Microsoft Dismisses “Locked Down” iPad

| iPad

Microsoft's director of product management for the developer platform, Brandon Watson, thinks Apple missed the boat with the iPad because he sees the multimedia tablet as a locked down device, according to Technologizer.

Mr. Watson sees Apple's reliance on Objective C instead of Microsoft's .NET platform as a drawback for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch because he thinks it limits the applications developers can create and shuts them out of coding for some devices.

"It is a humorous world in how Microsoft is much more open than Apple," he said.

Mr. Watson added that by not using .NET, coding for the iPad and iPhone OS is far more costly, and that Apple has alienated a large group of programmers because of its programming language decisions.

In a sense, Apple does lock down its iPhone OS-based devices by limiting developers and application buyers to using its App Store instead of using the same model that desktop and laptop computers use: Letting users buy applications anywhere they want, and not requiring an approval process before those applications are available to consumers.

In that sense, Microsoft is no better with its Zune media player and Zune Marketplace. While there are applications available for Zune owners at the Zune Marketplace, the online app center isn't open yet to third-party developers.

Despite what could be seen as a closed system for third party applications, the iPhone and iPod touch seem to be doing fine for Apple, customers and many developers -- and the iPad will likely see the same success.

Sign Up for the Newsletter

Join the TMO Express Daily Newsletter to get the latest Mac headlines in your e-mail every weekday.

36 Comments Leave Your Own

Khaled

wait, how much is MS visual studio, their development platform :p ?

b8robot

Locked down, how? 140,000 applications are available, you call that locked down? 3 Billion downloads, I’d say that is a huge success whether you call it locked down or not. What has .net gotten Microshaft? Nothing! Zune, loser!!!
I’m just shocked how many of these execs just don’t get Apple’s success and keep denying Apple’s products. They did the same thing with the retail stores, the iPod, the iPhone. Apple has grown from all of these things with big success and yet these other execs from Nintendo, Microsoft, Nokia, they all are in big denial, it’s really funny!

daemon

wait, how much is MS visual studio, their development platform :p ?

It’s free.

geoduck

Mr. Watson sees Apple’s reliance on Objective C instead of Microsoft’s .NET platform as a drawback

Of course he’d say that, he’s in the business of selling .NET Duh

Apple has alienated a large group of programmers because of its programming language decisions.

And how many apps are in the App store? And how many in the Zune Store? Doesn’t seem like there’s any developer flight from the platform to me.

Microsoft is no better with its Zune media player and Zune Marketplace

Mr Pot, Meet Mr Kettle

Despite what could be seen as a closed system for third party applications, the iPhone and iPod touch seem to be doing fine for Apple, customers and many developers—and the iPad will likely see the same success.

Yes, in the marketplace there is a big market for locked down, just work, don’t worry about patching, limited devices. When’s the last time someone complained that they could not write programs for their DVR, or Microwave. Computing has matured and the tinkerer portion of the user base is receding. Using a computer is no longer a novelty. More and more users just want something that works. It’s a new paradigm and those of us who’ve been playing with computers since the’70s just need to adapt.

wilf53

When?s the last time someone complained that they could not write programs for their DVR, or Microwave. Computing has matured and the tinkerer portion of the user base is receding. Using a computer is no longer a novelty. More and more users just want something that works. It?s a new paradigm and those of us who?ve been playing with computers since the?70s just need to adapt.

Braco, Geoduck! You nailed down what so many have difficulties to grasp. Apple isn’t making computers the way they used to be, as hobby projects for the geeks and nerds. That was the way it started out and that attitude has lingered on. A PC is something you should be able to tinker with, otherwise it is not worth it.

But yes, that group was never a huge crowd and compared to the ever growing numbers of users of computing devices all over the planet, the hobbyists are even fewer in comparison.

The rest of us are just not interested. I am not interested in spending my time under the hood or underneath my car, either, although I know those who love it. My wife, for instance:) But as for me, I just want the car to run. And I want my computers to do what I want them to. I have no need to tinker with them. I am happy to leave that to the specialists.

So, yes, the iPad is locked down just like your microwave is locked down and your digital camera, too. Your electric razor is pretty much locked down, too.
Other than that, isn’t .NET Microsoft’s proprietary technology?
Aren’t developers locked in with Microsoft by using it?

