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Ballmer Pleads For Openness To Compete With Apple 532

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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  • They did... So? (Score:4, Informative)

    by impaledsunset ( 1337701 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @10:37AM (#26940605)

    Well, Microsoft have done all the things listed in the summary, but I fail to see how does that make Ballmer's statement incorrect? Getting something right is still getting something right, whether you do it seldomly or your motives lie inside your pocket. And iPhone is more locked up than anything Microsoft has ever done, so his statement is not even hypocritical.

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

    by Fulcrum of Evil ( 560260 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @11:11AM (#26940825)
    you're kidding, right? MS is only in the position they're in because they can threaten OEMs with a loss if the MS discount if they break exclusivity. Ballmer is just pissed because he can't use the same tactics, and can't make a decent phone either.
  • by Space cowboy ( 13680 ) * on Saturday February 21, 2009 @11:49AM (#26941069) Journal

    From the *summary* (for [insert deity]'s sake man, at least read the *summary*) of the 'most ungreen companies ever' link you gave above:

    "Ars Technica points out that Greenpeace's research isn't quite up-to-snuff, and it's also worth noting that Greenpeace admitted to targeting Apple for the publicity in the past."

    ... they wouldn't be able to claim it, unless they had some justification for it. From what I read, Greenpeace don't really care about what you *do* these days, they care about what you *promise* to do in the future, and how much you pay them to be quiet. They're a form of eco-terrorists, and eventually they'll get theirs...

    As for Darwin, it seems pretty open [apple.com] to me.

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

    by Bob9113 ( 14996 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @12:13PM (#26941219) Homepage

    Remember, succes in the consumer market is never decided on technical merit.

    Don't get too pessimistic, that is not always true...

    Apache vs. NAS and IIS
    Firefox vs. IE (market share climbing against MASSIVE monopoly abuse)
    Toyota Tundra vs. Chevrolet full-size pickups
    Ford F-150 vs. Chevrolet full-size pickups
    Honda Accord vs. Ford Taurus
    Bosch & Makita hand power tools vs. Nearly All Established Brands
    DVD vs. DiVX (the old self-destructing rental DVDs, not the video format)

    Just a few examples off the top of my head.

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

    by thetoadwarrior ( 1268702 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @12:24PM (#26941297) Homepage
    I think you'll find that actually Apple has more openness than Windows

    http://webkit.org/ [webkit.org]
    http://developer.apple.com/opensource/index.html [apple.com]

    Apple's iPhone may not be as open as it should be but then the same thing could be said about Xbox 360 or even Windows.
  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Informative)

    by AmaranthineNight ( 1005185 ) <amaranthinenightNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday February 21, 2009 @01:18PM (#26941741)

    Firefox won't be authorized because they don't want apps on the phone that duplicate functionality. Not that I think this is necessarily a bad thing, choice is good, but you can always choose a phone that will allow Firefox (fennec?) over the iPhone. If you get an iPhone, you know what you're in for: a closed platform with apps selected by Apple for their reliability. If you want to run unauthorized software you can jailbreak, of course, but the main point is this: Apple has chosen a business model that works for them and their target market. A closed platform with a carefully selected slew of applications to ensure that the device retains its simplicity and reliability. Anything that compromises either is bad for Apple's target market.

  • Re:Not so much... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21, 2009 @01:37PM (#26941897)

    I'm old. IIRC, the first spreadsheet was Visicalc on an Apple ][....

