Google's cross-platform: No BlackBerry or Windows Phone

In a slight to the two upstart mobile platforms, Google notes that "all households" use iOS or Android.


Google has no love for BlackBerry or Windows Phone.

While unveiling the Chromecast smart-TV dongle on Wednesday, Google inadvertently (or not) slighted the two upstart mobile operating systems. In acknowledging the need for a cross-platform service, Google only touted its interoperability with both iOS and Android.

One Google executive noted that "all households" had either an Android or iOS device, without mention of the other alternatives. Presumably, Google doesn't give much thought to Windows Phone or BlackBerry.

The comments are emblematic of the dominance that iOS and Android exert over the mobile space, combined they control 91 percent of the smartphone market . Android is by far the largest mobile platform in the world, while the iPhone 5 is the single best selling device. Given Apple's influence in the mobile world, Google had to offer a hand to its rival in order to make Chromecast work.

There was no such courtesy afforded to BlackBerry 10 or Windows Phone, which each have been fighting to win just a small slice of the pie. Google hasn't had a good track record of supporting either platform, with key apps like Chrome and Maps still missing from BlackBerry World and Windows Phone Marketplace. Instead, Google's definition of cross-platform includes Android, iOS, and Chrome for MacBooks and Windows.

The omission is illustrative of the challenges the upstart operating systems face in mounting their run at the smartphone market. BlackBerry offers the Z10, Q10, and Q5, but that pales in comparison to the wide range of Android devices in the market.

Microsoft's Windows Phone platform has a key supporter in Nokia, which has seen slow progress with its Lumia smartphones. But its other major partners have been reluctant to show much enthusiasm for their own Windows Phone offerings.

CNET contacted Google and BlackBerry to see when and if Chromecast would eventually support the different operating systems. We'll update the story when any of the companies respond. Microsoft declined to comment.

About the author

Roger Cheng is the executive editor in charge of breaking news for CNET News. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade. He's a devoted Trojan alum and Los Angeles Lakers fan.


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