Interoperability, at any Cost…

Sometimes I am amazed at just how different the consumer technology world looks at interoperability and industry standards as compared to the B2B and general app software industry.

I really do believe that concepts like the cloud and open source have ushered in a new era of application design and deployment – integration and coexistence is getting easier and easier.

Yet – we still see countless examples in the consumer tech world that buck this trend. Sony has long attempted to create models where all of your devices and the means to store and play media must be part of the Sony stack. It’s a bummer and what I think will ultimately be the downfall of the electronics giant.

New technologies emerging with implied lock-in strategies, like Blu-Ray for example, also fit the bill.

Apple created a major game-changer when it introduced iTunes. But since it is really just (in Apple’s eyes) an avenue for iPod and iPhone sales – locking out other devices has become the modus operandi. Even when devices hack the code - Apple quickly moves to lock them back out.

I don’t know, maybe it is because CRM by nature needs to talk to other systems, or maybe I’m too deep in the open source mindset, but it bugs me to see these lock-in models permeate consumer markets.

The Palm hack of iTunes is more a marketing and revenue move than a political statement for interoperability. But whatever it takes, I guess…

2 thoughts on “Interoperability, at any Cost…

  1. I agree that it would make more sense to keep tech open for most situations. There are times where a closed model makes sense for controlling compatibility. But, since the success rate really seems hit or miss, I don’t think choosing that route just to lock-in consumers is the way to go.

  2. “Lock in” an obvious strategy that is followed by all vendors of proprietary technologies. The only way this is gets countered is when no single vendor controls an entire stack of technologies, processors are not manufactured by micrososft, so linux has a chance, Macs aren’t the only personal computing platforms, so iPod has to be able to hook up to PC and iTunes has a windows port.

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