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @02:14PM (#26942153) Homepage Journal
    Sorry, that is an ignorant statement. For starters, go to Dell, or Compaq and try to order a NO-OS computer. Then try to order a Linux computer. Then try to order a Solaris computer. Just try it. The reason for the lack of competing operating systems lies in the monopolistic, competition stifling conduct that Microsoft has employed over the past decades. Go on, order a Dell with Digital Research operating system installed. Then, come back and check my sig. To deny that Microsoft enjoys a monopoly is simple ignorance. Debating the reasons Microsoft enjoys that monopoly will surely help to cure that ignorance.
  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @02:19PM (#26942175) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft's crime is not being successful, but in unfair business practices which led to the failure of competing companies. Ask Sun Java about Microsoft's JVM. Microsoft broke the law, violated contract agreements, and did everything within their power to outright steal Sun's intellectual property. When all that failed, Microsoft attempted to subvert Sun's market by creating their own Java Virtual Machine - again, with stolen ideas and code that belonged to Sun. Go ahead, cheer for a bunch of criminals. It tells us about you.....
  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Informative)

    by frieko ( 855745 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @03:23PM (#26942671)
    If you're living in a cave with no internet, sure. But it's taken two decades of reverse engineering to get us things like .doc support in OpenOffice, web pages that work in both IE6 and Firefox, read/write NTFS, DirectX games, and so on. All thanks to Microsoft's systematic and deliberate anti-openness measures.
  • by DECS ( 891519 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @03:36PM (#26942787) Homepage Journal

    Apple did "develop this on their own," it's called MobileMe. There will also be Push Notifications in Snow Leopard. Apple only licensed Exchange ActiveSync to be able to develop its own implementation of Microsoft's proprietary push for Exchange compatibility, which is a feature that runs in addition to Apple's own push software.

    Microsoft did not hand Apple magical software beans that turned the iPhone into a PC running its Win32 Outlook code.

    EAS is not an "embedded Exchange Client," its just a way to send push notifications to mobile devices from an Exchange Server, Microsoft efforts to clone and kill RIM's BES.

    Inside MobileMe: Apple's Push vs Exchange, BlackBerry, Google [roughlydrafted.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21, 2009 @03:47PM (#26942873)

    What you're forgetting is that Windows runs on 90% of the world's computers. OSX doesn't.

    Further, even if you somehow needed to acquire Windows you can do so for free (if you're an engineering student) or very cheap (shopping around), and in no case do you need to buy a whole new computer to run it.

    Trolling are we? You are essentially trying to imply that Microsoft's 90% market share for Windows somehow obligates Apple to make their iPhone/iPod development tools available on Windows but this does not hold for Microsoft? If Microsoft doesn't port it's Windows Mobile development suite to OS X I don't see why Apple should port the iPhone/iPod development suite to Windows. Especially in light of the fact that Apple has successfully managed to attract developers to the iPhone/iPod platform regardless of this limitation. Hell, I know a couple of nerds that bought Macs and dual boot them with Windows among other things in order to be able to develop for the iPhone/iPod.

  • Re:Not so much... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21, 2009 @04:20PM (#26943155)

    The PC's in most corporations were NOT connected to the network. That was how it was possible to introduce them without getting blocked by the mainframe/minicomputer staff.

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Informative)

    by phoomp ( 1098855 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @04:27PM (#26943231)
  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert@slashdot.fi ... NBSDom minus bsd> on Sunday February 22, 2009 @05:56AM (#26947393) Homepage

    That's unchecked capitalism...

    The benefits of capitalism are the competition, if you allow large players to eliminate all competition then you lose all the benefits of capitalism and may as well have a dictatorship where the government controls everything instead of some large companies.
    With no competition, progress under capitalism completely stagnates, and companies just keep churning out the same old crap at ever increasing prices while the population suffer.

    For capitalism to work it needs a level of regulation to ensure a competitive market and prevent corruption. Closing down a market is bad for everyone except the party in control.

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

    by centuren ( 106470 ) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @07:28AM (#26947687) Homepage Journal

    With that kind of argument, you could prove that the Germans couldn't lose World War I...

    Godwin's law [wikipedia.org]!

    I didn't read your post beyond those words. If you have a point try and make it without invoking Godwins's law...

    Godwin's law specifically refers to a mention of Nazis or Hitler, and the post you've responded to clearly did neither. If you call someone on it please get it right, as I now have to invoke it to correct you and the thread is over.

The Macintosh is Xerox technology at its best.