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Ballmer Pleads For Openness To Compete With Apple 532

Posted by Soulskill
from the outside-looking-in dept.
mjasay writes "At the Mobile World Congress, Steve Ballmer took aim at Apple's closed iPhone ecosystem with an ironic plea for openness: 'Openness is central because it's the foundation of choice.' Ballmer has apparently forgotten his company's own efforts to vertically integrate hardware and software (Zune, XBox), its history of vertically integrating software (tying SharePoint into Office, IE, SQL Server, Active Directory, etc.), as well as years of illegally tying Windows to Internet Explorer that only the US Justice Department could undo. Indeed, Microsoft's effect on the browser market has pushed Mozilla to get involved in a recent European Commission action against the software giant, with Mozilla's Mitchell Baker recently declaring that 'A number of illegal activities were also involved in creating IE's market dominance,' now requiring government intervention to open up the browser market to fair competition. Putting aside Microsoft's own tainted reputation in the field of openness, is Ballmer right? Should Apple open up its iPhone platform to outside competition, both in terms of hardware and software?"
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Ballmer Pleads For Openness To Compete With Apple

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  • Not so much... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SpinyNorman (33776) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @10:24AM (#26940519)

    Of course Apply needs to encourage and allow 3rd party app developers as much as possible (and seems to be doing a decent job given the app store and the app-writing industry it has spawned)...

    However, I thinkit would be a mistake for Apple to "open" the iPhone in other ways - e.g. allow other companies to build them and run the Apple iPhone software on them. Apple's brand is based on a tight vertical integration of hardware and software and tight quality control over the whole, and the iPhone itself benefits (as do all Apple products) from the expensive-but-worth-it exclusivity factor.... It's hard to see Apple being a big winner if Dell and every Asian handset maker were making officially sanctioned/enabled cheap shoddy iPhone clones.

  • Sensationalism (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AppleOSuX (1080499) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @10:28AM (#26940539)

    Right, because this really sounds like pleading!

    FTFA: "I agree that no single company can create all the hardware and software," he said. "Openness is central because it's the foundation of choice." - Ballmer

  • by LordZardoz (155141) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @10:36AM (#26940601)

    Microsoft is not asking for source code here. They just want to be able to publish applications for that platform. In fact, they are not asking for anything more on that platform then they permit for Windows or the Xbox.

    Microsoft might not let you have the raw source code for the Windows OS. But they will happily hand you and SDK and a compiler and let you develop on it. They also do not care if you make boatloads of cash on the platform, as long as your a licensed developer. The same applies to the Xbox, even though the platform is more expensive to get a license for.

    All they are advocating is that Apple let more developers publish software for the iPhone platform.

    END COMMUNICATION

  • you know (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ionix5891 (1228718) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @10:38AM (#26940615)

    people moan about Microsoft here on /. alot (no im not new here)

    but imho Apple take the pisstaking to a new level

    they get away with it as the typical response is "they are not a convicted monopolist"

    got help us if apple were in same position as microsoft

  • I'd say no. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowsky@nOsPAm.gmail.com> on Saturday February 21, 2009 @10:42AM (#26940643) Homepage Journal

    Apple shouldn't open up anything. Openness adds a good third party market in some ways, but it also adds a lot of junk. Apple's filtering benefits the consumer that doesn't want to have a lot of crap in their eco-system. If you want a more open platform, you could use Android, or a Windows Mobile powered phone. SO, there are choices in the marketplace.

  • by KibibyteBrain (1455987) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @10:46AM (#26940667)
    Not only that, but allowing developers to develop the types of applications they want. Its absurd that you can't develop an email client for the iPhone. Imagine the fallout that would be had from any other set of developers over such a policy.
  • by McDutchie (151611) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @10:47AM (#26940675) Homepage

    WTF? How exactly are they not letting developers publish software for the platform?

    By not allowing anything that competes with Apple's own software. That means: no better web browser, no better email program, no better calendar, etc.

  • by xoundmind (932373) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @10:52AM (#26940697)
    No.
    So....No.
  • Re:you know (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gjyoung (320540) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @10:52AM (#26940701)

    I think ever since MS ripped the interface from Apple they're a bit leery of being "open" to it again.

