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I see there is some upset comments here about my interview so I thought I would pop in to clarify my view a bit. First of all, yes the open vs close question was handled a bit sloppy of me. Mainly because my first language isn't English. Quick definition-questions have a smoke screen effect on me.
I disagree however with garyd's statement that my doubt about Apples strategy have it's foundation in a GNU-cult mentality. What is really bothering me about Apple is that they are dictating what people shall use their platform to. If Microsoft would have done this everyone would have been upset, but not when Apple does it. The examples I mentioned is not the only examples of their destructive closed strategy. Remember when you couldn't replace the battery in the iPod? It took a lawsuit to get them change their minds. What happened to their "Think Different" motto?
If a vendor treated me like that I would feel humiliated and angry.
When it comes to strategy and execution that Mr Gassée mentioned, I would like to say that there are times when they can't be separated from each other.
"Closed Platform" + "Success" + "Company Politics" = "Abuse of locked in customers". Just the same way as a government can't go unchecked. This applies even if the company is reasonably ethical. Read the history of IBM, DEC and Microsoft.
This nearly unavoidable cycle of abuse in closed platforms is something people in general and companies remember. As Mr Gassée himself said: You can't fool everyone in the long run.
Maybe you don't agree with me on this but let's have a less tempered discussion about this topic.
I agree wholeheartedly with your views on the negative effects on lock-in, and as an OS enthusiast I am saddened by the current state development from companies such as Microsoft (and Apple for that matter).
In my opinion Apple has been extremely successful in providing aesthetically pleasing physical and technical improvements, whereas companies such as Microsoft continues to release subpar products - Windows 8 and Surface to name their latest flops.
Aesthetics and usability goes a long way and Apple has set the bar - not in innovation - but from an execution standpoint. Sadly, the competitors - if any - are embarrasingly slow in just keeping pace and plain incompetent when it comes to delivering competitive aesthetics.
Sadly, I see no significant improvements coming from the competition in the forseeable future, because of the obvious flaws in the traditional decision making process. Too many chefs spoil the soup. Edited 2013-04-14 12:46 UTC
But in fairness though there are vendors that release 'nice looking hardware' (subjective at that) but at hamstrung by the fact that all they have to offer is Windows. As I've said in the past, for vendors to restore margins and stand out as something different they need to have an operating system of their own and actually be willing to spend the money to bring it up to speed. The problem is that far too many vendors such as Dell focus only from quarter to quarter sales and thus ignore the bigger picture are their own peril.
Well... Every opinion is a statement pro something or against something. I understand the "everything gets simple when one decide argument". However you can't use that argument on some of Apples "strategic" decisions. The ban of YouTube is an example of that. They limit the freedom of their customers, not because of adding value ,by making things simple, but of pure greed.