To hack or not to hack…


That is the business question for many in the software industry, including Microsoft, Sony and Twitter.

Software companies have to consider whether to embrace the hacking (…or shall we say “custom development”) culture of their customers, or gird for battle against the hackers. Mashable’s interesting article (Xbox Kinect vs. Sony PS3: How 2 Companies Handle Hacking) reviews the different approach taken by Microsoft which is (uncharacteristically) opening up its popular Kinect gaming console, and Sony which is suing customers who hack into PlayStation 3 [Link to Sony’s Complaint against hacker George Hotz is here 1MB PDF ].  Big old multinationals like Microsoft and Sony aren’t the only ones who have to face this question. New technology upstarts like Twitter are also wrestling with the problem: Twitter recently told developers to back off, after complaints of privacy violations and fragmented user experience. Companies offering software of any kind are finding that customers – both individual consumers and corporate users – are accessing the code, unlocking, jaibreaking and building their own functionality, whether or not the vendor has approved this.  My recent article on Software Licensing in 2011 [PDF] reviews the issues for software vendors.

Related Reading: Apps, Bots and Workarounds

Calgary – 07:00 MST

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