Is it just that the prison Microsoft provides is so huge so it covers nearly the whole planet? The prisoners inside think it is the ones outside who are locked in - but they are actually locked out:)

jbruni

I expect nothing less (or more) from MSFT.

rjackb

Actually, you CAN develop with .NET for the iPhone and iPad. It’s called MonoTouch (see http://monotouch.net/).

James

Uh . . . were we expecting “Microsoft Does Happydance for iPad! Ballmer Places First Pre-order!”? I still say, just as with any nascent tech, the potential here is huge (and I also say this is a supplemental device-and one helluva supplemental device),  I’m withholding any meh-ing until we’ve seen native apps and whatever cool stuff third parties are working on, not to mention what will almost certainly be added to a Rev B and the interoperability with all of our other stuff that will almost certainly be added. Granted, I am someone who has dug to the absolute depths of the functionality of my iPhone, and I can see where everyday email checkers and Facebookers might not perceive the thresh hold we’re standing on, but really-behold the future folks.

Urby

I agreed with Microsoft when I read the title, and then I read the article.
It’s a closed platform because it doesn’t use .NET?!?! WHAT?!?!
It’s like Microsoft is set on giving me more and more reasons to hate them :S

Andyda

Didn’t Steve Balmer say some of the same things about the iPhone when it was first introduced.  About how the iPhone couldn’t possibly succeed and how it could not compete in the smart phone market.

Well, if this is any indication of the success Apple can expect for the iPad.  Too bad for Apple, as it looks like Apple has another huge hit on their hands.

I read another article that discusses some Netbook mfg’s having to rethink their pricing structure because of the aggressive pricing on the iPad.

I plan to order two as soon as they are available… 

1 for me and 1 for my wife.

Yep, Apple has another failure (vbg) on their hands and with MS’s blessing it will just be more so.

Just MHO, YMMV

Andy

geoduck

Didn?t Steve Balmer say some of the same things about the iPhone when it was first introduced.

Yes and I seem to remember similar comments from the big MP-3 player companies when the first iPod came out too. Now what were their names again? It’s been so long since I’ve heard from any of them I forget.

McDughf

It?s free.

Ermmmm, yeah, We’re Not Interested In EXPRESS versions of tools thankyou very much. wink

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

When?s the last time someone complained that they could not write programs for their DVR, or Microwave.

When’s the last time someone wanted to view a Flash website? When is the last time someone wanted to browse the web and share links on Twitter? Or copy a few pictures from the web to use in an email?

Microsoft Guy was tangentially awkward in his specific criticism of the iPad. But he’s right about locked down. People who buy these things will be “all in” (apologies to B-Chaff who won’t be playing online poker with an iPad). The iPad is gonna test the limits of how much locking down people will tolerate. It’s also going to endure a strong backlash. The CNBC special about “apps”, which was made pre-iPad and focussed on iPhone, actually gave a fair but non-judgmental overview of the issues of Apple being in control. They had a very eloquent critic who voiced the uneasiness that many have with situations like that.

vpndev

I guess he’s channeling his boss…

“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance,” said Ballmer.

FlipFriddle

Microsoft talking about closed systems is hilarious. Exchange anyone?

Sour grapes because the tech world isn’t talking about them. “Quick issue a press release with the word iPad in it, so we show up in a Google search.”

“Great and closed” is better than “open and mediocre” any day. I like my closed DVR, and my closed car, and my closed refrigerator. They work great.

“Microsoft: Good Enough for more than 20 years”

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

wait, how much is MS visual studio, their development platform :p ?

Wrong question. Time to market is the ultimate cost. If your app sits in limbo for over a year, and remains in limbo, like an app featured on the CNBC special that lets users have a second phone number on their iPhones, it doesn’t matter what tools you bought.

Even if you’re focussed on development tools, wrong question. If iPad had been a Mac, you could pick up $99 REALbasic Personal and write some pretty nifty apps for it. You don’t need proficiency with any variation of C to write very nice apps these days.

Lee Dronick

Khaled said:wait, how much is MS visual studio, their development platform :p ?
It?s free.

I am not being a wise guy when I ask this, but what are the differences between the free Express version and the Pro version?