    Besides $99 will get you to developer status on the iPhone, anyone can do it.

    What are they whining about?

  • by k1980pc (942645) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @10:54AM (#26940719)
    Completely agree.
    Apple was open the same way with Xcode and developer tools for Mac platform - free IDE, SDK and no restrictions on nature of applications you can create. May be due to commercial interests, they are being very closed in the iphone ecosystem. Initial reluctance to open up the sdk, arbitrary selections on the apps you can distribute ( Considering Appstore is the only "legal" and future proof way to get apps on to iphone, I consider this very monopolistic*)
    To add to this, Microsoft has licensed active sync to Apple and Google for iphone and android respectively.

    OT,but being a long term apple user, I am currently having an identity crisis. The special hardware, quality of software and openness no longer applies. Does RDF wear-off with age or is it due to Steve's departure? :)

    * I know what monopolistic actually means, thank you!
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @10:55AM (#26940723) Journal

    He says that with Windows Mobile you got a lot of choice. In a way, he is right, there are more phones with Windows Mobile so you can choose between more phones then with the iPhone which has just one model.

    Of course in reality you can't choose at all. You get the OS that the phone maker slammed onto the phone with the restrictions your carrier applied. Freedom? Not in the eyes of the consumer BUT it is freedom in Ballmers very unique world view and since he makes more money he gotta be right, right?

  • by wild_quinine (998562) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @10:55AM (#26940725) Homepage

    Putting aside Microsoft's own tainted reputation in the field of openness, is Ballmer right?

    Two points.

    Firstly, this is Slashdot. The chances of anyone putting aside Microsoft's past behaviour in a discussion of that same kind of behaviour, approaches zero. When that discussion was started by Microsoft, it is zero.

    Secondly, even TFA spends more time slagging Microsoft for past behaviour than it does discussing what Ballmer has said. The disingenous suggestion that we're then going to discuss the statement from Ballmer on its own merits, isn't even a facade, it's a joke.

    This isn't news, but it isn't even slashdot's usual one sided attack. This is a one sided attack pretending to be a serious discussion, and it's pretending so badly that it's frankly embarassing.

  • Re:Not so much... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CrankinOut (629561) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @11:01AM (#26940761)
    What made Apple lose the PC war was the fact that Microsoft's product foundation was built on IBM's hardware foundation (the IBM PC), which was tolerable to large businesses because IBM stood behind the product and had largely won the large system computer company wars of the 70's and 80's. Remember IBM and the BUNCH (Burroughts, Univac, NCR, Control Data, and Honeywell).

    The IBM PC hardware was, in fact, very well engineered. It was IBM's backing that provided security to businesses to take the risk to bring in a PC.

    Apple, being "anti-establishment" and "creative," didn't fit with big business culture. Businesses buy lots of tightly vertical integrated products. What they want in return is risk reduction. Picking Apple over IBM seemed (at the time) to be a long shot.

  • Re:Not so much... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by berend botje (1401731) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @11:03AM (#26940783)
    They introduced the iPod in an existing market and now pretty much dominate that market. Not because the iPod is very good, but because the competition sucked. And still sucks.

    Now they have entered the smartphone market. And, once again, they immediately grabbed a sizable piece of the market. Is it because the iPhone is so wonderful? No, again, it is because the competition sucks. Windows Mobile is a steaming pile, Symbian has more problems than it solves and Android, well, let's wait and see, but initial reports doesn't look all that great.

    Remember, succes in the consumer market is never decided on technical merit. It is about usability, interface and perception. Apple really stands out in those areas.

    Single battle? Perhaps. But the opposition doesn't seem to be able to conjure up some heavy artillery, so the war might be as well declared "won".
  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bert64 (520050) <bert@@@slashdot...firenzee...com> on Saturday February 21, 2009 @11:14AM (#26940839) Homepage

    As you point out, MS attack open markets and do everything they can to close them up.

    The mobile phone and portable media player markets are far less screwed up than the PC market, Apple are just one of many and there are already far more open competitors doing perfectly well.

