So apple is building its walled garden. My intuition is that Steve Jobs really thinks he's building a Utopia... and he's building it HIS WAY, whether you like it or not. It's a consistent pattern, from the killing of HyperCard to the lack of a floppy drive on the iMac to the shutting out of non-Apple approved development environments from the iPhone and iPad.
Check out the first video here to hear Jobs talk it in his own words:Steve Jobs talks about Flash, Google, and more
Jobs says it's about "picking the right horses to ride going forward", and I think a part of him believes that... but I also think, when you peel away the onion, that's a rationalization for a deeper desire---a desire for Utopia... a 'Utopia' achieved through purity and control.
After all, it is 'his' company, and he wants to make the products 'his' way and to reflect 'his' vision of what is good and what is not good, and 'his' beliefs of how things should be done and how things should not be done. After all, who doesn't want to make the best product? And what's the point of power if it is not used for good? And if you're going to build a garden, why not build it the 'right' way, and make sure that people use it in the 'right' way.
Hence the walled garden. Hence the rejection of Flash and RunRev. Why were they rejected? Was it a strategic move to increase profits of Apple-brand products? No--pretty much every knowledgeable observer agrees that the decision will hurt Apple's bottom line. So why were they rejected?
Purity and control. As I said, hence the walled garden. Think about it... think about the two words "walled garden". You can pay attention to the garden, or you can pay attention to the walls. Why does a garden need walls? Most don't. So why does this garden need walls. Because it's a special garden, a garden with dreams and pretensions of being a Utopia. And of course, you can't have a Utopia, your Utopia, done your way, done just how you like it, done precisely how you think it should be done, if you just let any old flowers in. And you can't have a Utopia, your Utopia, if you let the people in the garden do just whatever they please.
Oh, no no no, that wouldn't do. Hence the rejection of alternate programming environments like Flash. Hence the rejection of user-empowering programming languages like HyperCard and RunRev. Hence the walls around the garden.
Control. Purity and control. That's what it's about--building a Utopia your way, and those who don't like it can leave. What about what users want? Ha! This isn't a democracy. What about freedom? Ha! Freedom isn't as important as acting the 'right' way.
As you can see all good intentions... noble intentions. And those noble intentions do bring about many good things... up to a point. But when you start disrespecting people's freedom, you lose your way... bigtime. And all of a sudden you're worried more about building walls than building a garden. And pretty soon your 'Utopia' starts looking more like a distopia.
Hey, it's a classic literary trope; totalitarianism for the cause. Just read 1984... or better yet, take a look at Apple's own 1984 commercial where Apple smashes Big Brother:Apple: 1984
Ironic, isn't it... that just over a quarter of a century later, Apple itself is becoming a sort of 'Big Brother'.
And all with the best of intentions.
So that's my intuition--that's my theory, that's my hunch. I may be wrong.