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Ballmer Pleads For Openness To Compete With Apple

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the outside-looking-in dept.

Businesses 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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532 comments

Why? (-1, Flamebait)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940511)

M$ didn't make the PC - it was made by IBM.
iPhone was made by Apple.
Fatty Steve should first meditate about how they screwed the PC market.
So, before iPhone is opened in any way for them, they should get the fuck out of their PC monopoly.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940839)

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:Why? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Why? (0)

phoomp (1098855) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941131)

What PC monopoly? Last time I checked, there is nothing preventing PC owners from installing any OS they want on their PCs. The only monopoly that MS has is the one that consumers have freely given to them.

Not so much... (4, Insightful)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Not so much... (0, Troll)

AppleOSuX (1080499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940561)

>>Apple's brand is based on a tight vertical integration of hardware and software...

Which is what made them lose the PC war. Which is what will make them lose this one, in the end.

They won an opening salvo; a single battle. That's it. It won't last.

Re:Not so much... (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940655)

That's what everyone said about the iPod.

That "doesn't seem to be lasting" either eh?

Re:Not so much... (0, Flamebait)

AppleOSuX (1080499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940759)

Well, I didn't say that.

The iPod is a different type of device. Businesses don't have any need for mp3 players but they do for cellphones and portable computers.

The story will be much much different this time. Sure, a few businesses will buy the total lock-in that Apple offers but most of them don't want to be locked into a single vendor, especially one such as Apple who doesn't give a shit about interoperability.

Re:Not so much... (2, Interesting)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940857)

You would think that it would only be good business sense to not get locked in to a single vendor who doesn't give a shit about interoperability...
But look how many businesses have become locked in to MS products, and many other proprietary lockin products. Businesses do stupid things, and i wouldn't be surprised to see plenty get locked in to Apple too.

Re:Not so much... (1)

AppleOSuX (1080499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940943)

But they're not locked into Microsoft hardware. That's an important distinction. You are never _truly_ locked into a software product.

At this stage of the game, almost every piece of Microsoft software is replaceable. Exchange is the last piece.

Re:Not so much... (1)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941033)

Not in my world, no. There exists no real alternative to MS Office (OOo unfortunately does NOT count yet), especially if you need file format compatibility (doc is nearly there, the others not so much). In fact, what I am certainly NOT locked into is PC hardware. I might be locked into the PC *platform* (which really is just a result of MS being lazy again), but migrating all our PC hardware from HP to Lenovo was, well, not even interesting.

Re:Not so much... (1)

rootofevil (188401) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940947)

as opposed to the other single vendor lock-in that MS offers? still tied to one software vendor...

Re:Not so much... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26940741)

>>Apple's brand is based on a tight vertical integration of hardware and software...

Which is what made them lose the PC war.

Apple lost the PC war for a lot of reasons, this wasn't one of them.

Re:Not so much... (0, Troll)

AppleOSuX (1080499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940789)

>>Apple lost the PC war for a lot of reasons, this wasn't one of them.

Incorrect. It's the only reason.

If you have a better one, say it.

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

CrankinOut (629561) | more than 5 years ago | (#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... (2, Interesting)

AppleOSuX (1080499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940827)

OK, but you're saying the same thing that I am.

If Apple chose to make an OS that ran on IBM's hardware then they wouldn't have lost.

Re:Not so much... (2, Interesting)

pohl (872) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940981)

That's a pretty big "if", given that the operating system that Apple chose to make had hardware requirements not ubiquitous on IBM PCs of the same era, making their hypothetical victory a bunch of pipe smoke.

Re:Not so much... (1)

baboo_jackal (1021741) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941081)

Nice story, but the reality is that Apple managed to develop a proprietary personal computer architecture, which they did. IBM tried and failed several times to enter the PC market, and on its last try chose to use 3rd party, OTS hardware and develop a non-proprietary architecture, which was, of course, rapidly adopted (because anyone could build one).

Apple is now relegated to a small niche of the total person computing market (including home and business use) because of this, not because of an ideological choice.

