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Karen Pollock


Publications by Karen Pollock (bibliography)

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Pollock, Karen (2011): iControl: comparing control architectures in computing technology. In: Proceedings of the 2011 iConference 2011. pp. 252-259. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1940761.1940796

This paper presents a comparison of the information control strategies inherent in two separate information technology designs: Microsoft's Next-Generation Secure Computing Base, announced in 2003, and Apple devices beginning with the corporation's first mobile device, the iPhone, released in 2008. Both technologies contain similar technical infrastructures which are by design conducive to opportunities for information control on the part of the manufacturer. As a result, both technologies were met with similar criticisms. The most significant of these argued that such rigid control would prevent users from modifying the devices, thereby hindering innovation in computing technology and substantially affecting how users interact with their own devices. Despite these similarities, Microsoft was forced to abandon the NGSCB design while Apple manufacturers rigidly controlled devices which have sold in the millions. As such, this paper seeks to understand the conditions for Apple's success. Apple did not suffer the political tensions between hardware and software manufacturers that contributed to the failure of the NGSCB, and also benefited from the strong brand power which Apple has been able to achieve since its return to the market early in the millennium. More significant, however, is the fact that Apple introduced control mechanisms on mobile devices, and not personal computers.

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