Microsoft: iPad’s Closed Platform is “Humorous”

By  |  Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 11:37 pm

[Note: The original headline on this story was “Microsoft: iPad is “Humorous.” Microsoft PR head Frank Shaw tweeted that he found that title misleading. After contacting him and listening to his complaint, we’ve changed the headline to make it more specific.]

It’s an understatement to say that Apple’s iPad generated a lot of chatter when it was announced on Wednesday; the scuttlebutt actually slowed down the Internet. Even Microsoft couldn’t help but weigh in, criticizing the iPad for being a “locked down device.”

“It is a humorous world in how Microsoft is much more open than Apple,” Brandon Watson, the director of product management in the developer platform at Microsoft, told me in an interview yesterday. With Microsoft’s platforms, developers can build whatever they want, and target a broad array of devices using the same skill set, he added.

Watson claimed that many developers of applications for the iPhone OS–which the iPad uses–are not making money. Developing applications for the iPhone and iPad is expensive, he said, because iPhone OS uses the Objective C language rather than Microsoft’s more pervasive .NET platform. And Apple’s control over the platform has alienated some people that make software for its products, he said.

It’s certainly true that there has been some griping about Apple’s development policies, and not every app is a winner. Facebook developer Joe Hewitt famously protested against the control Apple is exerting over its hardware (he is now praising the iPad), and argued that Apple is setting a “horrible precedent.” The Free Software Foundation protested the iPad on Wednesday for being an “unprecedented extension of DRM” into a new class of computers.

I think that the FSF’s argument may have merit, but Microsoft’s criticism misses the target altogether. What Apple has envisioned with the iPad isn’t a traditional PC–it’s more of an appliance. You don’t tinker with your television; you turn it on and consume services. The iPad’s Apps are like services. And despite what Watson said about iPhone developers failing to make money, some are clearly doing exceptionally well.

When Microsoft released its Tablet PC back in 2001, it grafted handwriting recognition onto Windows. That capability extended Windows into new (such as engineering and medical services), but the Tablet PC was still essentially a PC running Windows. Windows 7’s multitouch enhancements create a more natural user interface for PCs, but a PC is still a PC.

The iPad isn’t a PC. I’ve gone on trips to Boston and Washington DC over the past several weekends, and spend hours riding Amtrak and on Wi-Fi-enabled busses. I didn’t bring a laptop with me, because I didn’t want to lug one around, and didn’t really need to have a full fledged computer with me. My iPhone provided me with entertainment along the way. Truth be told, I would rather have had an iPad with me to surf the Web, listen to music, watch movies and read. If the price comes down even further, Apple’s got a winner.


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76 Comments For This Post

  1. Bouke Timbermont Says:

    I remember this interview:

    Microsoft just isn't grown-up when it comes to new products: they ALWAYS laugh at new products (they laugh at e-readers an netbooks too) just because they aren't in that market and don't know how to respond, but in the long run look at how the iPhone is doing and how WM is losing market-share every single day.

    After some thinking and being puzzled about the iPad, I think the iPad WILL sell well (at first I was just thinking: WHO will ever buy this???). The thing is: the iPad isn't after people who love their netbooks and kindles, or us – the more geeky audience ;). With the iPad, Apple is after the people that don't yet realise they want it: the original netbook market.

    When netbooks came out, they were aimed at grannies and soccer-moms that don't use computers: they offered easy brwosing and mailing, and even some video playback if you wanted to, all in a user-friendly and light-weight linux environment.

    The audience netbooks reached though wasn't the audience it aimed for at all: what we see now is that mostly geeks use a netbook, and now they are all set with a light-weight but multi-functional Windows-installation (XP or some starter edition).

    The iPad though, due to it's closed nature, WILL appeal to that original non-computer liking audience: it doesn't have a keyboard, or even USB-ports, so it's almost not a computer. Geeks CAN'T make them complicated by fiddling with the software or hardware like they did with netbooks, because Apple keeps it all tightly closed. And to use it: just touch what you want (this is where Apple's user-friendly UI comes in).

    I'm still curious about how the device will sell, it could be a failure, or a second iPhone: after all, the iPhone's biggest audience now are people that didn't even thought of buying a smartphone back in 2007.

  2. Muay Thai Says:

    The youtube video doesn't work anymore, do you have a backup link? Muay Thai Combinations | Muay Thai Kick | Martial Arts for Children

  3. Sarah Says:

    I do not think it is no secret on just how closed minded Apple is. Many people say Microsoft control way too much over there products, yet most products can be ran on Windows. Most of the software that can run on a Mac/Apple system is made by Apple.

  4. Eric Gossler Says:

    "Most of the software that can run on a Mac/Apple system is made by Apple."

    I think Apple makes about a couple dozen mainstream software titles total for the Mac, many of which like the iLife suite and their internet applications come pre-installed with new Macs. The thousands of other titles are from outside developers.

    As far as the Apple handheld devices go, Mashable/Mobile did a story on developers this past July. They put the number of developers at over 43,000. Story here:

  5. ♥pixel8design♥ Says:

    I don’t think you understand that the iPad is the first of its kind on the market. Granted, there may some similar devices lurking about, but they have no where the near the hype as the iPad.

    However, who is anyone from Microsoft to talk after that worthless Vista expedition? Remember the iPad is brand new, there always are good changes that Apple makes. At least Apple had the guts to come out with it in the first place.

    Also, no it is NOT a computer in and of itself, so of course it’s not going to have all those features. It syncs to another computer. So, yes, sort of like a larger iPhone.

    Oh and I don’t blame Apple for being a whole lot more stringent than Microsoft. Look what Microsoft has become. Oh and when do the green PCs come out?