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

berend botje (1401731) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Not so much... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26940811)

I totally disagree with your thinking here ... the PC Battle as you put it, is far from done. Vista/7 or what ever abomination is put out is going to fail.

People will be forced to choose either to stay with XP ( until death ) or jump ship to a different OS entirely ..

The failure of Vista shows that the people dont want it, the people will probably do exactly the same with anything Microsoft serve up now.

Re:Not so much... (0, Troll)

AppleOSuX (1080499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940997)

Vista is running on more personal computers than OSuX and Linux combined. Failure? Not in relative terms.

Re:Not so much... (1)

happyemoticon (543015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940819)

With that kind of argument, you could prove that the Germans couldn't lose World War I, because they won the Franco-Prussian War and had Pickelhauben [wikipedia.org] both times. The Mac Clones of the 90's established that "openness" (i.e., licensing) is not an unqualified good because it can debase your platform, and a lack of openness is not an unqualified evil. After all, people still buy console games, right? And the iPod's still doing really well, right?

Re:Not so much... (1)

AppleOSuX (1080499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941043)

iPods and game consoles are consumer only products. They're a completely different playing field than cellphones.

Re:Not so much... (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940845)

The way I understood Ballmer's remark was about allowing people who don't own a Mac running OSX (or a Psystar?) to develop for the iPhone. correct me if I'm wrong, but currently the only way to develop commercial applications for the iPhone is to buy a Mac.

Re:Not so much... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26940935)

Indeed, and that's my biggest beef with apple.

I have thousands of dollars in computer hardware i use to develop software. I can use said hardware to develop for nearly every other platform via tool kits or VM. If in want to code for osx or the iphone i need to go out and piss money away on inferior hardware to accomplish the same thing.

Gee i wonder why most software isnt ported to mac.

Poor Ballmer (4, Funny)

CSHARP123 (904951) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940533)

Microsoft did all the things listed out of necessity. That was the innovation for PC industry to move further. Where as Apple is stiffling the innovation. They are the bad guys. They need to open their system. You cannot expect the same from MS because we are dealing with two different kinds of environment and goals. GO Ballmer be the champion for openness and also 3Es (Embarce, Extend and Extingush) PS: Can you please mail me whatever that you are smoking?

They did... So? (4, Informative)

impaledsunset (1337701) | more than 5 years ago | (#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? (5, Informative)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

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

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Poor Ballmer (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941067)

Microsoft doesn't innovate. They are like an amoeba. They enclose, absorb, and move on to the nextd target. They haven't innovated for years. They simply buy competing products and add those ideas to their own. Oddly enough, much like the Borg (do I get Geek points for that?).

There is nothing wrong with that. It's been a hugely successful business for MS, but I think it tends to leave them a bit stale when it comes to innovation. They are always a few years behind the times. This is why they fail so badly against Apple when it comes to the "Must Have It" factor.

Sure they could clone the iPhone, or put their own OS on it, but by that time, people will have moved on to something else. Whatever MS puts out might do well enough, but MS won't have the home field advantage when they move outside of the OS arena.

Oddly enough, the need companies like Apple. They are the perfect thorn (ouch..bad paraphrasing) in Microsoft's side. They gave Microsoft ideas for Zune, and whatever other products MS eventually buys from other companies or clones and then sells to the public.

Sensationalism (3, Insightful)

AppleOSuX (1080499) | more than 5 years ago | (#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

Re:Sensationalism (3, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940881)

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.

Chant with me now... (0)

webdog314 (960286) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940553)

Developers, developers, developers, developers!

Re:Chant with me now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26940877)

Is that like "Marsha! Marsha! Marsha!" ?

microsoft and openness (5, Funny)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940563)

Yeah, open like a venus flytrap

Re:microsoft and openness (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26940751)

or a gloryhole. Stick your dick in looking for a suck and instead some crazed lunatic cuts your cock off.

Just ask CmdrTaco.

