in Personal

It’s Not the Platform, It’s the Data

I don’t normally blog about random things I see on the internet, but I ran across an article by John C. Dvorak today (The iPhone Is No
Desktop
) that really annoyed me enough that I have to do this. John is basically saying that it’s ridiculous that people are using the iPhone as a desktop computing platform and that drives him crazy in many ways (10 ways to be exact). I don’t disagree that the iPhone is not a “desktop replacement” in the typical sense, but what bothers me is the fact that he thinks this is important.

In the technical world, so many people still believe the “platform” is the key to everything. There are always discussions about which platform is the best – laptop vs desktop vs PDA, Windows vs OS X vs Linux, Nikon vs Canon, Ford vs Chevy – you get the point. That’s all fine and dandy and I don’t disagree that sometimes there are certain benefits to using a specific platform. But the kicker is that this is a stupid argument to begin with.

People don’t care about the platform. Even if you think you care, you probably don’t when you get right down to it. For example, when I’m using the Windows platform, I keep my current TODO list in Microsoft Outlook. Now that I also work on a Mac, I decided to move my TODO list to an online platform. Sure – I moved to a different “platform” because it made it easier to get to my TODO list from either OS, but it’s not the platform I really care about, it’s the data.

Whether my TODO list is on the web, on my desktop, on my iPhone, or on my physical notepad, the platform is of little importance to me as long as my list is there and it’s accessible when I need it. The platform only comes into the picture when it can better enable me to manipulate my data in ways that make me more efficient and effective. In reality, forget the platform and focus on the data (or on the actions driven by the data) and you’ll see that the platform being the key is a fallacy in this day and age.

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