    Back to the iPad:
    And yes — I hate the name, too. 🙂

  6. daemonios Says:

    About “openness”, Mr. Brandon Watson forgets that the Zune Marketplace is as yet closed to third party developers. The only way to publish apps for the Zune HD is to make an XNA app, which for security reasons must run isolated and requires a restart of the device. Plus, most third party apps for the Zune HD are amateurish at best.

    Mind you, I really like the Zune HD and use it mostly for what it’s designed: listening to music on the go. Still, when you have a gorgeous OLED touchscreen, Internet connectivity and a Tegra chip, it’d be cool if Microsoft finally allowed deveopers to show how far they can push the platform.

    Finally, please MS, start selling the Zune HD outside the US!

  7. Robert Says:

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with what he said however Microsoft needs to keep its pie hole shut!!

  8. IcyFog Says:

    Imagine that, a Microsoft employee trashing Apple.
    The Microsoft system might be more open, but Apple’s systems seem more open in my opinion.
    For example, I don’t ever remember registering Apple’s operating system with a key code.

  9. BladRnr Says:

    The iPad will be a hit for those who want limited functionality (most computers user at home), traveling execs, seniors, kids, schools, vertical markets (hospitals, restaurants (Imagine walking into a restaurant and being handed an iPad after being seated. Place your order, then surf the web while waiting, and then hand it back when dinner arrives. Brilliant!), retail, etc.), people who don’t want to lug around a heavy laptop all the time, and even geeks who just want to surf and get email. Did I leave anyone out? No, it’s not for people doing video editing and running huge database queries. So what? Apple has never been after the enterprise. The consumer/school markets are what they are after and this will be a hit. I also predict it’s the beginning of the end of traditional GUI computing (mouse, menus, keyboard) as we know it. Wait and see. This will be as big as the iPhone.

  10. Jubei Says:

    Here we go again. They ridicule it, and within a few months, copy it. We all know Microsoft playbook by heart.

  11. David Worthington Says:

    Here’s a little more dish:

    Watson also said that there isn’t much of a financial incentive for Android developer either. His exact words were “They haven’t solved the ‘how do I make money part,’ and are not promoting developers. I’m not surprised that there are so few apps so far.”

    Microsoft, Watson claimed, has generated $14 for partners for every one dollar that it makes. Billion dollars companies have been build on Microsoft software, he said.

    Watson also promised big things from Windows Mobile and .NET at Microsoft MIX, which is in March, and said that there was no shortage of speculation around Windows Mobile 7.

  12. brianmackie Says:

    The iPad will work because it will just sit in people’s living rooms on the coffee table, the couch, by the tv, whatever. When I’m relaxing on the couch in the evening, I don’t get my laptop out anymore, I use my Iphone if i need to check something on the web quickly. Just wish it had a bigger screen …..

  13. Steve W Says:

    Most “analysts” still don’t get it. They think the iPad must either be a hit like the iPhone, or be a failure. I’m sure Apple will be very happy if the iPad turns out to be another MacBook Air.

    The “big question” a couple of years ago was, “Is there such a thing as an iPhone Halo effect?” The iPad is Apple’s attempt to find out. I can picture Apple’s “Lewis Rothchild” saying, “Let’s take that sucker out for a spin and see what it can do!” Steve Jobs statement that “75 million people already know how to use it”, shows that this product is targeted at iPhone/Touch owners. It’s not an “instead”, it’s an “in addition” for those owners who sometimes wish for a bigger screen.

  14. Sean Says:

    Expected response from Redmond. If they “got it” they would have built one already, but don’t.

    People are sick and tired of the Windows experience. They don’t want it on their phones and they certainly don’t want it in their other portable devices. Do I have to install Norton Antivirus on a Windows Tablet?….. You bet I do. Same old crap.

    You hit the nail on the head when you said “Appliance”. That is exactly what Apple is introducing here. My parents are computer illiterate, as are most people. The iPad would be perfect for them, so much so, I plan on buying one for them.

  15. Jared Says:

    @ Steve W “Steve Jobs statement that “75 million people already know how to use it”, shows that this product is targeted at iPhone/Touch owners. It’s not an “instead”, it’s an “in addition” for those owners who sometimes wish for a bigger screen.”

    He said it was a replacement for a netbook. And its not. No media card slot, not expandable, You can only run their approved apps. Its a closed format that all of you fanboys are falling head over heals for. I don’t get the praise for this thing.

    @Sean “People are sick and tired of the Windows experience. They don’t want it on their phones and they certainly don’t want it in their other portable devices. Do I have to install Norton Antivirus on a Windows Tablet?….. You bet I do. Same old crap.”

    Really, the sales figures say otherwise. Windows 7 is outselling OSX once again and its install base continues to grow. So I can see why you would say that when Microsoft still has over 85% of the PC market on lockdown.

  16. Jeremy Wa Says:

    “Watson claimed that many developers of applications for the iPhone OS–which the iPad uses–are not making money.”

    This may well be true since there are now 150,000 apps on the Apple App Store and one would, after all, expect someone from Microsoft to say this. Earth to Watson: It is competitive out there, someone who works for a robustly monopolistic organization like you not to understand.

    Let us turn it around: Where are all the Zune and WinMo app millionaires? There have been several stories of people who wrote fantastically popular apps or games for the iPhone who became wealthy. Where are all the embarrassingly wealthy Zune app writers? WinMo has been out for, what?, a decade. Where are all the WinMo millionaires?

    The problem is not the platform, it is what developers perceive; WinMo and .NET is a dying, kludgey and clunky platform for an obsolete product offering that no one uses and about which no one cares any longer.

    Microsoft always considered WinMo as a monopoly defender for Windows and Office, not a conveyor belt for innovation. It grew old and died. Are there thousands of innovative new developments being written in COBOL that make their originators $millions.

    It is long past time for the stupid people like Watson to do better than make utterly empty criticisms.

