Your Ecosystem Is The Poison You’ve Picked

There will never be agreement and acceptance no matter what ecosystem you have chosen.  Which is it?  Apple, Google, or Microsoft?  Anyone that tries to span multiple ecosystems is going to have a tremendous time trying to keep everything in sync between them.  And for all the wonder an ecosystem brings, it’s also sad.

The Internet was created to provide a neutral environment for services.  The first instance of the “walled garden” was AOL.  “Walled gardens” existed  before the Internet (Compuserve, Dephi, etc.), but that was out of necessity.  AOL came and built a community within a larger community.  And for quite a while, they prospered.  But people started getting savvy and peeking over the walls more and more.  Eventually, they wanted to experience the rest of the world.

The next attempt at corralling users was through authentication.  Why do you need to have so many usernames and passwords when you could just use one?  Microsoft was huge on that concept, with Passport, then Windows Live, now it’s just your Microsoft (or Windows) account.  But it never caught on, right?  Well, not until Facebook started providing the same shared login functionality.

The big battleground now is with mobile devices.  You either have iOS, Android, or Windows Phone, which means you have either an Apple account, Google account, or Microsoft account.  That’s how your data gets stored, backed up, and shared.  Facebook was rumored for a long time to be making a mobile device, but they don’t have an operating system to back it up, so it’s unlikely that would happen.  Amazon tried it and didn’t make it.

But back to the main point, what if you are a Windows user and have an iPhone?  Why wouldn’t you want to have the full integrated experience of the Apple world and get a Mac?  Conversely, why not have the full integrated experience with the Windows phone?  Why not be platform agnostic and just use Google’s services from either OS with an Android phone?

I guess what I’m trying to get across is that the concept of integration is too tightly aligned with the concept of lock-in.  And being locked in to any platform is never a good idea.  I’m looking at you, Facebook.

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