As it explains, Apple is the arbiter of every application that appears on the App Store, both internally or externally developed, creating a situation in which 3rd party developers are loosely similar to internal teams at Microsoft.
Microsoft never tried to be gatekeeper of what could or couldn't be published on Windows, thus it could only control the fate of its internal apps, whereas Apple can control both internal and external apps equally, thus the loosely parallel situation even though in Apple's case their strategy tax can be used to kneecap external developers just as much as internal ones.
For example, it's some person's job at Apple to make the iBooks store the most successful ebook store, but it's another person's job to make the iOS platform the most attractive, popular platform. My point in the final paragraph was that the only way for Apple to reconcile this tension may be to decide that the complete domination of Apple's businesses built on the iOS platform actually would make iOS the most attractive, possible platform. Ergo, the "What's good for Apple is good for America" reference. But when Apple's businesses have so many practical and now financial advantages versus competitors, how sure can Apple really be that its iOS content businesses would be winning based on their merits and not because of their "unfair" advantages? (That is, assuming the platform isn't stunted even sooner by customers abandoning it as their favorite non-Apple businesses decide they can't or won't agree to Apple's latest round of policy changes.)
If I ever feel like the webkit team isn't pushing into new technologies as aggressively as possible, I get nervous. For example, it would probably be in Apple's best interest for Mobile Safari not to support offline storage. It would force developers who need offline features into creating native apps instead.
In this way, I think the Google Chrome team is giving us a good yardstick for measuring Apple's willingness to compete.
Dropping offline storage is such a big deal there would be a major outcry (plus it would destroy their marketing claims that Safari is the best browser - regardless of whether that is true or not).
But if the mobile safari user-experience is just a little bit worse than a native UI then that would cause real problems - especially on an Apple platform where there are large numbers of developers who notice and find that kind of thing important.
Agreed. I would say they still are pushing as hard if not more.
To claim that it was only ever because of Google is unfair at best.
I certainly never made that claim so I don't know where you're getting that from.
My point is that Apple is pushing HTML5 hard right now and if they ever stop, I'll get nervous. How will I know if they stop pushing? If/when the Google team is implementing features developers care about and Apple doesn't. Competition is good.
> Apple isn't facing a "strategy tax," per the Microsoft example; it's making a strategic mistake.
Except that a mistake is when the downsides outweigh the upsides. We don't yet know if Apple has made such a strategic mistake. So if we can say that Apple has incurred a strategy tax, then it seems like a strategy tax is merely the (omnipresent) downside of any strategic decision.
What is striking about the Microsoft example is (indeed) that the company is actively harming (read: hindering) itself. I'm not sure "tax" is the best descriptive term for this phenomenon, but I think the author intended the distinction. It is a tax in that you are redistributing (within the corpus, and hopefully profitably or at least equitably) the value of certain efforts (read: features).