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Throwing out software that works
By Dave Winer on Friday, August 20, 2010 at 2:07 AM.

A picture named computerLib.gifInteresting piece with a simple point by Marco. permalink

He shows how the smartphone market was transformed in 2007 by the introduction of the iPhone. He's right that the lack of a removable battery and slots did not hinder the adoption of the iPhone. But I don't recall people saying it would be a failure because of its lack of expandability in hardware. However I do remember criticism for its lack of expandability in software.  permalink

Marco then extrapolates that the same is about to happen in netbooks. I agree with his conclusion, but I don't agree with the reason. And as with the iPhone, we're losing something important if the transition we agree is happening actually happens.  permalink

The key difference: There was no bottleneck for software in the pre-iPad netbooks. It matters. I just read an article about the Republican party running sexist TV ads, on my iPad, but had to get up and look at the same page on my Mac so I could watch the video. permalink

I uploaded a video to Flickr from my iPhone 4, looks fine on my desktop but the video is postage-stamp size on the iPad.  permalink

I wanted to set the location on the map but Yahoo's mapping software doesn't work on the iPad.  permalink

We're entering an era of deliberate degradation of the user experience and throwing overboard of software that works, for corporate reasons.  permalink

That said, I'd prefer to read a book like Computer Lib/Dream Machines on an iPad than on paper. But I don't want a corporation deciding what software I can and can't use, or what I can and can't read. permalink

What I want is the convenient form factor without the corporate filter.  permalink

It's way too simplistic to believe that we'll get that, but we had it. That's what I don't like -- deliberate devolution.  permalink

PS: Looping back to an earlier piece that mentioned in passing that Microsoft was once able to think and act big, look at how they blew the opening created by netbooks.  permalink

PPS: Why the iPad form is winning -- the netbook makers are abdicating. It's likely because Microsoft and Intel have exerted too much control, behind the scenes, and kept the market from growing.  permalink

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