A thought struck me this morning: would you really want your database/application server/office productivity suite/etc. developer to also be the author of your operating system? On one level, the answer is an easy 'yes': tighter integration between the OS and the applications that run on it is a good thing.
On the other side of this coin, however, is the reality that today's integration is tomorrow's barrier to entry against all other applications. Take Microsoft, for example.
Microsoft has arguably done a very good job of encouraging third-party applications on its Windows platforms. But Microsoft has done less well once it starts to compete in a given application market against its partners. Even where the company has a financial incentive to boost the partner, it has a competing incentive to boost itself.… Read more