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Old April 7 2010, 12:39 AM   #41
Robert Maxwell
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Re: HP's competition for the iPad!

Shaw wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
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.
I haven't used Windows for years, but from what I've read about how Microsoft treats users and developers on Windows, I'm surprised (shocked) that you would use such a platform.
Eh, I have to use it for work, plus I play a lot of games, so Windows is about all there is for that. WINE just doesn't cut it. I use Linux a lot, too, but Windows would be hard to abandon completely--not so much for anything the OS offers but rather the software that's tied to it. I feel no urge to upgrade past XP, though.

To my knowledge, Apple (nor any other computer/software company) can hold a candle to the things that Microsoft has both attempted and/or accomplished. And I've personally seen Microsoft bare down on people for software piracy who weren't even using Microsoft products.
I'm not claiming Microsoft isn't sleazy as hell--they are. They're just supremely incompetent when it comes to locking people in, too. I have not had any experiences with being accused of pirating MS products, though, so I can't speak to that.

But I'm curious... you seem to be holding Apple's standards for iPhone/iPad development up against Windows rather than something like the Xbox. I don't know about Windows, but I can write software for a Mac without paying a single cent. On the other hand, I don't see the Xbox as an open (license free) system for development.
You brought up MS, and I was just responding to that. However, you're right--it's not an apples-to-apples comparison. I would compare the iPhone to the other smartphone platforms out there:

1. Blackberry -- I've never had one, but what little I've seen tells me there's a lot of vendor lock-in there, not least because you're forced to use RIM's network.
2. Windows Mobile -- Easily the crappiest smartphone OS I've ever had the displeasure to use. The less said about it, the better.
3. Palm -- I have a Palm Centro right now. There are tons of hacks and free programs out there for it. I love that 10+ years' worth of software still works on it. I have not used the new webOS, since I don't have a pre.
4. Android -- I've played with this a little bit and I find it very promising, and Google doesn't seem to be keen on locking it down--rather, they want its openness to help it thrive. My next phone may well be an Android-based unit.

As far as I know, it is only Apple that has created a system whereby only "approved" applications may be distributed to smartphones. I don't have a problem with that in and of itself, but they also make it the only source for iPhone apps, unless you want to jailbreak your phone which can cause all sorts of other problems.

Heck, I could actually start development of Mac software on a Linux or BSD system using GNUstep as a foundation as GNUstep was originally based on the OpenStep Specifications, which in turn are what Cocoa APIs (used in both Mac and iPhone environments) are based on.
But you cannot develop iPhone/iPad software on anything but a bona fide Intel Mac.

So are you holding Apple to a higher standard than Microsoft? I mean shouldn't there be just one standard for everything?
You can write Windows software on any other OS, too, though God only knows why someone would want to.

It is funny... Apple is just some company, and really doesn't have the ability to effect anyone's lives if those people don't want it to. Microsoft has it's hands in nearly every aspect of our world (and by world, I mean most countries). Microsoft is much like the banks that were too big to fail... no matter what, the world couldn't survive if Microsoft disappeared at this point.
I don't care what Apple does with their computers, really. I care more about what they do in the mobile/handheld market, because I actually buy such devices, and I don't like Apple's tendency to lock things down. Apple is a trendsetter in this area, too, and I don't want to see others following their lead.

Literally, Apple doesn't know anything about vender lock-in compared to Microsoft, and Microsoft has been willing at times to pay multi-million dollar fines daily to protect that lock-in. I've seen Apple do some bad things... but they are still amateurs at lock-in.
I think we are concerned about different kinds of lock-in, and that's where we're diverging. Microsoft does not control what apps wind up on Windows--or their smartphones, for that matter. Apple provides a single source for iPhone/iPad apps, and only Apple-approved software may be distributed.

Imagine if you bought a computer with Windows on it--you've already paid for the license--and then, you want to develop an application. Now, imagine Microsoft gets to tell you whether or not you're allowed to develop and distribute said app! That would piss me off. This is what Apple does with the iPhone.

Microsoft is sleazy as all hell, but they don't act as gatekeepers deciding who can and can't develop Windows software. Apple doesn't do this on the Mac either, so why they insist on doing it for the iPhone and iPad is beyond me. I can understand the ease-of-use argument, but then why forbid all other routes of deployment outside the App Store?
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