  17. Stephen Says:

    Yes, all the iPhone and so to be iPad developers are all very jealous Zune and Windows Mobile developers that are all now buying beach houses in Malibu (or was that Haiti?)

  18. DDB Says:

    I like their strategy. I like it a lot.

  19. Christopher Says:

    This is not the first touch device but it will probably be the first mass produced and consumed touch computing device on this level and with this capability. I think this device will be successful. This level of tablet computing is something that people have been wanting (especially the geeks – myself included) for the past 30-40 years ever since Star Trek. Go ahead and ask people and even if you’re against it search deep inside, you know it’s there.

    Also, being a highly consumed device will remove the cognitive disconnect people have with pointing devices. My mother had a problem in the beginning moving the mouse with her hand and having to stare at the screen; there was a huge mental disconnect. Sure, she eventually got used to it but the iPad does away with having to train people how to use it. Doesn’t that say more on the failure of modern computing than what the iPad is trying to do? Actually, like Ive said in the video, this changes for the user instead of the user having to adapt to it. I haven’t used it so I’m just taking their word for it at the moment but I can very much understand their point. Think about it. Seeing menus and interfaces made for the finger (from what I’ve seen so far above and beyond the iPhone’s interface) and just touching it. The idea isn’t new but this will be used on a larger level than any touch computing device has before.

    And one more thing. I can only laugh when I look at the iPad and it’s one button (two if you count the power, but that’s not an input feature). I imagine Steve Jobs 10 years ago told his team that he wanted the simplest computer ever made, a computer with one single button. Really…it only has one button. The entire screen is an input device. This is hilariously amazing to me.

    I was just thinking about getting a new laptop as I spend less time on my desktop these days as I’m no longer freelance and hate sitting in my office. I would love one of these but I’d rather pay rent at the moment 😉

  20. Mike K. Says:

    @Jared: “He said it was a replacement for a netbook. And its not. No media card slot, not expandable. You can only run their approved apps.”

    You’re confusing form with functionality here Jared. A netbook does not require a media card slot, not does it require expandable storage in order for me to find it useful. For an object to be useful, it has to perform a task or set of tasks well. If those tasks involve swapping memory cards in and out of the device, then yes, your argument may hold water.

    In my case, I own three netbooks (A Sony Vaio P, an HP Mini and a Viliv X70 tablet, which is really a netbook minus a keyboard). I haven’t expanded the storage in them, and I don’t use their SD card slots (except to use ReadyBoost to speed up Windows). None of the features you mention are core to what I *do* use my netbooks for – checking email, browsing the web, and occasionally logging into a remote server to reboot it.

    *All* of those tasks (including the SSH access to a remote server) can be accomplished by an iPad or similarly well-designed device. The iPad is definitely a suitable replacement for all three of my netbooks.

    Now, if I *really* wanted to plug in an SD card into an iPad, I’d just pick up the SD adapter – but that really doesn’t matter to me.

    As for the closed platform bit, you’re right. We “fanboys” (although, given the hardware I listed above I don’t think you can pigeonhole me into that category) are trading openness for convenience. But don’t think that living in a Microsoft world is much more open. Perhaps at the home user level, but as a system administrator who works with enterprise-level Microsoft stuff, they’re just as bad as lock-in.

    Re: Windows 7 outselling OS X. Well, what do you expect? What is in the installed base of Windows PCs versus Macs in the world? Something like 90% Windows, 7% Mac, 3% other? So if both Apple and Microsoft release upgrade versions of their operating systems, even accounting for massive switching to the Apple platform (see this photo: – you’d have to expect that Windows 7 would still outsell OS X, wouldn’t you? I mean, if 50% of both groups upgraded their operating systems, that’s 45% of the world buying Windows versus 3.5% buying OS X.

    Take the chip off your shoulder – if you don’t like the Mac that’s great. If you can’t understand why people want an iPad, that’s fine too. But don’t toss around the “fanboy” label. People buy Apple products for a variety of different reasons, and believe it or not, some of those reasons you might not be able to fathom, but still make sense.

  21. Greg P Says:

    >> “It is a humorous world in how Microsoft is much more open than Apple,”

    There’s no problem with a closed or less-open system that isn’t crappy and doesn’t abuse customers. People don’t like Microsoft because they make crappy software and crappy devices, with few exceptions. Apple controls all aspects of what they create, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, in fact it’s the only way to deliver the quality of products that they do. You Apple-haters can bash all you like, you know darn well if someone gave you an iPhone or an iTouch or an iPad you’d use it and love it, because it works really, really well. The future of computing is mobile, and Microsoft is pretty much irrelevant in that space.

    Microsoft has relevance in the cheap PC market, sure, but do you really want to brag about having the low end of the market sewn up? I wouldn’t. Hooray, we have all the customers that don’t spend much money on computer products and software! Yay! Wow!

  22. Dan Says:

    @Jared ” So I can see why you would say that when Microsoft still has over 85% of the PC market on lockdown.”

    You likely don’t even see the irony in your choice of words, so I’ll point it out: You comment on an article about the iPad being a closed system and choose to use the words – “Microsoft still has over 85% of the PC market on lockdown.” While your comment is attempting to illustrate how Microsoft is more open. Do you see that? That’s irony.

  23. Jason Says:

    The iPhone is a closed platform, okay great… but why do I care when there are 140,000 apps available, especially when so many are free or $0.99? There has never been anything on the software side of this device that when I thought “Gee, I wish I could do ‘X'” I couldn’t promptly find something that did ‘X’ for me.

    Same thing with the iPad. There will undoubtedly be apps that do some very useful things, and probably a lot of things that have not yet been envisioned. Plus everything from my iPhone already works on the new platform.

    Sure, there are some hardware omissions with the iPad that make me scratch my head, but on the other hand they are probably not deal killers.