  • Re:Sensationalism (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bert64 (520050) <bert@@@slashdot...firenzee...com> on Saturday February 21, 2009 @11:20AM (#26940881) Homepage

    He can talk about openness all he likes, he's in a position to actually do something about it and yet he doesn't...
    Actions speak louder than words.

  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @11:26AM (#26940911) Homepage Journal
    Apple is a publicly traded company and their only real obligation is making a profit for their shareholders. Yes that means facing some inconvenient truths about Apple like making iPods in the third world and being one of the most ungreen companies ever [slashdot.org] (to their credit they seem to be working on this). They also do a fair amount of lock in like closing Darwin (What? No one screaming about this? Yeah that's what I thought). In short, corporately speaking there isn't a difference between Microsoft and Apple.

    Apple and Microsoft are both publicly traded companies and if Apple has a better product (which they do IMHO, I own a few MacBooks) then no problem. Apple shouldn't be afraid of competition.

    It's important to not let the "Microsoft is Evil" and the Hipster-Doofus lovefest for Apple cloud the real issues.
  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @11:34AM (#26940961)

    If I read you right, Microsoft wants Apple to follow their model of software development where anyone and develop and publish their own applications. Right now anyone can develop for the iPhone but they have to go through Apple to publish it. Microsoft's model has been done before with Windows Mobile and other phones and hasn't been a success.

    First it wasn't convenient for the consumer as no one had an easy to use App Store like Apple. Second, it wasn't easy to know who you could trust. You could probably trust Microsoft but not John's Software Company. What if you didn't like the Microsoft app? Not much ease of use.

    Really Microsoft is being very hypocritical. If they believed in openness why does their Zune marketplace not work with any of their PlaysForSure partners?

  • Re:Exactly... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @11:35AM (#26940963)
    Yes, but is that a fault of Macs or the fact that companies don't get that we don't want to see "Made by HP" on every customizable screen from the BIOS to a web browser? That we would rather just press CTRL+P and print rather than opening up a dedicated application?

    And if you take a look a the app store, how many apps are completely useless that have made it past Apple's "crapware" screening system? Just about all. How many fart apps are there? Tons. How about worthless "background" apps? How about apps that charge $10 for a public-domain book? How about tech demos? But when you look at the list of rejected apps so many of them are fresh, creative, new and worthwhile. What about the South Park streaming app that was rejected by Apple (and might I add, created by the creators of South Park so copyright issues weren't even an issue), what about the banning of simple things that could compete with Apple's things like alternate media players with more codec support, web browsers using alternate engines, etc.

    Sure, its a good idea in principle, but take a look at the app store and you will see that Apple is doing a horrid job in removing crapware, they seem to encourage it.
  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @11:37AM (#26940983)
    As far as I know the Windows Mobile development platform doesn't work with anything but Windows so I don't see your point.
  • by WhiteWolf666 (145211) <.sherwin. .at. .amiran.us.> on Saturday February 21, 2009 @11:46AM (#26941053) Homepage Journal

    Could you please direct me to the Windows Mobile official development platform for OS X?

    Or, could you direct me to Visual Studio for Linux or OS X?

    How about the XBL Arcade SDK for Linux? or OS X?

    For that matter, have you ever tried to even sync a Windows Mobile device with a non-MS OS? It's a huge PITA.

    Ballmer's in Glass Houses should not throw Stones.

  • Re:They did... So? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @11:53AM (#26941093)
    His statement is the definition of hypocritical. They are complaining that Apple is doing what they have done/are still doing now. Take for example the Zune. Who controls the Zune? Who controls the Zune marketplace? Can Microsoft's PlaysForSure partners use the Zune Marketplace? Can Zune customers use Linux or OS X?
  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21, 2009 @11:56AM (#26941109)

    Your spewing of anti-MS stuff is a bit off target here. MS is indeed historically a closed company that has used that behavior to dominate and damage the PC market. Apple has the same behaviors they're just not as good at it. If you're against the MS activities you need to be against the Apple activities too or else you're just a ranting fanboy. The effectiveness of a bad behavior don't determine morality of that behavior just the amount of damage it does in any given instance...the behavior is destructive and should be resisted whether it is performed by those we hate or like.

