Software, Hardware, Silverware

The Discomforting Nature of Ecosystems

Shadoe Huard:

For me, that discomfort hit when I realized that it isn’t the technical hurdles holding me back from taking the plunge on my first non Apple product in years, but simply the mere inconvenience resulting from having to take a few extra steps to complete tasks Apple has by and large automated for me. For someone less technically savvy, the thought alone of using products from different platforms must be overwhelming.

He makes some good points about ecosystems throughout, and his piece is definitely worth a read, but I have to disagree with the above. Isn’t that right there the very reason to stick with Apple in the first place? Because their ecosystem is so darn good, and so many things — iCloud and AirPlay, for example — are “automated”. “It just works”.

The problem is that every computing platform wants to be a basket. Even if I switched to another another vendor’s smartphone, I’d still be encouraged - likely with good reason, to switch into their ecosystem. But who can, or wants, to keep re-committing their digital lives in that fashion whenever they buy a new computer?

Arguing that companies like Apple should ditch the ecosystem model — even if that is better for consumers — simply isn’t going to work, they’re never going to do it. So that leaves us with choosing which ecosystem is best. And I, and millions of others, think that’s Apple.