The App Store

Microsoft has essentially been a shrink wrapped software company from the beginning. With all the web hubbub, you would think that Microsoft is a dinosaur. However it is not so easy to sell software over the Internet. As you will see from the Jason Calcanis blog snippet, it is tough to manage third party software sold on the web. This excerpt is posted with permission from Calcanis:

Like lemmings, we fell for your bar charts extolling the openness of the iPhone App platform and its massive array of applications. We over-paid for your phone–which you render obsolete every 13 months, like clockwork–and then signed our lives away to AT&T. The way you pay us back is by becoming the thought police, deciding what applications we can consume on the device we over-paid for!

Yes, every application on the phone has to approved by Apple, and if you were interested in something adult in nature…well…you can’t do that.

Apple’s justification for this nonsense is that they have to protect AT&T’s network. Oh really? Aren’t there dozens and dozen of open phones on everyone’s network? The network hasn’t crashed yet, and even if someone did create a malicious iPhone application, you would know EXACTLY who was running the application and be able to block and/or turn off their phone. The network was MADE to deal with these issues on a NETWORK level. To say you have to control people down to the application level defies all logic. A second year CS student understands this.

Who in their right mind feels the need to control the application-level anyway? It’s absurd.

Imagine for a moment if every application on Windows Mobile or Windows XP had to be approved by Microsoft–how would you react? Exactly. Once again we’ve enabled Steve Jobs’ insane control freak tendencies. This relationship is beyond dysfunctional–we are co-dependent.

Simple solution: Apple could have a basic system setting that says “Allow Non-Approved Applications.” When you click this setting, a pop up could come on warning that, if you click this setting, you are waiving your previously-understood customer service arrangement (i.e. only people with approved applications can hand over their money at the Genius bar).