    All that moralizing aside, I love my iPhone and Mac, so I'm supporting the evilness that is Apple protectionism too despite my distaste for the behavior. Oh and I own several Windows boxes so what can I say, we're all hypocritical to some degree. =)

  • Re:I'd say no. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @11:58AM (#26941123) Homepage Journal

    Apple's filtering benefits the consumer that doesn't want to have a lot of crap in their eco-system.

    And they're doing such a great job of it too. Fart applications in the double digits, and yet not a single third party music player or email client that supersedes the very limited functionality of the bundled applications.

    Quality control without the quality is simply control.

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @12:18PM (#26941257) Homepage
    There is physically nothing stopping you but then you need to work with the vast majority of people using Windows and realise they're using formats you can't access.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Brickwall (985910) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @12:31PM (#26941357)
    Oh, I quite disagree; Apple made a conscious choice to keep the Mac hardware and OS closed so that they could control the interaction between the two. They've always been open to have outside developers create the applications. Don't you remember - or perhaps you're too young - the constant crashes of MS-DOS machines, in part because of its ridiculous 64k RAM limit? The numerous incompatibilities with video cards, printers, etc.? Apple decided that by closing the system, they would avoid all these problems, and users would have a better experience.

    Now, with the iPhone, 1) Apple offered a pretty good suite of apps from day 1, and 2) I'm sure they wanted to get some experience and correct any bugs before opening it up to outside developers. It was a brand new product, and if I were developing such a thing, I'd want some control over how it worked initially, so that it didn't get a market reputation as being unreliable. As a telecom engineer, I've noticed how it's funny that people accept it when their computer crashes, but go completely ballistic when their phones don't work. Now that they've got more experience, they've begun to open it up to developers, haven't they? Again, I see it as a case that they want apps they know are going to work to protect its reputation for reliability.

    I'm sure Firefox will be authorized at some time. Skype - I don't know, I bet AT&T has an agreement that doesn't let Apple put voip on the phone, but that's just speculation on my part. AT&T, however, does have a long history of stifling competition (cf Carterphone, MCI, etc.).

  • by Quarters (18322) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @12:42PM (#26941439)

    Ballmer has apparently forgotten his company's own efforts to vertically integrate hardware and software (Zune, XBox)...

    Go download Blender (or XSI Mod Tool or any other free 3D editor of choice), GIMP (or Paint.NET or any other free 2D image editor of choice), XNA Game Studio 3.0, and Visual C# Express 2008. Total cost so far $0.00 (not counting your ISP bill). Now make a game. Now be amazed that you, yes you, can distribute that game on the 360 and/or the Zune and/or Windows, for free.
    Of all of the consoles, both current and historical, The XBox 360 is the least vertically oriented. Microsoft wants people to make games, lots of games, and are doing an admirable job of making that happen. Compare Microsoft's stance to Sony's recent comment of "We want the PS3 to be hard to program for and understand so that the only really good games for the platform will come out years from now after people have struggled to learn how to make it work".
    Is it perfect? Can I buy a 360 from any number of manufacturers? Will the code I write run on the 360, PS3, and Wii? No, no and no, of course. But, these are game consoles. People pay for the convenience of sticking a disc in and having it work. That Microsoft has opened their platform up to free hobbiest development should be applauded.

  • Re:Not so much... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Brickwall (985910) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @12:58PM (#26941575)
    Since you're probably too young, let me enlighten you. In the late 70's, when PC's began to appear, corporate IT managers were deathly afraid of them. IBM, like AT&T, did an excellent job of selling FUD - "Hey, if you connect one of those PC's, you'll bring down your entire SNA network!". And I'm sure you're quite unaware of the overwhelming market share (90+%) that IBM had in the computing world at the time. But those damn users, tired of the glacial slowness of mainframe application development, slow response times, and especially the lack of a spreadsheet capability, kept demanding a way to connect PC's to their network. So IBM developed the PC, and contracted with M$ to develop DOS. (There is a story, perhaps apocryphal, that Gates offered to sell M$ for some trifling sum - $10 million, I've heard - but IBM, which felt that it would only sell a few thousand PC's, turned him down.)

