My RSS reader is flooded with quotes from Netgear CEO Patrick Lo’s comments on Apple and Android:

“What’s the reason for [Jobs] to trash Flash? There’s no reason other than ego,” he said.

There are numerous talking points and discussions to be had in the HTML5 and Flash debate. Flash does harshly affect the battery life on devices that need not use the technology, but Flash is necessary for various applications such as intense gaming content and other useful applications that are found behind the HTML5 veil. Google Maps uses Flash for their street view functionality. Gmail also uses Flash for multiple file uploads. Yes, the front end could be saved without Flash, but the backend requires Flash for numerous reasons.

But what’s more eyebrow raising is Lo’s comments on closed v. open systems:

“Once Steve Jobs goes away, which is probably not far away, then Apple will have to make a strategic decision on whether to open up the platform,” said Lo. “Ultimately a closed system just can’t go that far … If they continue to close it and let Android continue to creep up then it’s pretty difficult as I see it.”

I don’t think one could possibly make the argument that a closed system can’t go far, given the resounding success of the iOS platform. People are deciding with their wallets: they want to be told what they want. And why not? You get the simplicity of a distribution system that doesn’t bother you except for some updates, and everything handles itself seemlessly through one peice of software (iTunes).

Today I watched the “Future of the Mac” Panel with Jason Snell, editor of Macworld. In it, they talk about how the future of the Mac, while it is iOS inspired, seems to also move to an even simpler experience. On the one hand, you have users who wish to have the “truck”, with a fully-loaded OS that can be customized to the extreme (think 27” iMac with an octo-core processor). On the other hand, you have users who want a light, simple machine that uses the Mac App Store exclusively and barely has any thinking involved. Even the file system is something that a person may never see, because documents and other needs of the past are all part of “Apps” … hubs that users can move in and out of, without needing to know where a file is. This future may seem scary to power users like you and me, but the panel had a point: it seems inevitable.

So does the closed system look like it is going to fail? Perhaps time will tell, but given the first four years of “closedness” that Apple has been shelling out, things are looking promising. Already we see developers declaring (like a Presidential candidacy backing) that they will support their application through the App Store only (Twitter). What about those who don’t wish to use the ecosystem? They will most likely be left behind by the main consumer, but there will still be a place for them for those of us who drive the trucks of the computing world — because we still need them.

But the bottom line is this: Patrick Lo is a CEO of a router company that isn’t trying to be a front-runner in innovation. His comments are ill-supported by what we have right now, and time will probably further disprove him.

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