Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 8th Apr 2010 12:20 UTC
Editorial Car analogies are quite popular on internet discussion forums, and ours is no exception. The problem with these analogies, however, is that they are usually quite flimsy, and a recent popular one is no exception. A number of people are now arguing that computer makers' move towards closed platforms (Apple, Sony, and so on) is akin to people no longer being able to service cars on their own. This analogy, which looks sound on a superficial level, breaks down when you spend more than five minutes contemplating it.
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No. They are not.
by SteveB on Thu 8th Apr 2010 18:57 UTC
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A car is a open object. Every one can modify things on a car. Certain modifications are voiding the guarantee but most modifications don't.

Computers are as well open. It's normal that you can modify your computer (add new hardware, exchange hardware) and that you can use your computer the way you like it (install software, remove software, develop software, etc). A computer is seen by the average user as an open platform.

The new approach to close down computers and have them as a closed platform separates the user base of computers in 3 user campuses.

1) The one that don't care if computers are open/closed.

2) The one that prefer the computers to be open.

3) The one that prefer the computers to be closed.

I would say that most users don't care if a computer is open or closed. But what most of those users care is the price. Closing down a platform automatically leads to controlled prices (the one closing down the platform has control over the price for hardware/software/services of the platform). And this is where most users start to care if something is closed or open. So I would say that most users don't care if a computer platform is closed or open but they care if the price for a platform (closed/open) is higher then for a comparable other computer platform. If the closed computer platform offers benefits that can outweigh the open computer platform then the price does not play a role. The same goes for features. If a closed computer platform offers +/- the same features then a open platform then users don't care if it is open or closed.

The whole discussion about open or closed is starting to be boring. A producer can close down his platform when ever he likes. And if the product and price and features and and and is competitive and customers are buying it then who cares?

Why all this talk for something that is normal business tactics? If one does not like a closed platform then there are enough other open platforms to choose.

If the consumers are following that closed computer platform trend then individuals that would like to have a open platform are the one that must swallow the bitter pill. The mass is deciding and if the mass is happy with the closed platform and many or all platform producers/sellers are following that closed platform trend then there is not much one can do against it.

It's a free market.

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