    So now, corporate managers had a PC that was blessed by IBM. They started to buy them. And, as they did, those damn users kept demanding them. So the sheep^HIT managers bought more. By the time Apple introduced the Mac, the PC already had a huge lead because of this tremendous IBM lock in. And when the Mac was introduced, I was working for a company that was developing a PBX controller based on Mac technology. But when we took it to our first prospects, their overwhelming response was "You're not going to run it on that toy, are you?". Since we needed multi-tasking, which DOS didn't offer at the time, we had to build a complete user interface on top of SCO Unix. Then the question we got was "Does it run Lotus 1-2-3?".

    Time passed, and the demand for personal computers exploded. (I remember Sir Terry Mathews, billionaire owner of, at various times, Mitel, Newbridge, and March Networks, sneering at it, saying "What executive would want one of those on his desk?" - probably one of the few errors he made in his career.) But again, as the majority of IT managers would only authorise IBM PC's, DOS kept growing. Even when the PC clones arrived, it was a hard sell to IT managers, who were still told by their IBM account reps that connecting clones could bring down their whole network.

    Of course, in industries that didn't have massive networks (K-12, arts, advertising, etc.), the Mac did quite well. But when you compare that market to the much larger banking, finance, manufacturing, health care, and government markets - M$ built a huge lead. And that was because they piggybacked on the IBM connection, NOT BECAUSE they were superior.

    Here endeth the lesson.

  • by kohaku (797652) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @01:00PM (#26941603)
    Yeah, but maybe Opera does. The whole point is that Apple is artificially stifling competition. Saying "It's apple's toy" is equivalent to saying Microsoft should be able to disallow the installation of any web browser but IE; it's just a question of scale.
  • by msuarezalvarez (667058) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @01:02PM (#26941621)

    Why on earth must every criticism of some Apple policy or product be immediately countered by "but MS does it too"?

    While in other situations I would surely agree with you thatthatmakes a poor argument, in the context of this discussion your complaint is simply meaningless: we are discussing the fact that Ballmer is asking others to stop doing something which they do and clearly plan to go on doing...

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Warbothong (905464) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @01:06PM (#26941657) Homepage

    As you point out, MS attack open markets and do everything they can to close them up.

    The mobile phone and portable media player markets are far less screwed up than the PC market, Apple are just one of many and there are already far more open competitors doing perfectly well.

    Microsoft attacks open markets since they allow competitors to Microsoft dominance. However, when Microsoft are NOT the dominant player then they have a habit of encouraging openness, so that they can have a chance to obtain that dominance.

    Just look at Microsoft Office. The dominant player was Lotus, and Microsoft campaigned for openness (with RichText being the open format). Lotus went along with it, but then Microsoft made Word's RichText output unopenable in Lotus (whilst still supporting the open version of RichText which Lotus outputted). This made Word look like a better choice, and when it gained dominance in came the series of completely closed Word document formats.

    This is the same thing, Microsoft want openness from the likes of Symbian, Apple, Google, etc., which they'll follow with their "extensions", then they'll lock the whole thing up just like Apple's done. As far as users are concerned, this would be the same as the current situation, the only difference would be which company has control.

  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @01:10PM (#26941681) Journal

    Even in today's context, what Microsoft is demanding Apple do, Microsoft won't do itself.

    Let's keep it to current setups, to satisfy your demand that it all stay relevant to today:

    When will Microsoft open SharePoint so that you can use Oracle, MySQL, or Postgres? When will Microsoft open up Exchange so that competitors can code their own fully-featured clients for it? Will Microsoft open up their Windows marketing so that OEMs can fearlessly sell --and Market!-- Linux equally, in all the models that a given OEM has?

    You see - one doesn't have to look too far to realize that Ballmer is still, even by today's metrics, speaking from a deep, deep well of hypocrisy.

    /P

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HuguesT (84078) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @01:10PM (#26941685)

    People can install whatever O/S they want on their PC, but they still need to pay the MS tax, don't they? I never use Windows at work, I put Linux on my PC there as soon as I got it. Yet my workplace payed for *two* licences : the Vista licence it came with when ordered, and the XP site licence.

