Hackers will have to wait a while before making their own custom versions of Honeycomb. BussinessWeek is reporting that Google won’t release Honeycomb as open source for quite some time. Google isn’t sure Honeycomb will work on smartphones and it doesn’t want to risk hackers or manufacturers shoving it on them.
As you’re probably aware, Honeycomb was designed specifically for tablets, and Google wants to keep it that way. Some corners were cut with Honeycomb to make the release as soon as possible. Heck, the Xoom still has bugs in the OS and it shipped without being able to use the microSD card slot. Tablets and phones from smaller companies are buggy enough with fully stable releases of Android, an arguably incomplete Honeycomb could only make things worse.
It is possible that Google won’t even release a new version as open source until Ice Cream, whatever number it will have. For those outside the hacking community that isn’t so bad. For the hackers it’s sad that they can’t have their hand at customizing the OS to their whims. For everyone it means more terrible, buggy, cheap Android tablets with Eclair, Froyo or Gingerbread without the Android Market.