Many years ago, actually well over a decade ago I saw this day coming in fact it was almost completed. A day where vendor lockin prevents users from being able to interoperate with their devices. I wrote about it many times and in great detail in my old Newsletter Of Bulls and Bears, back then Microsoft was the company in the anti-trust cross hairs of the worlds governments. They were building a vertical ecosystem that started with the PC and had extended to dominate the LAN Server and Email systems, the browsers had rewritten HTML standards to Microsoft standards, and they had brought out the first true smartphone the progenitor of the iPhone the PocketPC phone. The MSN network was a major player in net access and online services, they had even picked up TV networks. If government intervention had not succeeded there wouldn’t be an Apple or Google to speak of.
It’s a miracle that Microsoft doesn’t have the entire planet locked into their ecosystem. It’s the lead up to and government action that prevented Microsoft from taking over. They faulted at the moment they had all the pieces and lost their dominance. At the time Microsoft even had a landline phone that connected to Windows systems and displayed smart caller information and opened the Outlook contact when a call came in. On top of all that they had the Xbox and were making big deals for Smart TV, Set top boxes and HTPCs to add to their dominance of the living room.
Now it’s the tale of two cities. Microsoft is being locked out because of that governmental action. Google isn’t developing apps for Windows Phone, and Apple doesn’t develop apps for any platform other than their own. This anti-competitive behavior is exactly what got Microsoft in trouble so many years ago. Today you need to speak out and bring awareness of this issue to your politicians. There is no reason that devices shouldn’t work on industry standard protocols that would allow the consumer to choose what device best fits their needs.
Maybe Microsoft can push for some anti-trust action. The question is if they would be willing to use the same tool they opposed so vehemently back then. Check out the article on Arstechnica linked below.
PS: Don’t worry about Microsoft they aren’t down and out just yet. I’m happily stuck in the Google Ecosystem at the moment. I hope that interoperability wins out though so pass along this message so more can think about what they loose with Vendor Lockin.
Apple and Google Move Computing Forward in Identical Yet Incompatible Ways