    I agree with Sean, people are sick of the Windows experience. Its just that most don’t know it yet because A:they know nothing else, and B:are either complacent or afraid change, kind of like a battered wife who continues to defend her husband.

    I will sheepishly admit that my first experience with the internet was with AOL. This caused me to believe that part of the normal internet experience was to regularly lose my connection and then need to log back on. Think of how many people put up with that for so long because they new no better. Getting broadband was like a spring awakening. People mindlessly sticking with Windows is no different. I owned 5 PCs before I gave up and made the switch 2 years ago. Now I’ve convinced 3 friends to make the switch to Mac as well, and after that initial learning curve passed they were all simply amazed at what they had been missing.

    I am just as geeky as the next guy, but I prefer to use products that work consistently, rather than consistently make me work.

  24. ed Says:

    I’m confused. One language and framework used to write apps for phones and computers and now the tablet. How is it any more or less open than Microsoft’s languages and frameworks? You use .NET to write Windows apps and Cocoa/Obj-c to write OS X based apps.

    Not to mention, the entire suite of development tools is completely free from Apple, although you have to pay the fee to actually launch an AppStore app. Microsoft has a limited free version but you have to pay for the real developer tools.

    Also, Apple provides pretty extensive free developer support in the forums where I see literally dozens of different expert developers from Apple answering questions. I’ve never seen anything like that from MS.

    Anyway, speaking as a developer who has spent 2 years developing for the iPhone, I am very very happy with the money I’ve been making.

  25. Albin Says:

    People are silly to think there are not big forces trying to excavate a fork in the road for the so far free and anonymous broadband internet we are still mostly getting through Microsoft devices: the fork is between not free (Apple – pay me incrementally via iTunes, apps and subscriptions) or not anonymous (Google – no charge, just tell me who you are, everybody you know, everywhere you go and everything you are looking for) – both Apple and Google need to create a new broadband access infrastructure via telecom services, to replace the unprofitable (for them) computer-based internet.

  26. Luke Says:

    Oh well…

    Being an iPhone developer actually making a living from the App Store I have to say I am horribly jealous of the horrendous amounts of money Windows Mobile developers are making from … errr… only god knows what store. :p

  27. LKM Says:

    The part that I find humorous is when he implied that C# was “pervasive”. If Apple wanted to switch to a more pervasive language, C# wouldn’t even be a consideration.

  28. David V. Says:

    The bit about Objective-C is nonsense in various ways.

    Objective-C is a language and .NET is a platform/framework. In context, .NET should probably be compared to Cocoa Touch (+ other iPhone/iPad OS services). I’ve programmed for both, and my opinion is that Cocoa Touch is significantly more satisfying to develop with.

    .NET has more choices in languages (some of which are interesting and/or fun), but if you want anything like Objective-C performance, the only option is C++/CLI, which is monstrously bad (as in “way worse than plain C++”) IMO. Objective-C is syntactically awful, but credit to that mid-1980s language to beat the best post-2000 option Microsoft has to offer.

  29. Joseph Sims Says:

    “I do not think it is no secret on just how closed minded Apple is. Many people say Microsoft control way too much over there products, yet most products can be ran on Windows. Most of the software that can run on a Mac/Apple system is made by Apple.”

    I’m guessing by “closed minded” you mean as in closed system, I don’t think many people would call them “closed minded”. You saying that most of the software that can run on a Mac/Apple system is made by Apple just shows that you have no idea what you are talking about. Are you saying that MOST of the over 100,000 of apps in the app store are made by Apple, and that MOST of all the applications available for the Mac are made by Apple? Adobe alone probably makes more applications for Mac than Apple does. No wonder you post at “” because I question what reality you’re living in. Know something before you post.

  30. mark Says:

    Over 140000 apps have been approved for sale. Probably less than 500 non-infringing apps have been banned. That sounds pretty open to me.

    Microsoft is doing its best to defend its platform (and partners), which shows that its not just a software company. Its partners are stunned by Apple’s devices, platform and ecosystem, and are likely complaining.

    By the way, there is a now a broad array of devices for the Objective-C skill set: iPod touch/iPhone, iPad, and Mac. And on the iPod/iPhone/iPad and even Mac, people will actually buy reasonably-priced software (since they don’t have to spend it on anti-malware protection and other OS-enhancing utilities).

  31. fjpoblam Says:

    The geek forums are full of proud geeks touting all the things they can list that an iPad *can’t* do. They are proud to say, they would never buy and iPad.

    And geeks know *many* of these things, because, we must be, and I honestly am, respectful of geeks. Geeks have great knowledge, and are creative, and know of such things.

    Strictly speaking, geeks may not make up the whole potential iPad market. I think it will sell well enough to have a life, and a long future.

  32. mark Says:

    When Watson said that developers aren’t making money on Apple’s App Store, he was clearly referring to lack of revenue flowing in for MS’s iPhone apps.

  33. tf Says:

    I *am* a .Net developer by day, and iPhone by any other time. This article is a complete joke and waste of my time reading it. Apple’s environment is a joy to develop in, whereas .Net is a bit of a joke. Oh, ok, maybe I should be more specific. .Net mobile is a joke. And a very bad one at that.

    And yes, when I installed Win7/WinXP in my last VM, it had the option to install all of the developer tools and documentation, during the install. Right from the install media. I love that about MS, they make it so convenient to be a developer for their systems. That’s always helpful to people who are “developers (that) can build whatever they want, and (whom would like to) target a broad array of devices using the same skill set”. NOT.

    Bleh, too bad you’ll run into so many .Net/Win32/Win64 quirks trying to do so it’ll drive you absolutely insane.

