Google is more like Sun Microsystems rather than Apple or Microsoft. Both Apple and Microsoft are "closed shops" and not hackeresque in their commercial culture. Google's culture is very much the hackeresque open source and technically centric. To me, Android seems like the equivalent of Java -- born from the energies of passionate technologists. Java was by no means a clear bet by Sun, it could have died and withered, but what it gave the internet just what it needed at the right time, a portable cross platform language that "opened up" programatically without being locked into a platform. I think Android is very similar to that, but applied to the mobile world.