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Old April 6 2010, 07:32 PM   #32
Robert Maxwell
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Re: HP's competition for the iPad!

Shaw wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Vendor lock-in and control is a big part of why I don't buy Apple products.
I, personally, shy away from anything that involves vender lock-in... because you never can be sure that a vender will be around in the future. Everything about all my computers will function independently of the future existence of the original vender or their continued support.

As examples, I use Sun, SGI and NeXT systems, none of them are still around (as independent companies) any more, nor do I need them to be. The same is true of all my Apple products. If Apple disappears tomorrow, I could function for years (most likely 10 or more) without worrying about anything other than hardware fixes (which I've always done myself anyways).

The alternatives are nothing short of horror stories from my perspective.

For example, Windows since the release of XP. If Microsoft disappeared tomorrow, you wouldn't be able to install/reinstall Windows on your computer. Microsoft has to activate your installation. No Microsoft, no activation, no Windows.
Microsoft's attempts at vendor lock-in are pretty piss-poor, in my opinion. Windows Activation aside--because it is so easily bypassed--Microsoft doesn't control what software can and can't run on Windows. They don't require you to purchase a license from them to develop Windows software, and so forth.

Any Linux or BSD flavor would, of course, be preferable for commodity PC hardware if you really want to avoid even the appearance of vendor lock-in.

Another example is Mathematica since either version 3 or 4. Wolfram has to activate your copy Mathematica for your hardware. I had version 4.1 installed on my PowerBook which had it's logic board die. When I replaced the logic board (which included the hardware serial number of the system), Mathematica stopped running. As there wasn't anything I absolutely needed from that version, I just went back to using version 2.2.2 (which didn't have that issue).
Ugh. I hate hardware hashing, dongles, and all that jazz. What a bunch of nonsense.

Another example was a number of online music stores which closed down. In the case of Microsoft's MSN Music Store, once Microsoft shut down their playsforsure server, whatever system your music was on was the final resting place of that music, it couldn't be activated on any other future systems.
This is why I only buy unrestricted MP3s online.

I don't trust corporations... any corporation, enough to need that type of dependance on them.
I agree. I realize the situation is different on the Mac, but when it comes to the iPhone/iPad ecosystem, Apple holds all the keys, and I'm not too keen on that.

If Apple disappears tomorrow... oh well. My newest Mac is 10 years old. I'll most likely keep using it for another couple years before I get something newer (but used). It could be 10 years before I end up with whatever new Macs are being sold today and another 10 years after that before I start to worry about what I'll need to replace that with (most likely a Linux system if that were the case). We're talking about nearly 20+ years before Apple's disappearance would have a direct effect on me. NeXT has been gone for 13 years (and Apple dropped support for it's products about 10 years ago) and I'm still happily using those systems today.
If Apple disappears tomorrow, iPhones and iPads become expensive paperweights. At best, they would be little more than pricey phones and Internet terminals, respectively. Then again, if no one's maintaining the hardware and software anymore, I guess people would have free reign to jailbreak them with impunity.

Decry vender lock-in all you want, I'll be standing right there at your side doing the same. None of us should be that dependent on any of these corporations. Apple users haven't yet been screwed over the way that Microsoft users have been, but the potential is absolutely there in some of these products and people should be aware of it.
I realize Microsoft would love to control things to a greater extent than they do, but they just can't. The Windows platform has been around too long for anyone to put up with locking it down now. Even Windows 7's activation system was cracked before RTM. I fear for the day Microsoft becomes remotely competent at vendor lock-in, though! That'll be the last day I use Windows on any home PC.
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