    Apple’s Obj-c framework isn’t without it’s flaws, regardless of whether you are talking about Cocoa or CocoaTouch. Neither is Xcode compare to VS. However, it has far fewer flaws imho then MS’s. And Apple’s now got the marketshare and devices that I’m making money off of. *me*. Not some corporation with a sales force that promises features that all the developers know there’s absolutely no resources to be able to come through with the contract they’ve signed with the bundled MS licensing arrangements.

    And that’s why there’s a lot of people digging Apple’s way the past few years. And it’ll only continue. You’ll see more people migrating. They may not ditch their day job developing for .Net based products for a few years, because of the steady paycheck, but they surely will spend nights and weekends in Xcode, with the eventual goal/hope to quit.

    Oh, and MS, if you’re reading this, stop with the new product names every damn year and the new acronyms. Your own staff can’t keep track of them. Why do you expect us to do the same? It’s just crazy. Settle on something, make it work correctly, put out current documentation *at the time of release* and then don’t play games.

  34. anarchyreigns Says:

    You’d think that these complete fools at Microsoft would have learned their lesson after making fun of the iPhone after it was announced too. Microsoft, we’re laughing at you, you’re the company that can’t “shoot straight” anymore.

  35. ed Says:

    Ooh, it’s post-pc, it’s a consumer appliance. People can’t be expected to responsibly choose what they want from their device – they need Apple to do it.

    We have bought billions of PC’s – people seem to like deciding what runs on and connects to their PC’s just fine.

  36. Kevin Says:

    I’m not a developer, but Watson’s assertion that programming in .NET is somehow more economical doesn’t ring true. They are both high level programming languages, one Microsoft controls and objective C being controlled by a standards body (I think). Objective C programmers may command a higher wage maybe. Maybe this is why apps for the iPhone seem to be a better quality app than many of the Windows applications I have used that are built on the .NET framework that seems to be a constantly changing architecture.

  37. Joeldm Says:

    Ballmer and company are Reverse Barometers. Whatever they make fun of the most is what will succeed the most. Remember when he made fun of the iPhone and said he “liked” their (Microsoft’s) smartphone strategy? You have to ask yourself what it was that he liked, small market share? MS had a decade to made a good phone and couldn’t. They’ve had a decade to build a really useful tablet computer and they haven’t. They’ve tried and tried to emulate Apple in the music player business and no one’s paying attention.

    What MS does have is what remains of the monopoly they once held on personal computers and this will keep them in business for a while. But Apple’s is, with RIM, taking over the smartphone market. Apple’s computer market share is growing at over 30% per year while MS’ share declines and they are laying off people.

    Apple’s market cap is closing in on Google and Miicrosoft and Apple has more cash on hand than any other tech company. I don’t know what the future holds for Apple, but Microsoft is the dinosaur among these tech giants and no products either recently or in the pipeline that are hits. MS lives off its own fat and the share it created during the monopoly days. Monopolies fail. To grow you have to have an idea of where you want to go and the vision to create products that people love. That is Apple.


  38. Jaryd Says:

    @Ed: I don’t think this is about Apple removing all choice from computer systems. I believe that Apple realizes that in places like the mobile space, giving up some choice is necessary for convenience. In order to develop for the iPhone/iPod touch/iPad you need a Mac running Xcode, so unless Apple decides to port Xcode to the iPad, I think we’ll have normal Macs for a long time.

    The iPad is a companion device. Notice how it syncs to a Mac or PC? That means it’s not meant to create/hold all of of the user’s content. Think of the iPad in the category of Casual Computing. You can’t do everything a full Mac can, but you can do most of what you need to do with incredible ease.

  39. Jeff Says:

    From the folks who brought you the zune.

  40. jamie Says:

    “We have bought billions of PC’s – people seem to like deciding what runs on and connects to their PC’s just fine.”

    Really, people don’t want automobiles, they just want faster horses. Don’t let Apple take away our right to keep horses!

  41. Toy Needle Says:

    Henry Ford said “If I had asked customers what they wanted they’d have said a faster horse.” Without vision, there is no innovation. If MS wants to build faster horses, go for it. I’ll take the tin lizzy.

  42. Ron Says:

    Microsoft says that most iPhone developers aren’t making money…

    Hmmm…. Most Windows developers aren’t making money, and there are millions of them!

    At least Apple’s got an online store where everyone and every developer can go to shop and show their wares.

    That’s one of the reasons the iPad will be a success, and it’s something that Microsoft does not get.

  43. Fabbe Says:

    Not being a developer, so I have no stake in making people using Apple products to make money nor pretend to know which platform is easier to develop for.

    However, if I decide to pay a premium to play in Steve Jobs sandbox (no matter what you call it or how pretty it is, it is still a sandbox),I’d like to decide myself what what toys to use in the sandbox and how.

    If I buy a CD from Sony/BMG I can play it on any CD player out there, Sony does not tell me that I can only use it on their brand CD player, nor do they (or try to) stop me from doing so.

    Apple products, and especially iPod and iPhone environments are closed environments no matter how you slice and dice it. It might be OK for a lot of people out there, but it is funny to me that people are letting someone limit the potential and their imagination on how to use a product to their fullest potential.

    Apple fans have to stop being so insulted when someone questions the cult of Jobs.

  44. Sam LG Says:

    Apple [generally] doesn’t lower prices; they pick the price point for their appliance and bump the specs as the components get cheaper.

  45. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    > “It is a humorous world in how Microsoft is much more open than Apple,”

    Microsoft is not open in any way at all. Everything on Windows is proprietary, even the Web app platform is proprietary (MSHTML), the GPU language (Microsoft DirectX), the music and movie format (Windows Media), the terminal (DOS), the core OS (NT), the Web server (IIS). All created entirely by Microsoft. And the entire source code of Windows is closed.

