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→ Loper OS » Non-Apple’s Mistake

It is quite true that Apple’s new App Store policies are exactly the kind of behavior one might expect from a tyrannical monopoly. But, having cornered no markets, Apple is not a monopoly. Or is it?

I argue that Apple now has not one but two monopolies:

  1. A nearly-total monopoly on computer (and pocket computer) systems designed with good taste.

  2. A total monopoly on the Microsoft-free, hassle-free personal computer.

via loper-os.org

Great analysis. It's clear that Stanislav is just as frustrated as any developers or hackers out there at Apple---he probably refuses to develop for the App Store---but he has highlighted the real frustration that hackers are not admitting: Apple currently has no viable competition: the competition sucks.

The real problem should be called out. No matter how perfect the (future!) HP Slate hardware turns out (battery life, price, weight, build quality), HP cannot make a great tablet computer to rival the iPad until they stop being Microsoft's whore and start taking control of their own OS/software destiny. It takes lots of capital, years of effort, taste and risk-taking to make real attempts to innovate in the software arena, and taking full responsibility for the quality of the touch hardware/software experience is something only Apple is willing to do. (Palm tried but they still failed---what Apple makes look easy is hard!) Microsoft's shabby software monoculture created the mobile-suckage vaccuum that Apple his jumped in to fill. In a race to the bottom as a low-low price commodity PC hardware vendor, long ago HP must have axed any consumer-facing software development team they may have had. (Whatever team(s) they have are clearly not given the same authority to dictate their requirements to the hardware/OS team, in other words.) I'm not trying to single out HP, every PC hardware manufacturer is such a victim of Microsoft's unfortunate success.

Finally, as a developer, if I could buy something iPod touch-like with as big of a target software market, but... I could sideload apps and develop for it without paying $99/yr and the store had no capricious rejection policy... then I would write apps for that. The real problem is there really is no unified platform to rival iPad + iPhone + iPod touch + App Store, not even close (not to mention iTunes, iTunes Music Store, Made for iPod, Apple Retail store, and on and on). Windows Phone Series 7 and future Zune HD platforms may finally be the first product designed from the ground up not to suck, but those are all still vaporware and if they succeed they are only admitting validating Apple's business model.