Betting on the web

Must-read analysis at Daring Fireball anatomizes the “war” between Flash and web standards as a matter of business strategy for companies, like Apple and Google, that build best-of-breed experiences atop lowest-common-denominator platforms such as the web:

It boils down to control. I’ve written several times that I believe Apple controls the entire source code to iPhone OS. (No one has disputed that.) There’s no bug Apple can’t try to fix on their own. No performance problem they can’t try to tackle. No one they need to wait for. That’s just not true for Mac OS X, where a component like Flash Player is controlled by Adobe.

I say what Apple cares about controlling is the implementation. That’s why they started the WebKit project. That’s why Apple employees from the WebKit team are leaders and major contributors of the HTML5 standards drive. The bottom line for Apple, at the executive level, is selling devices. … If Apple controls its own implementation, then no matter how popular the web gets as a platform, Apple will prosper so long as its implementation is superior.

Likewise with Google’s interest in the open web and HTML5. … So long as the web is open, Google’s success rests within its own control. And in the same way Apple is confident in its ability to deliver devices with best-of-breed browsing experiences, Google is confident in its ability to provide best-of-breed search results and relevant ads. In short, Google and Apple have found different ways to bet with the web, rather than against the web.

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4 thoughts on “Betting on the web”

  1. (Sorry for the OT, but: Opera Mini goes into an infinite confirmation loop when trying to handle the redirect to the mobile version of the ALA semantic Flash article. Looks from here like it’s trying to redirect to itself, and Mini displays the new/identical URL, and since it doesn’t tend to activate links to the same page… going to the URL directly doesn’t help, though, so I’d assume there’s an actual issue, and it’s not just Opera being weird.)

  2. Apple is so confident of their implementation of the open web that they need to ban all potential competitors from their platform.

    Truly inspiring.

  3. I don’t like Apples approach. It’s going against the grain of open (insert favoured web topic here) that the web is heading towards. Apple’s restrictions of Flash for example is a big gamble. Regardless of your view on Flash, it’s still a big part of the ‘web experience’.

    Ultimately though, either Flash will die or be reduced to a minor part of the old web or Apple will reverse their decision in the near future under the weight of an already established web component and it’s users/fans complaints.

    Personally for me, the web is an open platform and devices that don’t support a given technology do so at their own peril. The iPad is a bit of a joke; both short sighted and a quick money maker that wont dent the laptop or handheld market at all.

    Open universal platforms are the way forward and Apple are going against the grain.

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