Frédéric Filloux is the editor of the Monday Note, where this first appeared, and a contributor to Slate.fr.
That's why Apple's choice for a closed system changes the game. In Jobs's mind, the iPad is meant to become the ultimate personal computer, replacing most of the devices that we currently use to get music and entertainment. And news. And knowledge.
For the publishing community, the choice is therefore:
a) Go for it with a flurry of applications -- and thus contribute to building a tightly controlled, gated-content community;
b) Put some eggs in other baskets (Amazon's or PlasticLogic's, for instance) that are neither neutral nor philanthropic.
This leaves us with three conclusions:
1) Undoubtedly, the iPad could be a fantastic publishing platform with a powerful transaction system attached to it. As many do already, I'm considering a purely digital magazine built on great content and beautiful layout and supported by a mixture of paid-for and clever and graphically attractive advertising. But we'd have to bet that Apple will always position itself as a neutral platform.
2) It might not be economically feasible to publish on several platforms just to hedge such a remote risk. The variety of formats, the technologies (LCD display, like the iPad, or e-Ink, like the Kindle) would make such on-the-fly content adaptation far too costly.
3) Therefore, it is a good idea to keep considering Web-based paywalls -- whatever the forms -- and mobile applications on multiple platforms. After all, the Internet is the one vehicle that is the most likely to remain open and neutral.
I'm curious about his 3rd conclusion-is he saying that Web-based paywalls are important to keep the Internet open and neutral?