    Other example : we wanted to buy a MSI wind for travel. However the Linux version, while theoretically available, was offered but with no ETA. We got the XP version and promptly put Linux on it. If it sounds like the 20th century, it is. Pretty much the only real way not to pay the MS tax is to buy a Mac or components for a self-build PC.

    That is not success, that is extortion, and that is the hallmark of a monopoly still not under control.

  • by kohaku (797652) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @01:19PM (#26941751)
    Hence "It's just a question of scale". Just because Ballmer's being a hypocrite doesn't mean he isn't right.
  • Ok for X-Box (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Beer_Smurf (700116) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @01:27PM (#26941819) Homepage
    But when it comes to x-box

    "Only developers that are licensed by Microsoft may compile code and release binaries (.XBEs) of their software with the XDK, any software released using the XDK by developers that aren't licensed is illegal."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox_Development_Kit [wikipedia.org]
  • Re:Not so much... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by chrisbtoo (41029) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @01:27PM (#26941827) Homepage Journal

    So you're complaining that you've invested in the wrong hardware and software?

    Maybe look at it this way - to build for WinMob, you're going to need to build a windows VM (windows vista home premium: $240) and then you're going to need to get visual studio (standard: $299). I make that $539 total, for some software.

    If you want to build for iPhone, you need a mac mini ($599 for the basic model) and a $0 download of Xcode.

    So you're moaning about the fact that you have to pay $60 to get a mac mini.

     

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21, 2009 @01:36PM (#26941895)

    The chances of anyone putting aside Microsoft's past behaviour in a discussion of that same kind of behaviour, approaches zero....This isn't news, but it isn't even slashdot's usual one sided attack. This is a one sided attack pretending to be a serious discussion, and it's pretending so badly that it's frankly embarassing.

    So true!

    We should not learn from the past.

    We should not remember historical context.

    Umm, or even current reality context (Zune, XBox). Like, don't even look around and look at the real world context at this very moment.

    Why do people mod posts like the parent up? Nerds are **supposed** to learn from the world around them. Yeah, they don't get out much, but at least they are good at noticing patterns, and that's a **good** thing.

  • Re:Not so much... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @02:10PM (#26942127) Journal
    Really? IBM made an OS that ran on IBM hardware and they lost. So did Digital Research and others.
  • Re:Not so much... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by StuartHankins (1020819) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @02:28PM (#26942253)
    Do your own research then. Many of us were alive and kicking and involved with the industry at that time.

    Parent is correct on all counts, although he should have mentioned Microsoft was started with code purchased from others, not from code they created. Since then it's been mostly a law-based organization who happens to also create software, not the other way around.

    So it's especially ironic that a company convicted of monopolism and illegally typing software components together to stifle innovation is now trying to claim that open standards are the way to go.

    For goodness' sake, even SMB had to be reverse engineered!
  • by maztuhblastah (745586) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @02:31PM (#26942275) Journal

    They also do a fair amount of lock in like closing Darwin (What? No one screaming about this? Yeah that's what I thought

    God damn it. Not this again.

    We're not screaming about it because it never happened. I'm serious, the source is still distributed for every release [apple.com]. They delayed the release of the source once during the early part of the x86 transition. A couple of moron bloggers and anti-Apple zealots heard about it and extrapolated that Apple was "closing Darwin". They were full of shit, but that hasn't stopped this myth from living on.

  • Re:Not so much... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nmb3000 (741169) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Saturday February 21, 2009 @03:09PM (#26942583) Homepage Journal

    So you're complaining that you've invested in the wrong hardware and software?

    No. If a Windows dev shop wants to branch into mobile phone development, it makes sense for them to look into the iPhone. They aren't abandoning or giving up on their primary platform, just branching out.

    Maybe look at it this way - to build for WinMob, you're going to need to build a windows VM (windows vista home premium: $240) and then you're going to need to get visual studio (standard: $299). I make that $539 total, for some software.

    Except that Vista Home Premium OEM costs $100 and, depending on your needs, Visual Studio is free [microsoft.com] with a license that has no commercial-use restrictions. So we have a total of $100.