Chandra Coomar

Microsoft have a real problem brewing. Loss of Win 7 licence sales on netbooks and low-end laptops, despite the current boom this quarter.
Walt Mossberg has made the important point that the price points set for the iPad will have dire consequences for cheap laptop and netbook makers. The iPad brings the headroom below Apple’s previous pricing umbrella height (MacBook prices) so uncomfortably low, I expect there to be mass asphyxiation among netbook makers. How can they breathe when there is no headroom for a profit any longer? How much lower can they go and survive? How much lower can Apple go, in years to come, while simultaneously raising its iPad specs?
In April and thereafter, there will be so little profit margin below Apple’s price umbrella, that there will be insufficient oxygen for most netbook makers to compete AND turn a profit. When iPad appears, they will be gasping for air. By 2010, they’ll be choking and breathing their own fumes. By 2011, RIP netbooks except for a very few, very cheap, very nasty survivors, all running Android or Linux. At that time, Apple can either stop reducing prices, or start raising them gradually with each new feature refresh.
Where MS is the OS provider for netbooks, they will have to reduce their licensing rates pronto, but even so, sales will dwindle to nothing anyway. Only free OS vendors may apply. There is no viable case for ramping up the price of netbooks, as MS has asserted. No manufacturer can compete with iPad prices because Apple owns the OS, the A4 chip and makes its own batteries too. So, although the iPad is shockingly cheap, Apple’s margins on it are as good as ever.

geoduck

MS criticism is a bit hollow. 140k apps, thousands of developers and tens of millions of happy customers suggest that the market DOES like the locked down model. As long as they can run the system, it works, it doesn’t get the virus du jure,  they can get an app to do what they want, and it works, there’s a lot of people that are happy with that.

Actually I’m even coming around. I might just get one despite not having a camera. Without a camera I can still Skype, just not video. I have my MacBook for Video Skype so for on the road this might just do everything I need. Plus I got big hands. I’ve been thinking of an iPodTouch but it just seems tiny. This looks like something I can grab ahold of, that these old eyes can read, and that would do what I want.

In the final analyses that’s what a product should do: what I want.

jbruni

I expect there to be mass asphyxiation among netbook makers. How can they breathe when there is no headroom for a profit any longer?

A lot of the profit the netbook makers could have made was eaten up by Microsoft in Windows licenses. Since Apple makes the OS and the processor, they don’t have to worry about Microsoft or Intel squeezing profits due to single-supplier constraints.

Nom

Just to clarify, is this the same .NET that doesn’t work at all on Mac OS X or Linux devices, or some new, standards compliant, cross platform version?

At least Flash is supported on more than just Windows.

dhp

That MS guy is right. Apple just doesn’t get that when customers go shopping for a device, their first concern is whether the apps are developed using .NET or objective C.

Microsoft = “Developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers.”

Apple = “End users, end users, end users, end users, end users, end users.”

salparadise

How disappointing.
Eagerly I did log in, head brimming with indignant words, but everyone already said more or less everything there was to say.


They’re just jealous because the Windows 7 HP tablet went down like a lead balloon and now everyone is talking about the iPad.
Besides, MS are famous for dismissive remarks which end up being quoted back to them for years afterwards…
“There are people who don’t like capitalism, and people who don’t like PCs. But there’s no one who likes the PC who doesn’t like Microsoft”

They did get one right though…
“The next generation of interesting software will be made on a Macintosh, not an IBM PC.”

Lancashire-Witch

I?ve been thinking of an iPodTouch but it just seems tiny. This looks like something I can grab ahold of, that these old eyes can read, and that would do what I want.

Exactly Geoduck. The choice isn’t iPad or Netbook. Neither is the choice locked-down or open.  The iPad is a gadget and every gadget since PDAs appeared has had its limitations.  I think you’re right. The choice is between a ‘touch’ and the iPad - assuming they both do what you want.

Choosing a computer is quite a different matter. The choice is enormous - from Acer NetBook/Windows 7 to 27-inch iMac/OS X. But it excludes iPods, Zunes, Blackberries, AppleTVs,  etc. (Please don’t pull me up over the examples - that’s not the point)

Risks and incompatibilities are inherent in everything. I despair holding a Nokia phone. 15+ years and they still don’t have a standard way of navigating thru the functions. They drive me crazy. Not surprising the iPhone is a success. Locked-down is fine - because it’s easy to use and does what I want; and I don’t mind if a small plastic “Leggo brick” appears from time to time.

The only time I paused watching Steve Jobs was when he said “Netbooks aren’t better at anything”  Well - I think they are better at being a computer than any gadget. But Steve is not here to sell you a computer. He’s selling you a gadget. He clearly outlined the things it’s designed to do.—and it does a lot!

