Product & Startup Builder

Betting on Windows - iPhone a closed platform?

Added on by Chris Saad.
I've stayed quiet on the iPhone announcement because I figured that it was getting more than enough coverage from everyone else - I certainly had nothing original to say. It looks like a very nice device - although the name is in some dispute!

This quote, however, got my attention.

From this post on Michael Gartenburg's Jupiter Research blog, in regard to the iPhone being a closed system (as opposed to an open platform for 3rd party developers), Steve Jobs said:

"You don't want your phone to be an open platform", meaning that anyone can write applications for it and potentially gum up the provider's network, says Jobs. "You need it to work when you need it to work. Cingular doesn't want to see their West Coast network go down because some application messed up."


We have received a bit of heat for choosing .NET (and by extension - favoring windows) for the first version of Touchstone. The early adopters among us (probably most people reading this blog) seem to have a cult like 'appreciation' for all things Apple and some refuse to accept that perhaps a small startup should target the platform with the most users first (i.e. Windows).

Putting the 'Crossing the Chasm' arguments aside - and I will get a lot of flak for this - one of the reasons I actually like Windows and will typically bet on Microsoft every time is because they understand that ultimately while overall user experience and style are becoming more important (and to me they are VERY important) - better tools and platforms will win every time.

What does that mean?

With the XBOX 360 they understood that it was not about building the most powerful hardware mix, but rather building the best overall entertainment solution. A solution that had a known platform and comprehensive development tools.

With Windows Mobile, they understood (before Palm did) that they should separate the software from the hardware and make the development tools easy.

With Windows Embedded and Windows Media Center they are doing the same thing and will therefore outplay Apple TV and Tivo etc.

And each time they do what they do best. They leverage Windows (in this case the many, many windows programmers - both amateur and pro) to create broad developer adoption for devices based on their OS.

By building a great software platform and the tools, they empower developers to more quickly (and therefore cheaply) target the device. The result - more content/software for your device and more extensibility.

User choice.

All that being said though, I thought the iPhone is based on OSX? So why can't developers write apps for it?

Update: Read/Write Web has some coverage of this too.