Monday, August 3, 2009

Does Microsoft Have Another Monopoly?

I was just playing around with a mobile platform. It contained a nice little OS. The OS came with the vendor's browser pre-installed in a premier location. The OS is a bit restricted, you can only legally install applications that have been through a vetting process by the OS vendor. The OS vendor will not allow a browser to be added and sold.

This feels worse than the old days. Back when Microsoft was claiming that IE was a required component and could not be removed. This is the equivalent of saying that IE is a required component and not only can it not be removed, no other browsers are ever allowed to be installed.

Now, if I recall correctly, MSFT is still being pummeled for that move. Now on to the potentially obvious. I am not talking about a new MSFT monopoly in this post. The Vendor is Apple and the device is the iPhone. They reject applications that compete with built in applications including ones provided by the same vendor. Google's Voice application which does shocking things like make SMS messages free and forward phone calls. I figure since the SMS messages have a nice little space carved out in the control packets for the cell phone's signal, making them free actually makes a lot of sense. That does not stop me from paying somethink like $35/month for SMS messages that I barely use.

Given that the platform is completely flexible, and the browser is just another component, what is the reason for not allowing for substitutions? Applications that I right can be made to handle links automatically. Apple could reassign http:// to another application. I found myself thinking about this today when I went to find the web browser and could not. I was looking for FireFox and I blew right past that Safari icon.

Do you think they are going to have to pay for this? In today's economy, you have to out innovate for your business, not restrict. Exclusive deals with exclusive contracts and exclusive content are no longer the rage.



Travis Swicegood said...

I think it's fair to say they are already paying for this. Developer's are pissed off and afraid. What happens when Apple exposes their Mail ToDos and your great task manager gets pull because of the "confusion" it might cause?

Jacob Taylor said...

Yeah. I have worked with their SDK and built an application, yet I did not ship it. Makes you think. I love my iPhone, when it is able to get a signal. I was referring to the more brutal kind of paying like what MSFT is getting with the EU. So many lawsuits for so many years. I guess it might just be considered good press.

I think there might actually be a few too many todo programs out there. That being said, I have wanted to write my own because I do not like aspects of all of the ones that I have worked with to date. Garg. Actually, now that I think about it, Palm Desktop from the 90's was the one that I liked the most.