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Google not ready to share Honeycomb source code

The source code for Google's Android 3.0, the tablet version of the OS known as Honeycomb, will only be shared with a specific few hardware partners, the company said.

Android 3.0 on a tablet.
Android 3.0 on a tablet.

Though it prides itself on Android being an "open" mobile operating system, Google says it's being extra-protective of the tablet version of its OS before releasing it to the world.

Google said today that it will not release the source code Android 3.0, known as Honeycomb, just yet. The company says it's not yet ready to be customized in the same manner as previous versions of the OS, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Current hardware partners will not be affected by the decision; Motorola just launched the first Honeycomb tablet, the Xoom, and Samsung, Dell, HTC, and Acer are expected to follow suit.

It appears Google wants to control the Android 3.0 experience, though the move is said to be temporary.

Google's Android chief Andy Rubin may have foreshadowed this move at the introduction of Honeycomb last month. He noted how he'd seen Android on a bunch of tablets at the Consumer Electronics Show, and that was very exciting to Google. However, he said, though it's an open-source operating system, Google considers itself "the shepherd."

It's not too far a leap from that comment to the idea that he and his cohorts would like to have a bit more oversight of how and when the software is used, rather than just allowing any hardware maker to slap Honeycomb on any piece of hardware.