July 14, 2010
...as Apple does it.
Don't get me wrong here. I'm no Microsoft-phile, nor am I an Apple hater, or even an open-source-rer for that matter. Honestly speaking, I find it really hard to choose one over the other in the real World where we all live, and perfection is far from a possibility. I revere Steve Jobs for the miraculous person that he is, for the vision he has, the products he creates... et al. And honestly speaking, it is very much possible that we all would still have ugly hardware for our devices (not that every other company is making them ugly, its just that Steve was the pioneer in realizing the Consumer Appliance aspect of computers as we see them today) had it not been for him. And the 'just works' and 'plug-n-play' was implemented by Apple way before any other company could come even close in competition. And even today, the implementation by Apple is as smooth and seamless as it gets. Not to mention the effect its products have on people. Once you start using an Apple product, you'll fall in love with it.
But there always has been this aspect of Apple that limits the freedom, in many ways. Apple always has kept some or the other form of restriction regarding its products. Be it hardware or software (again, I'm not denying the panache Apple's products have. It is probably the only company on the planet which can make people wait outside its stores for hours in advance for its latest product launch, and pretty much the only company which can get a pre-order of a million of its latest cellphone model, even before people actually get to see it; and the best part is, those people would include both, those who've experienced and own Apple's products, as well as those who're first-timers and are driven by the hype and the branding et al), Apple has got restrictions all over the place. Jobs, the Perfectionist Extraordinaire that he is, has his own way of putting it. He doesn't want the User Experience to get spoiled or hampered in any way because some piece of 'ugly' code was running on his product.
As I recently was reading, Apple was said to be an exception, apart from around a million ways in which it already has been touted as one, in the way its 'closed innovation' is driving open innovation. I personally feel that this is an increasingly open world, and it would be in the best of interest of all if Apple has more relaxed attitude towards open-source. That reminds me, check this out: this is one of the most famous advertising campaigns in history, the Apple 1984 superbowl ad, that revolutionized the impact the company had on the World. Closely listen to what the voice in the background-portrayed to be a dictator in technology world-has to say. Funny thing, today you can make similar sense out of Steve's words. Has Apple forgotten what it stood for?
I feel kind of stuck here. If I need to make a choice between open-source and Apple, which one would I make? No comments!