My three initial thoughts on this deal:
1) This shows just how much trouble Google was in with regard to the patent situation. A few weeks ago, they indicated it was wary of spending north of $4 billion on patents. Now they’re spending north of $12 billion.
Make no mistake, that’s the root of this.
And they had to do something wild like this. No matter what your take is on the patent situation, there’s no denying that Android was in serious trouble.
2) All we’re going to hear over the next several months is how committed Google is to keeping Android as an “open” ecosystem with robust partnerships. But actions speak louder than words. Some partners are saying the right things now, but what else are they going to say? “Fuck the platform that we’re now dependent on.”? This is going to be a very tough sell in the long run.
That doesn’t benefit Apple for obvious reasons, but that could benefit someone like Microsoft in the space.
3) This will either go down as the smartest thing Google has ever done, or the dumbest. There is no room for in between when you’re spending $12.5 billion and disrupting a market you control.