market. Our appeal is the recognition of one unpleasant fact. We have every chance to get into a world where only one company will decide who will get the opportunity to deliver services to people and what these people will be able to use.

    We have always believed in competition and the right to choose a user. So much so that even in our search results from the first days of Yandex, there are links to other popular search engines. To be honest, I was always sure that Google believes the same. What is a company of engineers producing cool products. Alas, it is now obvious that in addition to the technical company, which once considered its slogan “Do not be evil”, now there is a completely different one - a company controlled by lawyers and businessmen.

    Android no longer looks like an open OS. And certainly, Google’s competition policy on this platform does not look open. For example, now we are faced with the fact that vendors, in order to sell phones with Yandex services in Russia, must abandon all Google services, not only in Russia, but in all other countries. At the same time, the rules for obtaining GMS and Google Play for each of them can change at any time.

    We want open OS conditions and licenses to be open and transparent to everyone.

    Thanks to its ingenious programmers and excellent technology, Google was able to conquer almost the whole world. However, there are still very few places where local services are most popular. Local players live next to their users, and it seems that it helps them a lot to create products so that they remain stronger than global ones. It's easy for me to talk about Yandex, but let's take another example. Compare the completeness of the 2GIS directory for Russia and Google Maps or the number of active Russian users on VKontakte and Facebook. It is logical that manufacturers of phones and tablets want their offspring to take into account the characteristics of the market in which they will be sold. This was wanted, for example, by Explay, Prestigio and Fly, but at the end of last year, at the insistence of Google, they had to abandon the preinstallation of Yandex services. It is happened,

    I read a lot of comments on this story, and to my surprise I found that even intelligent adult guys do not always understand what the current situation threatens. In fact, now the owner of the "open operating system" makes vendors refuse to work with those who compete with Google in any market. And I'm not even talking about how it threatens Yandex, but about the situation it puts both developers and users.

    Google bought Androidalmost ten years ago. During this time he has come a long way and not only technically. Approximately in the middle of this path, an important trend was outlined - Google began to saturate Android with its services and applications, which simply had to be preinstalled on each device. This is a search, and maps, and geolocation tools. Just think: only three years ago there were only nine such mandatory services. Now there are almost 20. The fact that a technology company wants to create more good services, in itself, maybe not bad. The problem is that its services are preinstalled on phones and tablets, largely due to the fact that the manufacturer can not put anything else on them. Android is becoming more and more surrounded by public and not very conventions, more and more closed. All this is rapidly starting to remind me of a story with Windows.

    Let's go back for a minute in 1999 and recall a completely similar situation. More than 95% of the PC market is running Windows, an integral part of which is Internet Explorer 5 (and a little later, if you're lucky, 5.5 and 6). What do we know about this browser? That it was the worst browser in internet history. Technological shackles in which we were forced to make up nested tables. Even Microsoft employees admit that it was terrible. This will last another ten years - until 2009, when the European Union forced Microsoft to offer browsers a choice of European users on first launch. And Google, along with Opera and Mozilla, has been actively involved in unfair competition proceedings against Microsoft.

    One may ask - why? After all, Microsoft created Windows. Why couldn't they preinstall their browser on the system? The fact is that many people did not understand that there were any alternatives. They bought a device and it already had a browser. So today they buy an Android phone and use only what it already has. Many users are sure that the phone is sold ready to use and never look on Google Play to install other programs.

    The results of the European Commission v Microsoft case gave a huge impetus to the development of new Internet technologies. In fact, the current success of Google Chrome is largely due to the very antitrust solution. Of course, WebKit, Blink and Chromium in general, all this code base are good technological products, but no one knew about them, and therefore it was extremely difficult to develop them.

    Look at the charts . The share of Google Chrome began to grow more actively since December 2009, when people in Europe were able to choose a browser. Then crawled upShares of Firefox and Opera. Competition has become real and, as always, has made browsers get better and better. Everyone won from this. Browser developers got the opportunity to show their product to users. And they, in turn, were surprised to find that browsers have stepped far forward. Website developers began to live on the new web, with modern, convenient and, most importantly, evolving standards. And even the affected Microsoft won - it allowed the company to focus and release a completely different IE. Try it, it's not so bad. The whole modern web application revolution began when the choice came.

    What is happening now? In fact, if you now want to create applications that can be used by a large number of people, it should be available on the App Store and Google Play Market. And if Apple's Buddhist device is inseparable from software, then manufacturers using Android are faced with a choice - either Google Play and 20 pre-installed Google services, or alternative solutions and an alternative store, but for all regions without exception.

    Now those who want to focus on creating search, maps or browsers are being forced to create their own alternative platforms. About the same as a little more than 7 years ago, opponents of Opera, Mozilla and Google called on them to make their operating systems with their browsers and generally anything. But even if someone makes a new mobile platform now, a very important task will remain - to ensure that application creators spend their resources on versions for them as well. As we can see, even such a giant as Microsoft is not very good at it.

    It somehow happened that everyone whose life and work is connected with technology believes that this is a good competitive world where technology companies fight for users in normal ways. We ourselves until the last did not believe that we would have to call for a resolution of the regulator's situation. The first time our faith shook when we saw how Google distribution works. If you use Mozilla Firefox, then you know that the development team of this product has always thought about user preferences. The browser took into account that there is Russia, Japan, South Korea, where most people use local search engines. And all of a sudden, Mozilla signs a three-year contract with Google to unconditionally distribute his search everywhere. After updating, the person who used Yandex in Russia had to look for how to regain the usual search.

    In my fantasies, of course, I think: it would be nice if a person could easily change the default search engine at any time. Now, theoretically, he can do this, but the settings are buried by the manufacturer so deeply that not everyone can handle it. Can you name a way to change the default search without looking at the device? Sure no. But many Android phone buyers never look into the settings and as a result get it exactly the way the manufacturer created it, bound hand and foot by contracts with Google. And there will be nothing but Google, and not because it is beneficial to the user, but because Google is advantageous to use a dominant position in one market to put pressure on another. A ban on this is the basis of antitrust law. Without competition, no one’s products will develop. In this sense, Yandex and Google are simply necessary to each other. You can’t imagine how the quality of Google services in Turkey began to grow when we entered this country. Until Google saw competition in the Turkish search, he did nothing. Having seen live competitors for several months - and almost immediately for search engines - he improved his search literally several times, launched several new services that were previously inaccessible to the residents of Turkey.

    Probably the only product for which many may not like Yandex is Yandex.Bar. But it seems everyone who laughed at a joke about a girl that is easy to persuade, just do not remember that until recently it was impossible to install Flash, OpenOffice, a bunch of Sun and Java products without unchecking the Install Google Toolbar checkbox. This is a war that we did not start, but alas - we were forced to get involved in it, and the illusions of honest technological competition began to slowly dissipate. And now the situation has crossed all reasonable boundaries.

    We already live in a world where the operating system is not only in computers and phones, but also in watches, cars, airplanes, fire extinguishing systems. And if it turns out that it will be the same OS, then I want not all of it to be controlled by a single company. I still believe that there are enough technical experts at Google who understand the incorrectness of what is happening. Therefore, I am sure that it can still end well.

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