Monday, November 22, 2010

The “Joy” of Proprietary Markets

I’m not fan of being locked into what a provider decides I want.  Apple’s Mac architecture, while certainly very good, is so closed up that it makes Windows look almost open source by comparison.  I’ve refused the Nook, and the Kindle, in favor of the Sony Reader because I don’t want to be locked to Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.  But I can go to both, should I choose.

And when the iPhone came out, I have to say that its capabilities impressed me.  And then I saw how Apple was locking it down, fighting the crowd that wanted to “jailbreak” it and make it a phone they could use on any carrier.  And let’s not forget how Apps are locked out if Apple does not deign to include them in iTunes.

Blackberry and Windows Mobile have been far more open to adjustment.  I could go to literally hundreds of sites and find the software that I wanted at (almost literally) whatever price I was or was not willing to pay.  App store?  Pshaw!  Handango has been around since before 3G was a term for cellular data.

Sadly, Microsoft and RIM seem to be learning all the wrong lessons from Apple, as they start to “provide” app stores of their own, and to make it ever harder to “sideload” applications from independent sites.  Google has earned my trust with Android’s relative openness, but I see AT&T locking down certain Android phones to only the Google Market Place, and I despair.  Fingers crossed on Windows Phone 7, but we’ll see.

And then I read a blog article over at MSNBC about Apple’s iOS 4.2 update.  Seems Apple has advertised all sorts of new features and functions… but there are caveats.  Special hardware to buy, and limited forms of same.

It’s almost enough to send me back to “dumb” phones.