    On OS X, the only thing that is proprietary is the native app platform. The Web app platform on OS X is W3C HTML5, the GPU language is OpenGL, the music and movie format is ISO MPEG-4, the terminal is bash, the core OS is Unix, the Web server is Apache, the graphics are PDF. These are all open standards. And there is lots of open source: the core OS (Darwin), the Web server (Apache) and many included computer languages (PHP, Python, Perl), the Web renderer (WebKit).

    The music and movie format in the iTunes Store is the same as what’s on Blu-Ray, YouTube, Flip camcorders, smartphones. Windows is completely outside of this ecosystem because Microsoft is a completely closed, completely proprietary shop.

    Apple WebKit is the Web rendering engine inside OS X, and it is also used in KDE Linux, Palm, Nokia S60, Blackberry, Android, Google Chrome, Adobe AIR, and others, because WebKit is totally open. There is nothing like that from Microsoft.

    They are so far inside their own bubble at Microsoft it is bizarre. They consider whatever they are doing to be the standard and pretend that open standards do not exist. Just completely crazy.

  46. Gary Says:

    When I sit on the couch to watch TV I pull out my iPhone during commercials. I don’t pull out my Gateway Laptop running Windows because by the time I got the thing turned on and able to use it the commercials would be over. I also don’t get up and go into the other room and sit at my desk and check out things on my MAC during commercials because it’s just to much of a hassle.

    This iPad is instant on just like the iPhone and with 30 days standby and 10 hours of battery people are going to buy these things like they buy iPods. Next Christmas you can bet that Apple will not be able to make enough for the demand.

  47. Jim Says:

    In trolling for the oh so very 1998 apple/windows flamebot clicks, you first badly misquote the fellow, then merely misrepresent him. Great.
    “It is a humorous world in how Microsoft is much more open than Apple”.
    The fellow is obviously referring to the odd reality of everyone’s hated monopoly monster being more open than the industy’s adorable little love child. (Girlish giggles)

    Predictably, the dullards quickly responded to your call for some old time Microsoft hate by joining in and utterly missing the point, that this iPad is a major step backwards,
    a major turn for the worse.

    The Microsoft fellow, far from missing the point, nailed it.
    What is it about apple that causes otherwise normal people to become suck upping tools?

    This entire piece is click whore crap, I am now dumber from the experience.

    Thanks a lot, and please, quickly go out of business?

  48. fps4000 Says:

    MS is clearly missing some things here and most have been covered by various people above.
    1. MS said it is closed. Nice try. .NET is open, if you are on windows. The various ports to other platforms are problematic at best. Making it theoretically open and actually open are two different things. He states that you can target either windows or windows mobile. Seems to me you can go into xcode and target, mac or iphone. How is this different? Like mentioned above MS is no bastion of openness (though there are portions of windows etc that are now opened due to the DOJ/EU rulings).
    2. They think its “humerous”. Indeed. How many times in the past has MS trashes some apple product only to see it rise to wild success. Remember the ipod, iPhone, etc?
    3. MS doesn’t get it. The MS philosophy is throw every feature in the world in it and it will sell. The apple philosophy is create a core feature set that people will use and make it EASY to use. The point is when you pick up an apple device and use their OS you get things done and even enjoy doing it. With MS, not so much. This is where MS doesn’t get it at all. Apple has created a product that is targeted at a specific market. It doesn’t fit in the “every feature in the world” philosophy they have so they can’t bend their mind to imagine it being successful (though only time will tell if it will be since there are more factors involved such as the economy etc).
    4. It is often said there is a Steve Jobs “Reality Distortion Field”. Well, the MS RDF is much greater and we have seen a classic example in Mr. Watson’s comments. They interpret markets and products from within their own environment and don’t see how anyone can see things differently.

  49. davesmall Says:

    There are currently two kinds of kids: Those that already have an iPod Touch and those who want one. The first kid on the block to get an iPad is going to be the envy of the neighborhood.

    These kids are going to grow up. They always do. As soon as they can find a way to pay for it their going to want to graduate to an iPhone. All their music and Apps will move right over. They already know how to use it.

    How would you like to have a nickel for every one of them who dumps his Apple device and switches to Windows Mobile? In ten years you might accumulate enough nickels to pay for a haircut.

  50. Gene Says:

    More evidence that Microsoft just don’t get it.

  51. Walt French Says:

    We have PR people whose job it is to promote my products; I’m all in favor of putting our best foot forward. I’m all against sounding like a dishonest flack for spreading “facts” that are true only in the smallest context, and obviously dishonest in terms of the real picture: what’s the profit potential for WinCE 7 apps today? For soon-to-be-obsolete WinCE 6.X? How is it that tens of thousands of developers have managed to pay $99 for an iPhone developer kit and build many times as many apps as the oh-so-mighty .NET framework, which by itself is hardly about mobile apps at all?

    Looking for the price to come down further? Don’t hold your breath. The $499 machine is very carefully positioned as a bare-bones Corolla; it’s probably actually a loss-leader. (That’d explain the $130 G3 option cost. It gets closer to Apple’s target price.) Startup costs for the A4 chip have to be huge and Apple is looking to make a high-volume statement despite the continued lousy jobs and income environment. When the economy is riding high[er], and the initial sales have gotten critical mass for app developers to justify the effort, THEN look for the more fully-featured products with videocam, 1080 HDMI, etc.

  52. Nathan Says:

    Microsoft don’t think closed systems are good? Good thing they don’t participate in any… oh wait, hello Zune, hello XBOX 360.

  53. sport Says:

    I bet they weren’t laughing when they saw the an entire “Office” suite of word processing, presentation, and spreadsheet offered for $30 – what a slap in the face by Steve! Those three apps highlight that Microsoft has been on hiatus since Ballmer came aboard while Apple has been making moves upgrading their suites such as iLife (ie, face recognition for iphoto) and iWorks.

    Where has MS been? Creating copies of products that others have pioneered (Zune, Silverlight) only to abandon them a year or two later, instead of continuing to develop their core products such as Office or IE.

