Closed platform

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Walled garden (media))
Jump to: navigation, search

A closed platform, walled garden or closed ecosystem[1][2] is a software system where the carrier or service provider has control over applications, content, and media, and restricts convenient access to non-approved applications or content. This is in contrast to an open platform, where consumers have unrestricted access to applications, content, and much more.


For example, in telecommunications, the services and applications accessible on a cell phone on any given wireless were formerly tightly controlled by the mobile operators. The operators limited the applications and developers that were available on users' home portals and home pages. Thus, a service provider might restrict user access to users whose account exhausted the pre-paid money on their account. This has long been a central issue constraining the telecommunications sector, as developers face huge hurdles in making their applications available to end-users.

In a more extreme example, with the pre-regulated 1970s American telephone system, Bell owned all the hardware (including all phones) and all the signals, and virtually even the words (information) on their wires. A landmark case was Hush-A-Phone v. United States, wherein Bell unsuccessfully sued a company producing plastic telephone attachments. In the case of Bell, it was an openly government sanctioned and regulated monopoly by the Communications Act of 1934.

More generally, a walled garden can refer to a closed or exclusive set of information services provided for users. Similar to a real walled garden, a user in a walled garden is unable to escape this area unless it is through the designated entry/exit points or the walls are removed.[3]


An 2008 paper from the Harvard Business School differentiated a platform's openness/closedness by four aspects and gave example platforms.

Aspect of closedness/openness of a platform[4] Linux Windows Macintosh iOS
Demand-Side Use (End-user) open open open open
Supply-Side User (Application developer) open open open closed
Platform Provider (Hardware/OS Bundle) open open closed closed
Platform Sponsor (Design & IP Rights Owner) open closed closed closed


Some examples of walled gardens:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Daniel Memetic. "Escaping the Walled Gardens in the Clouds". Retrieved 7 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Nicholas Smith (2009). "Interview With Rosabeth Moss Kanter, author of SuperCorp (2009): No Matter How Big You Are, Diversify or Die" (PDF). Company Docs. Retrieved 7 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "Definition of: walled garden". Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Thomas R. Eisenmann, Geoffrey Parker, Marshall Van Alstyne (2008-08-31). "Opening Platforms: How, When and Why?" (PDF). Harvard Business School Entrepreneurial Management Working Paper No. 09-030. Harvard Business School. p. 2. doi:10.2139/ssrn.1264012. Retrieved 2015-06-30. 
  5. ^ Mathew Ingram (29 February 2012). "How the e-book landscape is becoming a walled garden". Gigaom. Retrieved 7 October 2012. 
  6. ^ Jay Akasie (7 September 2012). "With New Kindle, Bezos Proves Ecosystems Matter More Than Hardware". Retrieved 7 October 2012. 
  7. ^ Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry (18 October 2011). "How Amazon Makes Money From The Kindle; Amazon's Kindle is no longer just a product: It's a whole ecosystem". Business Insider. Retrieved 29 November 2013. 
  8. ^ Charles Arthur, technology editor (17 April 2012). "Battle for the Internet (Part III of series): Walled gardens look rosy for Facebook, Apple – and would-be censors". The Guardian. 
  9. ^ Ben Bajarin (1 July 2011). "Why Competing With Apple is So Difficult". TIME. 
  10. ^ Smith, Peter (21 December 2011). "Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet both get "upgraded" with reduced functionality". Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  11. ^ Verry, Tim (21 December 2011). "Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet Receive Root Access Killing Software Updates". Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  12. ^ Carnoy, David (2 May 2013). "Barnes & Noble adds Google Play store to its tablets: The Nook HD and HD+ may not be fully "open" Android tablets, but they're now much more open than they were". CNet. 
  13. ^ "Walled gardens are great when a medium is brand new. Without history and without...". Retrieved 29 November 2013. 
  14. ^ Martin Adolph of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) (2011). "The world of video games: Trends in video games and gaming". ITU News (10). 
  15. ^ Robert A. Burgelman & Carrie C. Oliver (1 August 1997). "Electronic Arts in 1995". Stanford Graduate School of Business. pp. 16 pages. Retrieved 29 November 2013. isbn=Prod. #: SM24-PDF-ENG