Open or Closed Platform – Missing the Point?

Barely a day goes by without me reading a piece on the benefits of an ‘open’ operating system, whether this is Google Android or Linux or some other. This is of course in stark contrast to Apple, with their ‘closed’ systems a label which sees them depicted as something of a villain.

However, I want to pick up on some comments Steve Jobs made in a speech a few weeks ago about how open was all well and fine but it was no good if the open bits needed a degree in technical engineering to make them work together (he didn’t actually say this of course but that was his inference)

Now, at the risk of being called an Apple ‘fanboy’ (I do have a lot of Apple stuff) I think he has a point there. To me, the beauty of Apple products over the years (with one or two exceptions, Apple TV and Time Machine for example) is that they just work, open the box, sorry beautiful box, remove from lovely packaging and away you go. And guess what, if you’ve got other Apple stuff it will work with them too. If you can drive a Macbook, guess what again, you’ll feel right at home with an iPhone or an iPad. And this is the beauty of a closed or integrated system, yes it’s controlled but that means it just works.

Of course I see the benefits of mass community development of a platform and how that makes it cheaper and more accessible, but in truth, for the vast majority of people, don’t we just want stuff to work?

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