    If you want to build for iPhone, you need a mac mini ($599 for the basic model) and a $0 download of Xcode. So you're moaning about the fact that you have to pay $60 to get a mac mini.

    Just because I've already spent $100 for Vista doesn't negate or cancel out the $600 for the Mac. So yes, people are annoyed they have to essentially purchase a $600 per-seat devkit to write applications for the iPhone. If you could run OSX in a VM, that would put it on more equal footing as Windows -- buy a license for the OS and you're done.

  • by fermion (181285) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @03:33PM (#26942757) Homepage Journal
    In fact, they are not asking for anything more on that platform then they permit for Windows or the Xbox.

    So MS offers a free IDE that lets you develop programs on the MS platform. It offers developer memberships that the average developer can afford that includes hardware discounts and tickets to conferences. I suppose MS uses open standards like vcard and webdav, and come with svn installed.

    I am not saying that what MS wants is unfair, just that what it wants may not be reasonable. MS likes to have a sheltered and protected position in any market it enters. With Apple and Linux it does not. It has to play the game by the rules that everyone else does. This means that it cannot write a linux interface, and change the standards just enough so that all other interfaces become incompatible. It cannot write an iphone application that will interfere with other programs. I see no reason why it can't write anything within reason. It certainly could pay Apple enough to get on board.

    All MS is doing is demanding that Apple let it publish whatever software MS wishes, with no regard what it might do to the market. I think we can check to see how much MS really want to develop smart phone software by looking at the products it has created for other smart phones, like the G1 and Openmoko. Both of these are 100% open. In fact MS did not develop and exchange client, a third party did.

  • Re:Poor Ballmer (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kamatsu (969795) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @03:40PM (#26942821)
    Symbian anyone?
  • Re:Not so much... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alphab.fr (897672) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @04:04PM (#26943011)
    "Remember, succes in the consumer market is never decided on technical merit. It is about usability, interface and perception" Usability is a technical merit, the one that matters most!
  • by RiotingPacifist (1228016) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @04:07PM (#26943037)

    like say if you couldnt develop an online gaming system for the xbox or a method of delivering additional content?

  • Re:Not so much... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gbarules2999 (1440265) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @04:23PM (#26943183)
    Maybe some of the Creative and SanDisk players are alright, but until only recently have either company put out anything as simple and easy as the iPod. I just picked up a Sansa Clip yesterday and spent a few hours trying to find out why the player wouldn't read my ID3 Tags.
  • Re:Poor Ballmer (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AndyCR (1091663) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @04:35PM (#26943291) Homepage
    The operating system required to run the development tools is obvious, and everyone who would buy a smartphone has or has access to a copy of Windows. As for Visual Studio, the trial works perfectly with full functionality and no nagging - I miss Ecipse and the CDT severely, but it's certainly workable, and it's free. If you're desperate, it's certainly easier to afford this setup than the initial outlay for iPhone development, for example, though I would rather work on Android programs.
  • Re:Not so much... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mabhatter654 (561290) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @04:47PM (#26943409)

    Right because Microsoft works SO hard to make sure developers can write for windows... Visual Studio runs on what OSes again? Windows Mobile tools run on what OSes? Xbox 360 programming is on what systems?

    So Steve, when we getting our official MS Office and Outlook for Linux? We'd really like it if Microsoft was open with it's toys too!

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Saturday February 21, 2009 @04:47PM (#26943411) Journal

    Netbooks and PCs without any OS or with Linux pre-installed are very easy to get.

    It does, however, narrow the selection quite a bit. Even among manufacturers who sell Linux versions, they're usually differentiated somehow.

    For example, this laptop, when it comes with Vista, has an 802.11n card (and even has an "n series" sticker on it) and the option of 3 or 4 gigs of RAM. With Linux, it has an 802.11g card (one that's well supported) and only 4 gigs of RAM (can't get it with 3).

    And that's within a specific model. There are a number of other models which might've been much better for me -- might even include a fscking Gigabit card -- but all come with Windows, most with Vista.

