Open and Closed Platforms
Essay Preview: Open and Closed Platforms
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In order to create a successful platform, there are two basic strategies: a closed platform and open platform.* A closed platform- is a platform that does not allow any external party to use it. However, its an internal platform for organization or a limited group of partners. *An open platform- on the other hand, is a platform that allows any interested user to use it. The best example of a closed platform, for my opinion, is Apples operating system. At the beginning Apple chose the closed approach, meaning that only Apple could develop applications on its operating system, and the operating system went along with the hardware, only Apple computers could use the operating system (Mac OS). In contrast, Microsoft chose the open platform approach, which allowed anyone interested in developing applications to do so. In addition, any hardware manufacturer could install its operating system on the computer (you can have windows software on hp, dell, etc.). Even today, with the operating system for smartphones, Apple chose the closed platform approach, although more open than before. Apples iOS operating system allows applications to be developed by external developers (and therefore has hundreds of thousands of iPhone applications), but it is still closed because Apple needs to approve the applications and there is no full access to the operating system code.
In contrast, Google with the Android operating system chose the open platform approach, where the code is open source, meaning that each developer has access to the operating system code. Of course, both approaches have advantages and disadvantages. In some cases, there is a preference for an open platform and other cases where the platform is closed. But if you are looking at the long run- the closed platform takes priority in the early stages of industry life, but over time, open platforms are the ones that control the market and become dominant. Apple proves this theory twice, even with its operating system for computers and its operating system for phones. In both cases, Apple was the market leader and in fact created the market, but over time, the open platforms became the leader in the market, for example: Microsoft and Android. Worldwide, there are already more phones with the Android operating system than an iPhone.