Friday Feedback: Apple in the “Android Seat”

istock_000001483014xsmall.jpgFridays the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by wg2k1, commenting on “Apple Isn’t the Problem; Wall Street’s Big Banks Are the Problem,” by Robert Reich. Here’s wg’s comment:

Apple isn’t interested in the quality of the app. They’re just trying to discourage cross-platform development. Companies develop for the iPhone first, then consider Android, and that’s how Apple wants to keep it.

For two decades, Apple was in the “Android seat”. People developed for Windows first, and Mac OS second if at all. They know the power of being the top platform equates to economic security for Apple, and likely permanent marginalization for Android and Blackberry.

This is a side effect of the fact that the operating system is of relatively little value compared to the applications sold by the independent software vendors. MS and Apple have to pull teeth to get people to pay $150 for the OS (a high price BTW), but people who work with apps will pay $300 to $X thousands of dollars for application software.

The apps that ISVs sell are so valuable that Microsoft actually bribes companies to focus on Windows and not publish on other operating systems. Thus, a company will buy a specialized app that’s only available on Windows, so they leave Windows installed on the computer (or don’t buy a Mac). Then, they end up buying Microsoft Office too.

Apple tries this as well. Being a small competitor, they really can’t do the same with OS X. But they are trying it with iPhone.

As for whether their rule is legal or not – it shouldn’t be. If I buy a product, I should be able to combine it with another product, and use the combination.

If I had a Windows computer, should Microsoft be allowed to disallow Flash, competing C++ compilers, and other add-ons? Should software that runs only within a web browser be disallowed?

Obviously, the answer is “no”.

Not only that, but there’s some precedent. The DOJ prevented Microsoft from doing things that would have prevented Sun’s Java from running well on Windows, as well as offering a competing product identified as a version of “java” that didn’t work like Java.

Published by the LA Progressive on May 7, 2010
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