May 30 2007

“Closed” Computers: retro or not?

Published by at 11:08 am under retro

Twenty five years ago, an open hardware spec (IBM PC) and a mediocre, proprietary operating system (DOS evolving to various forms of Windows) nearly killed off closed systems which bundled software and hardware (Atari, Apple, et. al.). But now closed systems are making a comeback. First Apple’s Mac is gaining share in the laptop market and is certainly thriving. Then there’s Apple TV and don’t forget the iPod. All are tightly sealed. And now Microsoft seems to be making a move in the same direction. Today they announced their “Surface” table computer; hardware with a slick vista based interface. Initially, it will be only for commercial use. Recently, they also announced developers tools which target the Xbox game machine; another closed system. So maybe we’ll be seeing a variety of ‘applications’ that run on the Xbox which will at least turn it into an Internet client and maybe more.

Microsoft seems to be moving away from all soft to closed hard(ware)? Open they’ve neer been.

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