FCC Opens Inquiry of Apple’s Ban of Google Voice Apps for iPhone

Fawn Johnson and Amy Schatz, reporting for the WSJ:

The Federal Communications Commission has launched an inquiry into why Apple Inc. rejected Google Inc.’s Internet-telephony software for the popular iPhone, another sign of the Obama administration’s stepped-up scrutiny of competitive practices in the technology industry.

In letters sent late Friday to the two companies and AT&T Inc., the FCC asked why Apple rejected the Google Voice application for the iPhone and removed related applications from its App Store. The letter also seeks information on how AT&T, the exclusive U.S. iPhone carrier, was consulted in the decision, if at all.

The FCC’s letter to Apple (PDF) asks very pointed questions about what role, if any, AT&T played in this decision, and asks Apple, “What are the standards for considering and approving iPhone applications?”

This should be good.

HexFiend 2.0

Peter Ammon has released a major update to HexFiend:

This app is about exploring the implementation of standard desktop UI features in the realm of files too large to fully read into main memory. Is it possible to do copy and paste, find and replace, undo and redo, on a document that may top a hundred gigabytes, and make it feel natural? Where do we run into trouble?

Cultured Code

My thanks to Cultured Code for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed to promote Things, their excellent, award-winning task management app for Mac OS X and iPhone. It’s no exaggeration to say that Things sports one of the most influential UI designs in recent years.

They have a coupon code for DF readers, but it’s in the form of a riddle:

When we designed Things — our powerful yet easy to use personal task management application — we followed the lead of a well known great mind, who said:

“Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler.”

If you guess our coupon code, you can get 20% off in our online store this week.

He’s Like Grand Moff Tarkin Come to Life

The NYT:

Mr. Ballmer defended Microsoft’s position in other markets. He laughed off Apple as a minuscule player in the computing market and mocked some of Google’s efforts to develop software to run on PCs.

“Evacuate? In our moment of triumph? I think you overestimate their chances.”

Ian Betteridge Says I’m Wrong About Microsoft

Ian Betteridge:

Windows 7 isn’t a mediocrity. It’s good. It’s not going to get Mac users to switch, but it is going to stop a lot of Windows users from switching. And, more importantly from Microsoft’s perspective, something that will persuade the legions of their most important customers - IT managers - that it’s time to move on from Windows XP.

I say that’s a low bar.

Harry McCracken: ‘Will Windows 7 Win Back Defectors to the Mac? Probably Not. and That’s OK.’

Harry McCracken:

But Gruber wasn’t talking about whether Windows 7 will stop more people from leaving Windows; he was talking about whether it’ll convince Mac users to switch from Macs, and saying that if Windows 7 is really good, it will.

I’m not so sure. History suggests that people don’t like to switch operating systems and the most striking significant shifts in operating-system market share have happened when one OS has been on alarmingly shaky ground. Back when the exodus from Macs to Windows 95 and Windows 98 that Gruber refers to happened, Apple’s OS was floundering and it wasn’t clear that the company was going to survive. And Apple has made major inroads over the past couple of years in part because Windows Vista was such a mediocrity.

It’s not so much that if Windows 7 were good, it would attract some Mac users, but rather that if Microsoft were driven by technologists rather than sales and marketing guys, they would be hungry to build an OS that wins those switchers back. It’s not that they need those customers, but that they used to drive the industry’s technical agenda, but now they don’t.