I chatted a little just before the launch of the iPad, (then it was just the Apple, let's guess the name, 'tablet') about how the iPad might be more than just a distraction to businesses, and may actually offer some value - given the right set of applications. Taking a look at the Xconomy discussion of how startups are targeting the iPad, I believe that its just a matter of the same-old stuff re-hashed on a bigger screen.
Apple is making the Splinternet a reality, since it is effectively a proprietary platform for building web apps - much like Microsoft Silverlight or Adobe Air on traditional PCs, just way more pervasive. The argument is that you can build far more engaging applications on these proprietary technologies, and that may be true. This hides a dark truth though. Developers are being guided into spending resources on building apps that are just reworks of the mobile website, locking otherwise freely available content into a proprietary interface. Oh no, Microsoft is not the only evil empire in the software business, and I wonder how long it will be before we see the equivalent of a really big EU led anti-trust campaign against Apple?
So as much as I want to be reading my daily newspaper on a big screen, does it really need to be a proprietary technology that prevents competitors from doing something better? Or just as profits stop accelerating, will Apple take the royalty route and start licensing the technology to third-party manufacturers? At that point, maybe the web and all its 'standards' will be dead.
A post from the Improving It blog
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