USA Today columnist Kevin Maney has written a fairly biting piece attacking Apple for what he calls its "control freak tendencies." The central theme of the complaint is Appleis refusal to license the controlling technology of the iTunes Music Store to other music player makers and online music stores, and he makes the comparison to Appleis refusal to license the Mac OS twenty years ago. From the column:
The iPod has half the digital music player market, and iTunes sells 70% of all legitimate music downloads. Jobs practically willed the digital music business into being. (Jobs, by the way, just had cancer surgery. He says he is OK and expects to fully recover. He also says heill be back to work in September.)
But Jobs has blown it before -- and, boy, does it look like heis blowing it again. Itis like some Shakespearean drama where the lead character both triumphs and is undone by the same powerful characteristic -- in Jobsi case, his evangelical fervor about his technology.
He also closes the column with the following:
[Avram Miller, a tech investor and former vice president at Intel], also an accomplished musician, goes on to call Apple "the Singapore of computing."
You know Singapore: autocratic, insular, elegantly engineered, repressively controlled -- and destined to never amount to more than a small but interesting dot on the world map.
We recommend this full column as an interesting and thought provoking read.