When I first bought iPad, for first few week, I missed having a sd cart slot or even a usb master port. These ports could so easily make iPad work even better and more useful than it is now. Im a techie, I think that way. Now I realize that this attitude of Apple was probably the most important reason for iPad’s popularity.
The intention was simple. M$ saw the reasons why
The language started to grow. To make sure Microsoft had the devotion of the enterprise application, its maximum revenue generator, they had to make sure developers found VBScript more easy to use than competition. This plan was running successfully for early years. By making sure developers used VBScript, they would also be indirectly be tied to Internet Explorer only. And by that, also indirectly tied to Microsoft Windows.
Then the problem started to come up. What happened was that with OS calls in VBScript, the abusers had a party. They could access operating system and files of users where you opened the web page. (E.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ILOVEYOU) The enterprise applications hosted on the internet, used within the company started to break down. Security was almost missing and no guard to protect from what actions VBScript could do. By that time, too many enterprise softwares had already been made on VBScript. They already had heavy OS calls within their VBScript code. There was no way back. The real revenue generator for Microsoft was angry. And Microsoft had to support every complaint, it had no choice.
So it started creating some sandbox around VBScript so as to protect the web users computer from the webpage. In the early measures, it did not do enough and exploits kept coming from different directions. It could also no fix the issue completely cause enterprise applications were already programmed using the API which had to be disabled. Microsoft struggled in creating wrappers, creating signed scripts, creating safe levels in Internet Explorer. It would release a new Windows with a fix but still be expected to keep the enterprise happy for compatibility.
Even today, Microsoft struggles with this and many such issues. The reason it cannot make a rewrite of Windows is that the legacy code always needs to run in the same way. And so windows stability will always be a running problem for Microsoft.
This and many other cases in the industry has taught the new players like Apple, Google of what are the mistakes of giving too the customer. Customers don’t understand the technical reasons for unstable product. The only prevention is to keep everything in a very strong sandbox so that it cannot be misused by abusers. Apple iOS is also an operating system. Like every young operating system, it is bound to have leaks in code, which can be exploited and later destroy the product value. But what can be done to prevent all this is not to give the user full access to his own device. By that, Apple will have total control of the device at all times and so there will not be enough room for exploits to spread like a virus as rapidly as in the case of open operating systems.
So back to the original problem, SD card port or a USB port would allow the people can download and even upload all sort of media and even executable applications in the device. That would make the operating system open the leaks and the exploiters would use the leaks to abuse the device. By keeping the product locked, the leaks too stay locked (to some extent) and the product popularity continues to grow. For the little sacrifice the user had to face in usability and openness, the product appears to be very stable. Techies like me know, the OS may still have very strong stability issues but just because Apple makes sure only products that don’t shake the system a lot are allowed in the market for distribution.