Apple’s recent history shows that people like its products - both computers and gadgets; locked-down or not.  It’s now a while since the word “computer” was dropped from the name. The company direction is clear - Mobile Gadget. Much to Bosco’s dismay - and mine too to a certain extent.

Jeevan

Is this post a joke? LOL

Apple should stay the way they’re now. We don’t get too many goofs creating viruses for iPhone or Apple computers. Microsoft is so open that there’s far too many viruses….

Have you guys seen this MadTV video for iPad? It was made in 2005. LOL
http://www.flicksworld.com/madtv/apples-new-ipad-for-women-video_13cb3184d.html

jameskatt

Someone is going to create a video camera for the iPad that you can attach to its port, just as you can attach SDHC cards to the the iPad.  With software, this will work for doing video and video conferencing.

zebrum

I used to develop .NET CF applications but the iPhone is much easier and more powerful. Objective C was easy to learn and I prefer it over C# because the code is cleaner and you don’t need to check for nulls all the time. XCode runs at the speed I think at, where as I found myself always waiting for Visual Studio because it hangs all the time. Also the iPhone frameworks are much more than just objective C, there are classes for managing a navigation stack and its easy to make tables, .NET has nothing like this. Overall I’d say I can make an app for the iphone in a day that would take a month on .NET CF, and then the result I wouldn’t even be able to sell because the MS store is useless.

So I 100% disagree with Brandon Watson, and I expect he hasn’t even used either of the two.

jesusfreak12

Every 10 years since apple was born,the company begins to die and struggle, almost to the point of going out of business. And its just about that time again!!!!YAY!


                            -ZuneHD Owner

Fredrik Olsson

wait, how much is MS visual studio, their development platform :p ?

Visual Studio 2008 Standrd edition starts at $245.49 on amazon.com.

The iPhone SDK is $0 to get started targeting the free simulator, and $99 to run on device and publish on App Store.

There are many meanings to the word open, the iPhone and iPad are sure “open” for business.

zebrum

It is $99 per year world wide on the App Store and free to submit apps.

Microsoft is also $99 per year but only offer 5 free app submissions and then charge $99 per try. (So if have a game and fail the tests 5 times you will pay $500). Developers cannot sell an app in all Countries available; they have to sell it in only one. If you want more then you have to pay $10 per Country! Also they only accept apps for other countries submitted in the localized language.

Microsoft has not paid developers the money they are owed:
http://msmobiles.com/news.php/8911.html

Intruder

Every 10 years since apple was born,the company begins to die and struggle, almost to the point of going out of business. And its just about that time again!!!! there’s no sign of that happening right now!!!Yay!


? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? -useless troll

FTFY.

daemon

Visual Studio 2008 Standrd edition starts at $245.49 on amazon.com.

Or you know…. you could get the express versions for Free.

vpndev

Apple owns the OS, the A4 chip and makes its own batteries too

I don’t think they’re in the battery business. Given the past year or two that would be stupid. And Apple’s not stupid.

vpndev

If Mr Watson wants to complain about developers being locked in then he needs first to talk with those in Microsoft who control the patents that Microsoft holds over .NET technologies.

Some Linux distributions no longer include the open-source Mono implementation of .NET—because MS threatens patent enforcement.

Solve that problem, Mr Watson, and then you have standing. Until then, shut up.

ctopher

Its been a few years since I checked, but last I knew the express version of Visual Studio lacked any of the “visual” aspects. It does not include MFC, the framework that makes writing applications easier. It lacks the visual formatting tools that allow you to lay out interface elements and have code stubs ready for you to fill out.

It does include the compilers and linkers so you can use other frameworks like qT or wxWidgets, but the environment works best for Microsoft’s own frameworks and it does not include those in the Express version.

According to Wikipedia it doesn’t include 64 bit support 64-bit support either.

It’s meant for hobbyists.

(OT: I love the post preview feature and edit? Be still my heart smile )

vpndev

@rjackb:

Actually, you CAN develop with .NET for the iPhone and iPad. It?s called MonoTouch (see http://monotouch.net/).

But if you do then you run the risk that MS will sue you for patent infringement. MS has said that you can “do your own thing” with .NET/Mono. But it has NOT said that you can sell what you develop, and I think that’s what you were meaning when you said “develop”

Specifically, the MS license terms are NOT compatible with GPL. Some of the Linux distros no longer include Mono for exactly this reason.

Log-in to comment