WSJ Op-Ed Piece by Holman W. Jenkins Jr. Argues Apple Is Getting All Microsofty

Holman W. Jenkins Jr. on the iPad:

And what about Apple’s decision to exclude Flash? Apple and its supporters stake out aesthetic and philosophical grounds: Flash is buggy. Flash is a power hog. Flash is “proprietary” (horrors). Flash is used to create those annoying Web ads (never mind that advertising is what pays for most of the Web).

Uh huh. Flash would also allow iPhone and iPad users to consume video and other entertainment without going through iTunes. Flash would let users freely obtain the kinds of features they can only get now at the Apple App Store.

So his argument is that no matter how bad Flash is technically and experience-wise, Apple should add it to the iPad so people can watch Hulu. And that there’s no other way to obtain video for the iPad other than stuff you buy from iTunes. Jiminy. If only there were, say, a YouTube app included with the OS.

I suppose that if you really miss things like Hulu and animated web ads, it makes sense to argue that Apple should support Flash on iPhone OS no matter what. I honestly don’t see how anything regarding the iPad, the iTunes Store, or Apple’s policy toward Flash is in any way reminiscent of Microsoft, though. I’d say the iPad only serves to bring into relief just how different the two companies have become. Perhaps what Jenkins is getting at is Apple’s willingness to impose its will, to make decisions rather than offer choices.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010