    That is, of course, ignoring the bad old days of Microsoft selling Windows licenses by number of PCs sold, not by number sold with Windows -- thus, if they did offer a Linux machine, you'd either be paying the same price as if you got it with Windows, or the manufacturer would be eating that Microsoft tax.

  • Re:Not so much... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mabhatter654 (561290) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @04:53PM (#26943473)

    You just have to have a computer.. it's not Apple's fault you didn't buy a Mac if you wanted to develop for iPhone rather than wasting money on a PC.

    With all the tiers of development lock-in Microsoft has, it's a bit hypocritical of them. About the ONLY lock-in Microsoft doesn't have is hardware lock-in so it's easy for them to point fingers. Frankly, what about Xbox 360 development, or Zune development.. that's closer to iPhone.. where are those dev kits.. and how much to they cost? I'd be certain they are non-free and highly tied to Windows.

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by symbolset (646467) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @05:02PM (#26943567) Journal

    So you're saying that the fact that you have to buy it, and go through this [equiliberate.org] to get your money back, represents evidence that this is a market where a monopoly is not of control? Really?

  • by 4iedBandit (133211) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @05:19PM (#26943721) Homepage

    It's not, it's the toy of whoever paid for the damn thing, and Apple, like the RIAA and the MPAA, seems far too keen on forgetting that one bit.

    Yeah. It sucks that Apple gives away Xcode for free with their OS. It also sucks that Steve Jobs has been telling Hollywood to go pound sand on DRM and price. Just think of all the wonderful products we'd have out in the market. Why I bet you "Plays-for-sure" would be so awesome compared to the DRM Apple used. If only it had been given a fair chance. Apple had quite the nerve to go and insist that their vendors drop DRM altogether. I mean really. Consumers need choice in the DRM market and Apple is abusing their position to deny consumers choice.

    Apple is doing something Microsoft fears. Gaining market share based on the merit of their products. Imagine that. Something becoming popular and successful because it gives people something they want. It may not be what you want, so don't buy it.

    No one made people go out and buy iPods. No one made people go out and buy iPhones. No one made anyone go out and buy Macs.

    So if no one is making people do this, why on earth are they?

  • Re:They did... So? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MarkKB (845289) <markkeyb@gmail.com> on Saturday February 21, 2009 @07:28PM (#26944657) Homepage

    His statement is the definition of hypocritical. They are complaining that Apple is doing what they have done/are still doing now.

    I must have missed the part where Microsoft is not allowing developers to program for their mobile or desktop OS.

    Take for example the Zune. Who controls the Zune? Who controls the Zune marketplace?

    Uhuh, go on...

    Can Microsoft's PlaysForSure partners use the Zune Marketplace?

    Seeing as three-quarters to all of the Zune Marketplace is non-DRM'd MP3s, that'd be a yes.

    Can Zune customers use Linux or OS X?

    Both Amarok on Linux and XNJB on the Mac have partial Zune support (via libmtp), but they appear to be stuck on authorisation for file transfer. Wine seems hung up on installation of the Zune software. (If you have a VM and a copy of Windows handy, you can, of course, run it through there, but I don't think that's quite what you meant.)

    However, there appears to be a larger problem with your argument. Ballmer is not complaining that Apple is not allowing people to transfer their apps (which would be impractical as, unless you're running the app under a VM, like Java, most apps are written for a specific executable structure and architecture) or data to different devices.

    He is complaining that Apple doesn't allow non-authorised programs to run on the iPhone (at least, without jailbreaking it, but that's another matter entirely.) Essentially, the iPhone is a console, albeit one with a wider range of software. And with the reports of update delays, arbitary rejection, no-competition clause, and so on, I would think that complaint is quite valid.

  • Re:Poor Ballmer (Score:3, Insightful)

    by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @10:56PM (#26945835) Journal

    How about having to buy a Macintosh as an initial cost for iPhone development?

  • Re:you know (Score:2, Insightful)

    by XcepticZP (1331217) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @02:07PM (#26949887)
    What about those cocky ads that ridiculed Windows?

    And don't think for a second that Apple wouldn't do the same thing Microsoft is doing if they were in Microsoft's position. In fact, I reckon they'd be even worse than Microsoft is now.

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson

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