Are you feeling safe?

by Volker Weber

Having the dominant platform is hugely beneficial to the platform owner. This used to be the Microsoft play, and now it has turned into Apple's play. You buy an iPad because you know, you just know, that if there is software out there, that scratches your particular itch, it will run on iPad. Most likely it will be optimized to run on iPad, and if it isn't, it's still going to run in iPhone mode. Which ever since the Retina iPad 3 is quite usable.

Android has caught up. You can now expect companies to also write an Android version. It's most likely not going to be optimized for your display, and the Nexus 7 was conceived to change this.

As you leave the safe iOS and the promising Android space, you no longer know you are going to be served. You as a customer.

Microsoft is pushing really hard to get back into the safe space. The trouble is that Windows Phone applications won't run on Windows RT devices and Windows apps will not run on Windows Phone. It's going to get easier as more people write to the WinRT subsystem, but while WP7 apps will run on WP8, WP8 apps don't run on existing WP7 phones. Your Windows RT Surface will not run any of your existing Windows apps. None, zilch. As a software developer, what are you going to do?

Microsoft is further complicating matters with lots of different SKUs of Windows. While there is only one iOS and only one OS X, there are multiple version of Windows. Some can join an Active Directory, others can't. And there are multiple versions of Office. You just can't be sure what's going to work.

I can easily add a new Apple machine and have it inherit the state of any of my other machines, unattended and overnight. And I am so confident that it is going to work, that I would leave home the next day and not look back. In the last 15 months I have used four different iPhones and five different iPads. I have added a MacBook Air and returned it after a month. Without any effort whatsoever.

What a change of tides. Once you were safe, if you had Microsoft. Now you are safe, when you have Apple.

Comments

True words.

Alper Iseri, 2012-10-24 22:56

sad but true.

but we will know in a few days if the future is a looking brighter , but if a developer have to rewrite major parts of the code to get the applicated moved from RT to Phone(8) to W8 then its a lost cause.

Flemming Riis, 2012-10-24 23:26

There is only one big problem with using iPad/iPhone: it inherently insecure. Why? There is no "Core Root of Trust" in security hardware. This means that, despite all security measures around iPad/iPhones, the devices will be hacked. Even using MDM solutions (sandboxing) cannot provide sufficient security.

Admitted, you need physical presence to the device. However an "Evil Maid" attack, having access to the device for 30 minutes or so, will get the data without the user knowing it.

Boudewijn Kiljan, 2012-10-25 11:11

The "evil maid attack" stopped working after iPhone 4. That device is still being used in demos.

Volker Weber, 2012-10-25 11:15

http://threatpost.com/en_us/blogs/iphone-4s-falls-hacker-contest-new-iphone-5-vulnerable-same-exploit-092012

Boudewijn Kiljan, 2012-10-25 12:21

That is a very different attack that can be fixed in Webkit.

Volker Weber, 2012-10-25 12:23

After visiting the MS Server Summit the last days, i am also confused about the upcoming Microsoft product lineup. Yes, they all look the same, including the Server OS and the Backend Software, but they ARE not the same. Speakers tells you that you have to like the new GUI, but most of them are also confused by switching from Metro (Sorry, "Modern UI") to Desktop and back.
And, not only that there are different app versions for different platforms (WP8, W8, RT), there are different types of applications on the same system, "APPS" (Metro) and "classic" applications. Like IE10. What a mess!

Roland Dressler, 2012-10-25 14:49

Perhaps this article may slightly change your mind:

http://spottedzebrasoftware.com/blog/ignore-windows-8-at-your-peril/

Frank van Rijt, 2012-10-25 19:00

"The result is that most of the millions of people who buy an iPad mini will never seriously consider any of the alternatives. They know what works for them, and they trust Apple to deliver. That’s the power of the Apple brand."

from http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/10/24/why-apple-doesnt-care-about-its-competition/

Simon Laule, 2012-10-25 22:17

Frank, that article is based on the spiel that Microsoft gives to developers. I have seen it a couple of times. I suggest we don't throw URLs at each other. :-)

Volker Weber, 2012-10-25 23:07

Volker, sorry for throwing links.

I myself would not put my bets on any of the three eco-systems (Apple, Google, Msft) at this moment as it is very unpredictable to me which direction the crowd will be going in the next quarters; all them have their pro/cons which could flip the direction of the future. So I'll sit back wait and see what happens in the coming months.

Frank van Rijt, 2012-10-26 12:35

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vowe.net is a personal website published by Volker Weber a.k.a. vowe. I am an author, consultant and systems architect based in Darmstadt, Germany.

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