Thursday, January 18, 2007

CalacanisCast Beta 9 - open vs closed

I just listened to the CalacanisCast Beta 9 where discussion is around the iPhone and whether apple should have opened it up or not. Great discussion. Of course Doug Searls is disappointed (or probably even offended) by Apple using OS X for the iPhone instead of Linux, but that was to be expected.

There's an interesting point (I think it was by Mike Arrington or Dana Gardner, not sure) that most people still go for closed systems, because "they know what they will get".

Working on this idea, I think that the real reason behind is, that people think they know what they will get (with closed system), so it's just about perceived predictability or quality.

Which - in consequence - means that the reason closed systems are so popular is, because they (or their owners, builders, vendors, organizations) can afford marketing:
Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Oracle, Sun, ...

Lets check which open source systems are successfull:
  • Linux - marketing by RedHat, Novell/Suse and proxy marketing by IBM and HP.
  • FireFox - well FF only became successful when the Firefox organization started actively market it.
  • Apache ... hm... I guess one could argue proxy marketing through IBM and the likes as well here.
  • ... marketing by Sun and Novell

So its still like with VHS vs betamax... isn't it.

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