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The Dangers of Vendor Lock-In

Feb 23, 2009, 23:32 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Matt Hartley)

[ Thanks to Tom Dunlap for this link. ]

"And not to again pick on Microsoft here, but it is unfortunately the Redmond software giant that tends to be the biggest offender. The two other best examples I like to think of are with Microsoft Outlook and ActiveSync.

"Outlook, by its very nature, it hideous to use. I was fed up back in 2002, as I tired of the idea of being locked into those ever-growing .PST files. While the files can be parsed, it takes other software to do the reverse engineering in order to cobble together the data so that it might be converted into something that is actually compatible with other Personal Information Managers (PIM). This process is so convoluted, that I have been told that any software designed to parse the data actually relies on Outlook itself at some level just to begin the conversion process.

"Then we have that little piece of software business once known as ActiveSync. While it has not been completely changed over in Windows Vista, along with its new title, the premise is the same. If you are using a Windows Mobile product, you will find the entire process goes much easier than when using non-Microsoft sync/mobile products. While this example is hardly considered total vendor lock-in, it was designed to make itself seem so appealing as to make other non-MS products something to be scoffed at as they would not integrate so nicely."

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