Who's the stupid one? (1, Redundant)

sa666_666 (924613) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940587)

I'm just wondering, are Microsoft so delusional that they don't see themselves doing exactly the same thing? Are they really that stupid?? Or is it just a case of 'do as I say, not as I do', and expect everyone else to blindly follow them? In any event, they really have gall suggesting something like this.

Re:Who's the stupid one? (1, Flamebait)

AppleOSuX (1080499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940663)

No. You're the stupid one because you don't even understand what is being said here.

To understand more, read this guy's comment:

http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1136093&cid=26940601 [slashdot.org]

"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."

He means something different then you think (5, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940723)

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?

Not so hippocritical (5, Insightful)

LordZardoz (155141) | more than 5 years ago | (#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

Re:Not so hippocritical (1)

sribe (304414) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940653)

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

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

Yes, there have been some hard-to-explain decisions re acceptance to the App store. Vs 15,000 apps, most of them trivial junk, in less than a year...

Re:Not so hippocritical (4, Insightful)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940675)

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.

Re:Not so hippocritical (0, Flamebait)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940855)

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.

That's a valid complaint, but it's apple's toy and besides, Ballmer doesn't have a better product, anyway.

Re:Not so hippocritical (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940889)

Which is what MS do too, in a less up front way.

Re:Not so hippocritical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26940969)

Um, what's stopping me from making or installing a third party browser on Windows?

Re:Not so hippocritical (2, Insightful)

KibibyteBrain (1455987) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Not so hippocritical (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940681)

And what about the iPhone development platform doesn't allow you to do that now?

MS can go and register for a free Apple Developer account and get busy making apps for the iPhone. They can even sell them on the app store.

Re:Not so hippocritical (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940869)

The iphone development platform only runs on OSX, so no .. MS (or Linux, BSD,...) users can't just get busy making apps for the iPhone, without shelling out for a Mac.

Re:Not so hippocritical (4, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Not so hippocritical (4, Insightful)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941053)

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:Not so hippocritical (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940905)

And they have! Seadragon is an iPhone app used to zoom in on high-resolution gigapixel images like gigipan. And when you start it up it even says "Microsoft Live Labs" (along with a prompt wanting my location.... needless to say I didn't give it that privilege...)

Re:Not so hippocritical (1)

Penguinoflight (517245) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940683)

They (Microsoft) will happily charge you for an SDK and a compiler. Last I checked, Visual Studio + an MSDN subscription will cost you in the neighborhood of $1000.

Apple could get away with the same thing, and that's probably all Microsoft expects.

Re:Not so hippocritical (1)

zach297 (1426339) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940737)

The point is you don't have to. Neither of those things you mentioned is an SDK or a compiler. Visual Studio is an IDE that includes the SDK which can be freely downloaded separately.

cost of getting into dev (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940749)

was gonna say... isn't devtools and the iphone SDK 100% free? (though the iphone sdk has some onerous agreement to sign off on - what ahout dev tools? I don't recall anything heavy in their license agreement?)

Re:Not so hippocritical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26940849)

Unless you felt like downloading the free express editions of the visual studio tools.

Re:Not so hippocritical (5, Insightful)

k1980pc (942645) | more than 5 years ago | (#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!

Re:Not so hippocritical (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940897)

Activesync is garbage tho, really drains the battery if you turn it on and isn't a true push solution, it just polls rapidly...
Apple/Google would be better off licensing from RIM, or developing their own system...

Re:Not so hippocritical (1)

jaseuk (217780) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941017)

The benefit of ActiveSync is that it allows you to pull from Exchange & Outlook. This means the device can talk to whatever Microsoft's offering of the day is without any middleware. In essence ActiveSync is an embedded native Exchange Client.

If Apple wanted to develop their own, this would entail developing their own means to interface with Exchange and Microsoft Office. It's no doubt far easier to just pay the licensing to Microsoft than develop an inferior cludge over POP3/IMAP.

Jason.

Re:Not so hippocritical (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940829)

They will happily SELL YOU the compiler and SDK so you can develop on it. A Visual Studio + all things needed license is over $1200/yr. Apple on the other hand does give you everything and only charges $99 for the membership to sell in their store. You can still develop for their platforms for free though.

