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 ..."
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

WorknMan,

"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.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: I don't think ...
by WorknMan on Sat 20th Oct 2012 01:16 in reply to "RE[7]: I don't think ..."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

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...


I'm saying that alternatives will probably always exist as long as corporations can't buy laws which mandate that hardware cannot be sold without some sort of DRM that only allows people to install what corporations and/or the entertainment industry want. Like a law that forces motherboard vendors to sell boards with a protected bios where an open source OS cannot be installed. Right now, I think this is mandated by MS if you want to release a tablet with WinRT, but vendors are still free to release tablets with other operating systems.

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 would be interesting to see though how many Android users have the 'side load' option turned on. I bet that number is comparatively low vs how many Android users there are. Hell, *I* don't even have that option turned on.

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.


Well, if it gets to that point, and there's no mass revolt against it, then so be it. If there's not a big enough demand for open platforms such that businesses find it cost-effective to build and support, then why the hell should they be forced to do so? It's like if Pepsi released a variant of their soft drink that only a handful of the population cared for, and the government told Pepsi that they had to keep selling it.

The point being that if the mass population doesn't give a shit about walled gardens, closed source, or locked-down platforms, then it is what it is, even though it might be a pain in the ass for some of us.

Yes, I am aware of many of the negative ramifications, but I don't want to live in a nanny state where government is telling businesses what products they are allowed to sell, assuming the products are not causing people to get sick, die, etc. This is for the same reasons why I don't want governments trying to control what sex acts consenting adults are allowed to perform behind closed doors.

Just have the government revoke the DMCA so that we can do whatever we want with the hardware we purchase, and keep them the hell out of it. Let people make up their own minds. If they want to take it up the ass from a vendor that wants to control what they are allowed to install, then I hope they have some Vaseline handy. Far be it from me to stand in their way.

Edited 2012-10-20 01:19 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[9]: I don't think ...
by Alfman on Sat 20th Oct 2012 10:15 in reply to "RE[8]: I don't think ..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WorknMan,

"I'm saying that alternatives will probably always exist as long as corporations can't buy laws which mandate that hardware cannot be sold without some sort of DRM that only allows people to install what corporations and/or the entertainment industry want."

I read it wrong. Yes that would be bad.

"It would be interesting to see though how many Android users have the 'side load' option turned on. I bet that number is comparatively low vs how many Android users there are. Hell, *I* don't even have that option turned on."

Not what you asked for, but seems relevant here even if a bit dated:
http://www.iphonefreak.com/2009/08/jailbroken-stats-recent-survey-s...


"Well, if it gets to that point, and there's no mass revolt against it, then so be it. If there's not a big enough demand for open platforms such that businesses find it cost-effective to build and support, then why the hell should they be forced to do so?"

Like I said, manufacturers would not need to provide any support to 3rd party software channels. They'd just need to refrain from licenses and device restrictions that may prevent consumers from choosing from competing software sources. Microsoft and apple have never been responsible for 3rd party software installed on their operating systems, that would not have to change.


"The point being that if the mass population doesn't give a shit about walled gardens, closed source, or locked-down platforms, then it is what it is, even though it might be a pain in the ass for some of us."

There are many people who would opt for an unlocked device when given an explicit choice without compromising other factors (such as getting the device they want, etc). I suspect there are even more people who believe in having a choice even if they don't exercise it themselves (you not enabling side-loading is not equal to you voting against having sideloading).


"Yes, I am aware of many of the negative ramifications, but I don't want to live in a nanny state where government is telling businesses what products they are allowed to sell..."

I think your blowing the nanny government out of proportion with regards to this topic, which is permitting consumers to override default app stores and increase the viability of competition.


"Just have the government revoke the DMCA so that we can do whatever we want with the hardware we purchase, and keep them the hell out of it."

That's exactly the problem though, you are blaming the government when in fact it's the corporations who are to blame for this, including the DMCA itself. If we remove government oversight and allow corporations to have carte blanche, there's nothing to stop corporations abusing their power.

"Let people make up their own minds."

That's exactly what I want, people should have an explicit right to choose software distribution channels. If you allow corporations to forcefully bundle their software on consumer hardware, we'll become a software-censored society where consumers can only have software approved by the manufacturer.


"If they want to take it up the ass from a vendor that wants to control what they are allowed to install, then I hope they have some Vaseline handy. Far be it from me to stand in their way."

Unfortunately, if the growth of walled gardens continues unabated, then you WILL be affected too. As they pop up and the hardware enforcing them becomes more mature, it will be harder and harder to avoid them. More and more software developers will become dependent upon the hardware and consumers which have been sucked into one of the closed walled garden ecosystems. For future generations, the choice may not be whether they want a walled garden or not, but which walled garden they have to buy into.

This won't happen over night, but if too many people remain passive on the issue and refuse to "stand in the way" of walled gardens, it will slowly but surely limit consumer choices that you and I have outside the walled gardens. Consumers must not buy into closed hardware and simply assume that their decision will not offset the open platforms they currently take for granted; corporate imposed devices restrictions are completely changing the dynamic between open and closed computing.

Reply Parent Score: 2