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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

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October 17, 2007 4:56 PM

Touching on Apple's big news today

Posted by Brier Dudley

The big surprise isn't that Apple's going to open the iPhone up to application developers, as Steve Jobs announced today.

Jobs said in May that the company would figure out a way to give developers iPhone access without compromising the device's security:

"Sometime later this year we will find a way to do that,'' he said at a Wall Street Journal conference.

What's really new today is Jobs' mentioning, in a postscript, that he'll also let developers write applications for the new touchscreen iPod. I'll bet people will do amazing things if Apple lets people really tinker with the wireless gadgets.

You've got to wonder how that's going over in Redmond. Microsoft hasn't had much luck rallying developers around its handheld, touchscreen computing platform, the Ultra-Mobile PC.

Five years ago Microsoft was way out in front with mainstream, touchscreen computing when it introduced the Tablet PC, but that's sort of fallen off the radar, even though Tablet features are built into Windows Vista.

The Zune could also be a nifty playground for developers, but in trying to build a seamless, Apple-like experience around the players, Microsoft hasn't given them any tools to work with the software.

Maybe Microsoft's more focused on mobile phones and Web services nowadays. But I can't imagine it will stand by and let Apple become the platform of choice for developers writing mobile, touch-computing applications.

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Posted by Bob

8:57 PM, Oct 17, 2007

"But I can't imagine it will stand by and let Apple become the platform of choice for developers writing mobile, touch-computing applications."

You mean like they didn't stand by and let AAPL become the leader in portable media, OSX to double or triple its marketshare, and the iPhone to beat them to mobile touch?

Posted by Graham Chastney

5:01 AM, Oct 18, 2007

What about all of the handheld touchscreen stuff that Microsoft is doing with its partners already.

Motorola paid $4B for Symbol because they want to get a part of the rapidly expanding market for handheld touchscreen devices. And Symbol uses - Windows.

Posted by Mark

12:02 PM, Oct 19, 2007

They HAVE a Zune phone. They have been showing it to
others. The interface is coming along, it'll be a great knockoff.

If it only played Halo..........

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Gadgets and games | Fun stuff I've written about lately includes Apple's iPhone, Hewlett-Packard's HDX laptop and Microsoft's Halo3. Also on the radar are new digital video boxes such as the Tivo HD and the Vudu.