Re:Not so hippocritical (2, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#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?

you know (2, Insightful)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#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

Re:you know (3, Insightful)

gjyoung (320540) | more than 5 years ago | (#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?

Re:you know (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941133)

Pay attention now.

Developer status != publishing rights.

The only way to publish something on the iPhone is if the Apple allows it. Sure you can write code, but only you can run it unless Apple gives the OK.

That's why most MS apps don't make it on. Apple doesn't allow it. Same goes for a host of others.

Re:you know (2, Interesting)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940915)

But Apple aren't in the same position...
You can completely ignore Apple and still have a perfectly functional phone and mp3 player... If you ignore MS completely you end up being at a disadvantage when people send you proprietary files, or when you want to play games etc.

Apple aren't even the biggest player in the cellphone market, and the market is quite heavily controlled by the carriers too.

I'd say no. (4, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940643)

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.

Exactly... (2, Interesting)

mario_grgic (515333) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940809)

This is not funny, this is insightful. If Mac were more popular, you would start seeing more crapware and horrible UIs for it as well.

OS X echo system is healthy exactly because the culture and values of the platform are shared and well known by adherents. If you break past the critical mass, all bets are off.

This is why Mac needs to remain relatively marginal to be successful :D. It's a fine line and balancing act.

Re:Exactly... (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:I'd say no. (4, Insightful)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941123)

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.

OMG Ponies! (1)

cliffiecee (136220) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940649)

Each executive had his own idea of what openness means and how if Apple adopted its own vision of openness it could be more successful

Awwww!1!! They just want openness so that Apple can be more successful.

Ironic (1)

darkcmd (894336) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940685)

He may be right that the iPhone store and Apple need to practice more openess, but it also doesn't change the fact that he is a hypocrite.

May I be the first to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26940691)

Suck a bag of dicks, Ballmer.

He forgot to mention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26940707)

And so with your help, Mr. and Ms. Executives...

I'll cut off Apple's air supply, too!!!

*attendees dodge barrage of flying chairs*

But but but Microsoft! (2, Interesting)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940717)

Apple is the new Microsoft. Any criticism of Microsoft is at this point misdirection from the real threat.

Just think of what would happen if the fanboy dream became reality: one cellphone, one mobile platform, and Apple has complete control. The future of mobile computing, of communication, of the Internet everywhere not chained to a desk, would be theirs to direct and constrain.

And you know they will do it, too, are doing it, because it is in their nature. Software is a means to an end for them, it is just the sugar that moves hardware. Choice in software is antithetical to their existence, much more than it is to Microsoft.

Re:But but but Microsoft! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26940813)

At least it would be a shiny future!

Re:But but but Microsoft! (1)

redm (528383) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940959)

The new what??? Yeah, Apple should open their platform, Garmin should open theirs, BMW theirs and on and on and on! "Should Apple open up its iPhone platform to outside competition, both in terms of hardware and software?" is a ridiculous question. If you don't like the platform, don't buy it or build your own.

Re:But but but Microsoft! (0, Redundant)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940971)

What the hell are you talking about? Apple has never, and will never do wrong at all. Everything they do is for the customer's benefit, can't you see? In fact, our Great Leader and Eternal President, Steve Jobs, has proclaimed as such so it is true. You're either with us or against us, and if you're not with us, you are an enemy to be crushed.

Re:But but but Microsoft! (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941001)

You are kidding right? If Apple wanted to do that they could release OS X PC Hardware Edition and barring any major bugs and driver issues, they could slice MS's marketshare in half. But no, Apple is a luxury computer and device manufacturer, they have been since the day they started selling computers. They don't want to be number one, they want to be number two, but a number two that people have to release drivers for, release programs for, and otherwise tolerate.

If Apple really wanted what you are suggesting, they could start by offering OS X on every PC by selling it. But they aren't going to, why? Because they are a luxury computer manufacturer, not a common one.

