My family has Macbooks solely. iPhones abound. We are an Apple family. I look around at work, at conferences, at the coffee shop…. and I see the same. Macs may be a small % of computers purchased, but they are an important percentage.
I jumped from Windows with glee. Finally, I can be productive with my computer. Things just work. Unix is under the hood so I can tweak away. I enjoy my computer. All important stuff and well worth paying for the BMW of laptops.
My fanboyism is waning though. My feelings are becoming more complex. The white/black of Apple/Microsoft has finally gotten the nuance of grey/grey. Whatever you say about BillG/Microsoft can you truly say that Jobs/Apple would have done any better in the “monopolistic” stakes?
It seems that with Apple doing well quarter over quarter we may get to see… via the iPhone. I am incredibly torn here. I love the iPhone, and it has changed the world of mobile. It feels like every year at JavaOne, someone would shout “mobile is here!” yet J2ME never brought it. No one did to the same extent as the iPhone.
Corporations are not intrinsically evil. Their goal is to create share holder value. There are various paths to this goal, and that is where it gets delicate… but I don’t think of corporates as evil. Making money is a good thing. Watching the ebb and flow of the business models on the Web and in software itself…. I am always looking out for where the business models are. Many long for the “good old days” of software. The simple days where you create something of value, and people pay money for that value directly to you. We went through shareware and freemium and ads. Others shout from the side line claiming that people will still pay for value! So, although I think keeping the core infrastructure of the Web open is vital (hence working at Mozilla!) I don’t think that everything should be open source and free.
I am getting a little worried about the mobile Web and the future of services and platforms. I think that users should be free to run their applications where they wish, and should control their data.
With the iPhone the platform is incredibly locked down. You basically have to use their tools, and built applications using a Mac. Then you get to send your application up to the Apple gods (reviewers) and if you are lucky, an end user can run your code. Unfortunately this process is cryptic and poorly implemented right now.
Apple can make a case that this process helps “keep us safe” (make sure apps do no evil) and “makes sure the store isn’t swamped by crap” (however there are a ton of crap apps!). I think that we should trust users and they should be able to install whatever they bloody want too. Apple should have a system that propagates known malware. A way for users to crowd-source issues just like Semantec is working on. As a developer I really have to wonder when I know that I could spend a lot of time on an application that a random Apple chap could block and thus wouldn’t see the light of day. No thanks!
Time to take a pill?
I am starting to feel ready to take the blue pill. To take it perhaps a little far, Apple has enslaved me by giving me yummy food (great hardware and software). It tastes so good, that I eat it and say “thank you sir, can I have another!”
I am picking on Apple a little here because it relates most closely to me, and the iPhone is exploding. I see how they are tying the block anyone out from iTunes and lock me in to their world. The world that Steve wants for us. Sorry Steve, but I am getting close to jumping from your utopia to create a better one, even if it doesn’t smell so nice.
The future has other fish to fry. As we think forward to a world without single devices, but instead with everything being a connected embeddable systems… maybe right in your clothes. In this world the battle will be for data and services. Who owns your data. Are the business models transparent? I have a funny feeling that we will have to constantly fight for this. Corporations don’t care, but people should, and some do.
I have always had this in the back of my mind with Apple. I didn’t jump all the way in. I kept my music apart from iTunes AAC lock and structure even though it was against convenience.
One side of my brain wants to continue. Take the red pill and enjoy a productive happy life. The rest of my mind is contemplating taking the blue pill. Maybe it will be ready with an advanced open web platform on the phone, one on the desktop, and eventually….. everywhere.
Is anyone else having these thoughts?