  54. Chris Says:

    Just how closed is Apple? Well, if you pay $100 for the iPhone SDK, to build practically any app for the iPhone OS, and 70% of what you make is yours, 30% is Apple’s, I’d say it is closed (especially since it’s only on Mac OS X). But, when have you ever seen anything third party or Apple-developed crash on a Mac? It’s possible, but not all that common. Compare that to Windows, which, despite being more open than not (though let’s not forget that $100 for an activation of Windows XP Home, or the $150 for Windows XP Prof.), is far less as easy to develop for, and there are a few things to watch out for.

    For example;

    -Not everyone has the same hardware configuration.
    -Everyone’s settings for Windows are completely different from one another (that’s especially thanks to hardware).
    -Not everyone is up to date on Windows versions: XP, Vista or 7. And sometimes, you can’t run older programs on a newer versions of Windows! (Which okay, there are programs that won’t run on older versions of Mac OS X, but Apple keeps getting far better than anything at Redmond with their products- yes, Mac OS X included.)
    -And if there is one thing Microsoft is forgetting, as this has already been mentioned in this line of comments; Vista was a freakin’ disaster! It’s like Microsoft is trying to play catch-up here! “Oh, okay, new version of Mac OS X due out this year, we’ll toss Vista out in the market ASAP.” (That was in 2007). That was a pathetic move on your part, Microsoft! (And fine, if you want to argue that Mac OS X Snow Leopard is buggy, and that it came out before 7 last year, go ahead and do so, but this isn’t anything like the massive headaches that Vista had.)
    – Certain product software do not like each other on Windows. I’ve run Logitech Webcam Software and had HP Digital Imaging Monitor running in the background. Both cut off my Wifi antenna while conflicting with each other; eventually causing a Stop error.

    Microsoft, you want to complain about the closed sources of Apple (and by the way, Mac OS X has some open source components) when you yourself have MUCH bigger fish to fry? Your customer base just plain sucks, your solutions to problems that are generally easier to fix than explain it to you are pretty much meaningless words strung together..ha! It seems to me, Microsoft complaining that Apple is closed source is more humorous than Microsoft complaining that Apple is closed source!

  55. Kenji Says:

    It “slowed down the internet”?
    It did not.

    A few sites, however…

  56. Jeremy Wa Says:

    How do you know when Microsoft is lying? Look to see if the lips are moving….

  57. Jones Scott Says:

    Definitely getting an Ipad, no matter what bull Microsoft fires up.

  58. iPhone user Says:

    Whoops. Mis spell above. I meant definition.

  59. Thomas Chai Says:

    “Developing applications for the iPhone and iPad is expensive, he said, because iPhone OS uses the Objective C language rather than Microsoft’s more pervasive .NET platform.”

    Haha, I am laughing at this. I really don;t understand this statement. How can developing application for iPhone and iPad plus also Mac OS be expensive. If we are talking about tool, XCode comes bundled in free, but MS, you gotta pay for it plus all the licensing bullshit. Not to mention Cocoa and Interface builder is much more simpler for beginners than a .NET

  60. Goldmine CRM Says:

    I think it is a bit far fetched to say the “whole internet” slowed down. The Ipad though does look good, except for the lack of multi-tasking, until intel’s new chip is used anyway.

    If I had a choice between Iphone and Ipad, Ipad would win every time, but I think there is going to be some better tablets out there from other manufacturers.

  61. Eric Says:

    Say I’m a hobbyist and I’ve written an app for my Windows smart phone. How much would it cost me to put it on my own smart phone? Nothing.

    How much would it cost for me to put it on my own app on my own iPhone?

    If I write an app with Sharp Develop for a Windows smart phone and I want to sell it. What it Microsoft’s cut? Nothing

    How much would Apple’s cut be of every piece of software that I sell?

  62. Walt French Says:

    “If I write an app with Sharp Develop for a Windows smart phone and I want to sell it.”

    So… you must be one of the tens of thousands of WinCE developers who have seen billions of their apps downloaded, the Mostly Silent Majority as it were.

    How’s that working out for you? Betcha those iPhone devs who had to spend $99 for club membership are envious as H of all the bags of money you’re dragging to the bank.

    And tell me: do you think you’ll be selling more 6.0, 6.5 or 7.0 apps in the next 12 or 24 months? Pretty easy to maintain the multiple versions necessary for customer acceptance and word-of-mouth buzz? Like the workload etc of managing the store experience?

    These little bullets don’t begin to describe what a wonderful world is inside all the other walled gardens besides Apple’s… Please share your real-world experience, friend.

  63. iPhone user Says:

    So this guy Brandon Watson also said in another article online “there is much jealousy from iPhone developers of windows mobile developers. I’ve honestly never laughed so hard in my life. Watson should be committed for saying such a rediculous thing.

    And now, i find it appropriate to quote family guy.
    “Hey Bill, I need help with my Zune. Haha not really, I have an iPod like the rest of the world.”

  64. rawiswar Says:

    Sorry guys. I am a mbp owner. had a mini before this. also have made 3 others own a mac now. but i hate the following about iPad and because it is a device to be released in the future.
    1) No expandable slots. A decent quality movie in mkv would be 3 gigs. And the best I get is 64gigs for around 900 bucks.
    2) To be able to play these movies, I need something like KMedia/ VLC. Not going to happen. Adding to this, I need Firefox. Apple does not release stats on how much of a power hog Safari is but you already know it from the way the system handles. Basically, the app model for this sucks. Plus, what are the chances I’d want to view a quick flash website. TOO HIGH. I switched to mac (from ubuntu) because MultiMedia sucked on Ubuntu.
    3) The ebook marketing part here is BS. LCD for reading sucks. It is not the eye strain alone. You just lose concentration.
    4) No multi-tasking is fine for a phone but does NOT work for this form factor.
    Hence, I don’t see this as anything more than milking the franchise. So, if you describe Apple as a regular company, go ahead. But this feels like Apple shouting out to the world – “You don’t have an option”. Afterall, Apple has to remember that we moved to mac because of the BS we had to take from Windows and others.

