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By Dan Moren for Macworld
For the big players in technology, like Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, it’s become all about the ecosystem. Yes, you might be great at building products like Apple, or at online services like Google, or at…well, whatever Microsoft is great at. But so much of technology has become about providing all the trappings.
Think of it a bit like a hotel—you want to provide all the amenities that your rival hotel chains do: swimming pool, cable, valet parking. Otherwise, your customers may go somewhere else.
Hence Google’s announcements at this week’s annual I/O conference, including offerings like messaging app Allo and video chat app Duo.
The key difference, though, lies in the fact that technology enables us to connect with each other, and all this ticking of boxes can sometimes mean that those ecosystems become more like silos, isolated from each other. Most often this leads to a proliferation of varying apps and standards. Worst case, though, your accommodations become the Hotel California, where you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.