Apple has a messaging protocol, iMessage. Unlimited free messaging between iPhones, iPads, and Macs. (The Mac client is currently in public beta.)
It has clear advantages over SMS and AIM. The disadvantage: Itís a closed protocol available only to Apple devices, so Android and Windows users arenít invited to the conversation.
As a longtime Apple fan, it used to infuriate me when Microsoft would leverage its market dominance to lock customers in with proprietary protocols. Now itís Apple with the market dominance, and the tactic looks disturbingly familiar.
We used to call Microsoft the Evil Empire. Google took a poke at them with the motto, ďDonít be evil.Ē Is Apple now becoming the Evil Empire?
What do you think? Should Apple open iMessage (and maybe other iCloud services) to competing platforms? Should they be required to? Creating a communications network that is not fully open to competitorsí devices is the classic textbook example of monopolistic abuse.
(Iím admittedly anticipating events. The Mac Messages client is still in beta, and hasnít reached the level of market penetration where Android and Windows devices are seriously disadvantaged by not being able to fully integrate with the Messages on my Mac and my iOS devices. But we all know itís going to catch on, so unless you dispute that weíll take it as a given for the sake of discussion.)