The T-List: RIP, iPhone NDA

By  |  Sunday, October 5, 2008 at 9:53 pm

Last week was one of comings and goings. iPhone NDA? Gone! Windows Cloud? On its way! RealDVD? Here, then gone! Windows XP? Six more months before it might be gone! And iTunes? Still here, thank heavens!

Apple Ends NDA, Doesn’t Disclose All
The blanket non-disclosure agreement that prevented iPhone developers from discussing the platform in public ended last week, when Apple published a statement saying that the company had put it in place to prevent its ideas from being ripped off, but conceding that it was more trouble than it was worth. The change in policy followed increasing discontent over the NDA and its effects and side effects, such as how it had discouraged anyone from publishing books about programming for the iPhone. The end of the iPhone’s all-encompassing NDA is good news indeed, but it doesn’t mean the end of the era of Apple secrecy, or the end of controversy over the company’s iPhone-related policies: As far as anyone can tell, it still maintains that it’s wrong for anyone to develop iPhone apps that are sort of like Apple’s own. But Apple hasn’t explained such reasoning publicly, let alone convinced anyone of its validity. I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again: I still kind decide whether to be giddily optimistic or resolutely pessimistic about the fate of the iPhone as a software platform.
Read more at: Daring Fireball

Here Comes Windows Cloud, Whatever That May Be
At a UK IT conference, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, casually mentioned that Microsoft is working on something code-named Windows Cloud, and would have more news in a month or so. He apparently didn’t really explain what it was, but it seems reasonable to guess, at least, that it might be a portfolio of platform services for Web developers akin to Amazon’s Web Services. I have one prediction: Windows Cloud won’t be a version of Windows that consumers need to think about, any more than they need to keep tabs on Amazon’s services or on Microsoft’s own .Net tools. (Okay, scratch that: I’ve occasionally tried to install software applications and been told my PC needed a .Net update first.) I also have one request: Please, Microsoft, call it something other than Windows Cloud, a name which is destined to sound silly and retro by the middle of 2009 or thereabouts.
Read more at: Mashable, InfoWorld

RealDVD Arrives, Departs For Limbo
I kind of like RealNetworks’ RealDVD software, which was designed to let consumers copy DVDs to their PC’s hard drive without breaking any laws. And now I’m really, really rooting it–because it got ensnared in duelling lawsuits between Real and Hollywood the moment that Real released it last week. At the moment, a court has told Real to pull it off the market altogether, supposedly only until Tuesday. If Real wins its lawsuits, it’ll be only a minor victory for consumer rights–RealDVD both retains existing copy protection and layers on more of it–but if it loses, it’ll be a major setback.
Read more at: NewTeeVee

Windows XP: Not Dead. Again!
It was released in October, 2001–and it’s increasingly feeling like it may outlive us all. Windows XP, which major PC manufacturers still ship as a “downgrade” disc with Windows Vista computers to avoid the wrath of Vista-disparaging businesses, got another new lease on life last week when Microsoft extended the downgrade option’s supposed termination from January 31st of next year to July 31st. Is there any business other than software which regularly pits manufacturers against their customers, with the manufacturers trying to kill off products which the customers still want to buy? The tension between Microsoft and Windows users over XP’s replacement with Vista has felt almost like the New Coke debacle played out in slo-mo.
Read more at: Computerworld

The Day the Music Didn’t Die
Would Apple really shut down iTunes–the country’s largest music purveyor of any sort–rather than raise its prices? It was supposedly willing to when it looked like royalty rates per song might go from nine cents to fifteen. But the Copyright Royalty Board has set the fee for digital downloads at the same price as that for traditional media through 2012, so iTunes lives on, as does 99-cent music. (Although both Amazon and Wal-Mart routinely undercut Apple’s prices while presumably paying the same royalties.) The good news on the iTune front leaves us with more time to worry abou the fate of Pandora and other streaming music sites; they still need a signature from President Bush to avoid royalty hikes that might put ’em out of business. Sign that bill, Mr. President, and let us move on to other matters!
Read more at: Yahoo Tech

Like the T-List? Read it as a feed.

Be the first to comment

Read more: , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.