Re:But but but Microsoft! (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941041)

If Apple becomes the majority platform because it does things better than anyone else, I see nothing wrong with that. Every competitor is free to release competing products. It's not illegal to a have a monopoly. Where Microsoft got in trouble was the tactics they used to hold onto their monopoly, threatening partners, etc. If Apple does that then screw them. Microsoft complaining that Apple is a closed platform is extremely hypocritical.

Re:But but but Microsoft! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26941063)

Did Ballmer share what he is smoking with you?

Apple fanboy manifesto? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26941127)

Just think of what would happen if the fanboy dream became reality: one cellphone, one mobile platform, and Apple has complete control. The future of mobile computing, of communication, of the Internet everywhere not chained to a desk, would be theirs to direct and constrain.

In what manifesto is it written that this is anyone's dream or desire?

Apple fanboys are fanboys because they think that the company does things well--for some definition of "well". MS fanboys are fanboys because they Microsoft is doing things well. Linux/BSD/Solaris fanboys are fanboys because....

I used to use OS/2 but switched over to Linux (RH 3), and then went over to (Free)BSD. I now prefer to use Macs at home, and like Solaris 10 on servers at work (though I miss the Ports).

As each system (and the entire eco-system) changed different things were 'better' than anything else out there. While I'm sure the UI of Mac OS 8.x and 9.x were nice, without decent multi-tasking it was useless to me. When Mac OS 10.2 finally came out things had improved enough that I made the jump (and I probably wouldn't have if there wasn't a POSIX layer available).

People are Apple fanboys because Apple products are generally the least crappy thing out there. And while there are some people that will stick with them no matter what (nostalgia?), if something better comes along most people will switch.

Putting aside what I spent said... (5, Insightful)

wild_quinine (998562) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940725)

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.

Gay? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26940743)

Slashfags fear Balmer like pedophile priests fear gays. Look in the mirror. You might recognize what you see.

Opening will only degrade (1, Interesting)

TooLazyToLogon (248807) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940755)

Apple's strict control is what makes so user friendly. Forcing developers to work with in strict guide lines keeps the quality of the software up there, but limits the amount of software available. Apple's control extends to the hardware. Even their BIOS is proprietary. By controlling the hardware everything works. Microsoft can only dream of having this kind of control over their product. Opening Apple's products will only degrade them.

Re:Opening will only degrade (1)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940925)

Apple's strict control is what makes so user friendly. Forcing developers to work with in strict guide lines keeps the quality of the software up there, but limits the amount of software available. Apple's control extends to the hardware. Even their BIOS is proprietary. By controlling the hardware everything works. Microsoft can only dream of having this kind of control over their product. Opening Apple's products will only degrade them.

Yeah, we have already seen what kind of damage an open software ecosystem creates. Multiple applications doing the same thing, multiple libraries and (god fordib) programming languages are being used in haphazard fashion.

Never though I would say it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26940831)

Never thought I would say this, but Go Apple!

Freedom to Innovate! (1)

twoblink (201439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940835)

Apple should reply to Ballmer with "Freedom to Innovate!!"

Actually.. Apple should reply with:

Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers Developers

Who said you could sit down?!?!

Of course Apple should (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26940843)

Just because Ballmer's a hypocrite doesn't mean that he's wrong by definition, or excuse the actions of other companies. However, he needs to clean up his own act first if he wants any credibility...

Open or closed doesn't matter... (4, Funny)

macraig (621737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940879)

... because my wallet has a court injunction against me setting foot anywhere near an iPhone with a for-sale sign on it!

Apple Reality Check (2, Insightful)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940911)

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.

Re:Apple Reality Check (5, Informative)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941069)

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.

Apple might go for it (1)

jipn4 (1367823) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941091)

Apple would probably just love to split the pie with Microsoft and enjoy a cozy duopoly. After all, both companies make their profits based on being as proprietary as they can get away with.

If Ballmer is really interested in openness, he can have that tomorrow: adopt Android, adopt SyncML, drop other proprietary protocols, open source .NET, etc.

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