Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 16th Oct 2012 15:47 UTC
Windows Casey Muratori dissects the consequences of Windows 8's closed distribution model. "But how realistic is the assumption that the Windows desktop will still be a usable computing platform in the future? And what would be the consequences were it to disappear, leaving Windows users with only the closed software ecosystem introduced in Windows 8? To answer these questions, this volume of Critical Detail examines the immediate and future effects of Microsoft's current certification requirements, explores in depth what history predicts for the lifespan of the classic Windows desktop, and takes a pragmatic look at whether an open or closed ecosystem would be better for Microsoft as a company." The section that details how none - none - of this year's greatest games (or last year's fantastic Skyrim) and only one of this year's Emmy-nominated TV shows pass Microsoft's rules sent chills down my spine.
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RE[7]: I don't think ...
by Alfman on Fri 19th Oct 2012 20:58 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: I don't think ..."
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"Oh HELL NO!! We are NEVER going to agree on that. Repeal the DMCA and get the government as FAR AWAY from tech as humanly possible."

Well, the DMCA was pushed into law by corporate pressure, I don't even think there was a pretence of having been for the public good. If the law must be decided by corporate interests, then I'd agree that we're better off not having it. In principal though, there ought to be rules to disallow anti-competitive tactics and enable the market to compete on merit. It wouldn't be telling consumers what they can or can't buy, it would be telling corporations that they cannot block consumers from choosing alternate distribution channels after the devices are sold. Of course the devil may be in the details, but I think unlike the laws which are passed by and for corporations (DMCA), it would be good to have some for consumers. Just my opinion, but I can accept that we'll never agree.

"I've heard of horror stories on Android where the Google Play store and the Amazon app store were duking it out as to which one should be updating a certain app, when a user (either accidentally or on purpose) installs the same app from both stores."

Technically wouldn't whichever app store the app was downloaded from be responsible? At least they wouldn't have to use a buggy app store if they didn't want to, it'd be their own choice. They'll get no argument from me if they are happy with the default one.

"As an OS vendor, why should I have to support somebody else's app store?"

I hope you understand that's not what I meant at all. They just couldn't employ technological means to prohibit competitors, they wouldn't have to provide any support.

"You might see MS (and other companies') desire to rule the ecosystem as inherently evil and a power move to take over the world, but I see it as a business decision that also has practical benefits for them (such as added security)...If the majority of consumers desire a walled garden, than it shall come to pass."

The only way that could be true is if you gave consumers a choice for each device: sold with the non-elective walled garden, or sold with an elective walled garden. Only then could you factually claim they desire a walled garden. However there's every reason to indicate that consumers are buying them for other factors such as style, performance, capabilities, etc. I doubt a single iphone has been sold BECAUSE it was in a walled garden. We just cannot use device sales as evidence that consumers somehow want or benefit from walled gardens. It's more a reflection of what corporations want to sell.

"If people want an alternative that is open, I think such an alternative will always exist."

Perhaps, but if it becomes too marginalised there's a serious risk that fewer and fewer consumers will have any access to independent software vendors. It would be the equivalent of a black hole, we'll have no choice but to move into the walled gardens under the approval of some of the most powerful corporate gatekeepers, who are in fact competing against us in the software field. Hopefully it's clear why this is bad for open computing. It might not be the end of the world if all consumer devices would be under corporate control, but it would be bleak.

"If people want an alternative that is open, I think such an alternative will always exist. Unless these companies buy laws to outlaw anything that isn't locked down. Which is exactly why I say keep the government OUT of the tech."

So, alternatives will always exist unless we have laws that ensure alternatives can exist? I'm not really sure what you are trying to say...but I'll concede this: governments often screw up everything they touch. There's no guaranteeing they wouldn't screw this up as well. But if we don't do anything to stop corporations from controlling our own devices, then we shouldn't be surprised if that's where we end up.

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