Controlling Behaviour

Two very different press conferences/product launches happened today; you can’t have missed them.

  1. the iPad launch by Apple
  2. the completion of the Sun takeover by Oracle

But actually they had a very common theme: control.

Let’s take Apple and the iPad and indeed all their products; Apple exert complete control of the hardware that their product runs on; indeed on their mobile devices, they even control the applications that run on their hardware. Some people hate this, they really do not like this controlling element; they go out of their way to do things to break-free of this controlling element.

But for some reason, we stick with Apple’s products; we may hate the company but we love the product; we accept their control grudgingly. We like the fact that we don’t have to waste our precious time making things work together. And at the end of the day, we can get out of the relationship with Apple pretty easily if we really decide we don’t like them.

Now let’s take Oracle and Sun; Larry has looked back at history to the IBM of the 60s and I suspect at his friend Steve and decided I want some of that control. ¬†In fact, Oracle found people who say that are looking forward to Oracle controlling the whole stack? The one throat to choke but I’m willing to be that in big Enterprise computing, no-one really wants this; they don’t want to be locked in to a single vendor. We’ve been there and done that; we have choice, we have competition.

Yes, at one level, life would be a lot easier with a single throat to choke but we know where that leads and we know if we get too much into bed with Oracle, it’s going to be major struggle to get out of the relationship. There’s too much at stake to allow Oracle the same level of control we grudgingly accept from Apple.

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Martin Glassborow

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