From a desktop perspective, the incumbent operating system dominates the market share which was built upon a complex ecosystem of hardware and software vendors. It’s a utilitarian world where the order of the day is to get the job done right. Software is passive and mostly non-interactive. Then came the world wide web. The web browser is engage in active mode, interactive. Electronic commerce is basically business-to-consumer driven. It’s the age of personal computers and wired networks. Operating systems matter a lot.
The advent of social networks and blogging brought a new world order. Software is active, mobile and interactive. Electronic commerce is basically business-to-business driven resulting in an API Gold Rush. It’s where I.T. meets the wireless world. This is the age of computers becoming mobile, and mobile becoming computers connected to wired and wireless networks. In this age, operating systems matter a lot because it’s a platform. But it’s more than operating systems. It’s more about ecosystems. OSNews has this to say:
But I think the lesson that we’ve all learned is that a computing platform revolution isn’t really about the operating system anymore, but about the ecosystem. Both iOS and Android have succeeded because they’re part of a movement to create a vibrant community of users, vendors, app developers, and web service providers that provide a useable, complete package.
Strategy aside, users are left to their preferences. You cannot control that. The ecosystem is there because it’s business. Open source or not, proprietary or not, that’s the vendor’s strategy. In this business, there’s always a trade-off between freedom and user experience.