  65. Richard A. Says:

    As a Physician, I will be one of the first to purchase this product. It is just what I have been looking for. A mini-device, but not necessarily a full fledged computer with start-up systems etc. I want to be able to see journals at full display and in color. I want to watch movies when I am on the road at a hotel, without having to pay exorbitant fees. I want to have a lot of my content with me and in a relatively non bulky package.

    To have this thing be compatible with my iPhone and Mac is a plus. I am already envisioning my office with one of these devices and completing documentation on the go.

    In terms of books, I still want to be able to use the Amazon Kindle for my books as I feel Apple’s store will be too new to have the textbooks that I want. So I am hoping that Amazon will create a Kindle version for the iPad as well. This way I will get the best of both worlds – The Apple Book Store and Amazon’s large library of Kindle books. Additionally, if iPad versions can be made for Stanza and Classics that would be great too.

  66. coder Says:

    In a free market Frankie sounds like sour grapes, because he has to make excuses why MS products increasingly doesn’t work on everything, Apple doesn’t have to spend truckloads on bad fundamental policies and most important to me, Apple developers don’t have to learn a new language every spring.

    If this premise holds true than IBM has been doing it all wrong and exists solely through government subsidies. They still program in C++ and will for the foreseeable future. Hellooo?

    F#? How about F!@# Microsoft! Not only is Windows the OS for simps, every iteration of their ‘new languages’ are too.

  67. Zeke Shadfurman Says:

    Apple products are AWESOME!

    That said… I RARELY use them. They aren’t the type of product I use. They ARE closed, but being closed gives them many advantages. You can’t really compare Apple computers with most non-apple computers cause most companies don’t own the whole platform. Apple computers are more like phones than other computers, at least in the marketing sense. Not many of us want to worry about updating our phones OS and like to play with buggy untested freeware. This is why the iphone will always do better than the android. But there IS a large market of people who DO. They don’t want to be told what to buy, what to run, etc etc.. they want to own it. And really it’s not THAT closed cause jailbreaking an iphone is pretty darn easy.

    All I can say for the closed ipad system… bring it on!

  68. Neil Says:

    I see several comments about the Zune, but have any of these writers actually looked at the latest itteration, the Zune HD, or read the reviews about it? If not, maybe they should. Granted, there is a lack of apps for people who buy a media player for them, but the HD Radio and 720p output to an HD TV, the OLED display, and the great sound put the ipods to shame. Microsoft has a winner here – granted it took 3 generations to get there, and should be credited for it, not condemned by those who probably have not even seen the product.

  69. Walt French Says:

    “…but have any of these writers actually looked at … the Zune HD…?”

    I think the objective reviews of the ZHD agree with your points.

    But Microsoft has been an utter failure at creating a comprehensive, compelling portable music ecosystem:
    – They Just Plain Dropped their Plays For Sure products, orphaning all the music bought to run on it. They offered a product that embeds DRM workable only on their format, then killed it. If your PFS machine dies, goodbye all your music, too. (My 4-yr-old iPod head-crashed last week and I have about a zillion alternatives on eBay, Amazon and down the street at Apple.)
    – They design in goofball features like the Squirt that are just random noise. I will give them credit, however, for trying HD radio, although nobody else thinks it matters.
    – The Zune’s support for recommendations, podcasts, features like iPod U and so many others are hardly developed.

    When you spend a couple of hundred dollars on a system, you’re actually investing much more in money and time in having that system work well with your life over the next X years. Microsoft has not proven to customers that it deserves their locking in so much of their resources to them.

  70. Walt French Says:

    Woops, forgot to include this terribly on-point info.

    Today, Microsoft’s original slate developer, Dick Brass, wrote an OpEd piece in the NY Times about how anti-innovation its dysfunctional organization was. All his hard work, down the drain due to turf wars, pigheadedness and credit-whoring. A quote:

    “Microsoft has become a clumsy, uncompetitive innovator. Its products are lampooned, often unfairly but sometimes with good reason.”

    More in the original, of course.

  71. tekrux Says:

    I totally agree with the last section. An iPad is great for those occasions when you dont want to lug your laptop around and just need something portable. In those instances you dont necessarily need the full processing power and range of applications of a laptop. When you are travelling you want music, film, email, web browsing and light document editing.
    – This is exactly that the iPad is designed to do.

  72. JEDIDIAH Says:

    I too am of the opinion that an Apple device like an iPad better give me the option to install a better browser, a better photo manager and a better video player. Most of my iphone apps exist to make up for the fact that the iphone doesn’t have a full web browser and is too small to really take advantage of one.

    The inability to simply browse sites rather than using some 80s style dedicated app is the most disappointing prospect of the iPad.

    I also think it’s hilarious for a Mac user to run down Linux with regards to multimedia and then install VLC.

  73. Jerome Says:

    Devices like the iPad represent such an embarrassment to Microsoft – little wonder that the only response they are capable of is to heap ridicule on it. Bill Gates’ remarks about it being nothing special because it didn’t have a keyboard and a stylus – so very Microsoft – it epitomises their shortcomings. This company is beyond repair. I would love to be a fly on the wall at a Microsoft boardroom discussion about iTunes just cracking the 10 bil mark – yet another thing they laughed at years ago.

  74. FjordPrefect Says:

    Hey, isn't the Microsoft Xbox a closed platform?

  75. Jemma Elrin Says:

    Ya XBOX IS a closed platform isin’t it? :

  76. bims Says:

    I definitely enjoyed every little bit of this,I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you blog post.

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