Friday, October 12, 2007

iPhone saga shows that Apple is more controlling than Microsoft

Is Apple even more controlling than Microsoft? This question was posed by Kevin Tolly of Network World in his recent article of the same title.

Kevin noted that the iPhone arrived without many common applications, such as instant messaging or even Outlook client support. As such, third-party applications have become very important for power users as well as those looking at integrating the iPhone into an enterprise environment.

Right from the beginning, Apple has tried to stop benign content, such as custom ringtones, from being loaded onto the iPhone. The cat-and-mouse game apparently went on without any public statements on the matter.

Excerpt from Network World:

For a while it was very much a cat-and-mouse game between Apple and developers and was almost comical to observe. Developers would find that Apple had used a special name for ringtones and bang, custom ringtones worked. A few days later, Apple would change the name and the next day developers would figure out the new naming structure.

Notwithstanding, third-party software was able to deploy its own applications with ease, and it was apparently ignored. However, that came to a head with the release of version 1.1.1 of the iPhone firmware.

While patching a number of security vulnerabilities, the update also nuked all “renegade” developers in one fell swoop. Essentially, all data not signed and encrypted was wiped out and prevented from being installed again.

What Apple did here reveals that Apple is even more of a “control freak” than Microsoft, says Kevin. Proponents of bringing the iPhone into the enterprise should reconsider.

What is your opinion on this matter?

@courtesy TechRepublic

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