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Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell

Ecosystem eclecticism

I’ve been thinking a lot about ecosystems lately. I’m sure most of you out there are firmly placed in Apple’s ecosystem. By some standards, I am too—my house has four Macs in it (not counting loaners from Apple—I really need to box up the 2016 MacBook and ship it back to Cupertino), three iPads, four iPhones, and an Apple TV.

But what I’m not is exclusive to Apple. For whatever reason, I’ve tried to be eclectic, using services from various providers if the product appeals to me. This is reasonable, I think, but it’s also something that most giant tech companies would prefer I not do. That’s because the purpose of a tech ecosystem—a constellation of interconnected products and services—is to ensnare consumers. It might be a velvet prison, but it’s still a prison—the more you sink into the ecosystem, the harder it is to claw your way out later.

I’m also bought into the Amazon and Google ecosystems.…

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