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What if Microsoft Were to Act Like Apple?

The war to be the ultimate platform

Let’s imagine that Microsoft made a statement that if a Web page was not developed in .Net, Internet Explorer won’t display it? This would make vendors of all other Web browsers very happy, because herds of developers who don’t plan to switch to .Net would start developing for Firefox and Safari.  Well, maybe some developers would sucked it up and learned .Net, but this wouldn’t become a trend – most likely the market share of Firefox, Safari and other browsers would start increasing.

This was not obvious for Steve Jobs when earlier this year he announced that iTunes wouldn’t be playing mp3 files that were not created in GarageBand. Oops, sorry, he said that Apple store wouldn’t accept applications that were not created in C-like language or JavaScript.

Six months later, Apple realized that this was announcement was plain stupid and admitted that it was made while smoking pot.  Was the decision to ban Flash Player has been also made under the influence? Lame arguments about technical issues of Flash Player may sound reasonable for housewives and farmers from Alabama. “Have you heard that Flash Player can crash your computer? I’m telling you! It was on TV!”

Adobe’s software has issues, so does Apple’s, and so does anyone else’s. The real reason of this conflict is that both companies are trying to present their software as THE ultimate platform for slave-developers that would help them make money. Both companies don’t give a damn about sticking to open standards – they care about making money, and I don’t see Adobe as a company that’s being bullied by Apple.

On mobile devices Apple doesn’t want any other platform but iOS. Have you noticed that Apple didn’t let hugely popular Java platform on their devices either? The reason is the same – developers can use any platform as long as it’s iOS. But why Oracle doesn’t make a stink about it? Is it because they’re larger than Adobe? Not at all. The difference is that after Sun Microsystems has neglected Java ME for mobile devices and didn’t deliver on JavaFX, Oracle has no platform to offer. If Oracle had just a little shot there they wouldn’t keep it quiet.

Does Oracle care about developers? Not really. Otherwise they wouldn’t sue Google over Java that was supposedly open sourced. They want Google to use Java on Android, but for a fee.

So what us, poor developers should do? What’s THE platform for development? What the next programming language to learn? If you are a professional developer working for money, stay away from development for mobile devices regardless if it’s iOS or Android. There is no money there – people want either free or $.99 applications. If you’re an enthusiast software developer who’s ready to work for food, just pick a programming language you like – Objective-C, ActionScript, Java, or anything else that has an if-statement and have fun.  Just don’t take very seriously what big shots from California are trying to sell you.

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More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay. He wrote a thousand blogs (http://yakovfain.com) and several books about software development. Yakov authored and co-authored such books as "Angular 2 Development with TypeScript", "Java 24-Hour Trainer", and "Enterprise Web Development". His Twitter tag is @yfain