Verizon's Model for Success Is Microsoft

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"It seems that some view this revolution as a chance to seize power in downright Orwellian ways," Galbraith wrote, "by constraining what we as developers can say, dictating what kinds of apps we can create, controlling how we distribute our apps, and placing all kinds of limits on what we can do to our computing devices."

Where Verizon is concerned, put a check mark next to all of the above. The carrier is already well-known for disabling handset features that clash with its business model. More recently, it has been hard at work on a multipronged plan to consolidate control over its developer market, too.

Central to these efforts will be the VCast App Store, a unified e-commerce hub that will take the place of third-party download sites like the Palm App Catalog and the Android Market on Verizon's network. Instead of directing customers to different app stores depending on what brand of handset they own, Verizon plans to cut out the middlemen and offer a single source for third-party applications -- with the carrier earning a percentage on each sale, naturally.

Even more interesting, however, is Verizon's participation in the JIL (Joint Innovation Lab), a multinational consortium that aims to create a common framework allowing mobile applications to run on multiple operating systems. According to Verizon execs, the proliferation of mobile operating systems, with their various incompatible SDKs, has slowed the place of mobile app development. With the participation of the JIL, it hopes to see the ecosystem reduced to three or four major operating systems in the next two years.

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