09.01.09

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It’s Not Just Microsoft

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 7 at 4:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Earth lightning

Summary: Addressing the common misconception that Microsoft is somehow treated differently and targeted for identity rather than deeds

THERE is a lot of a vanity/pride fight between Vista 7 and Snort Leopard at the moment (this is a satire by the way). People debate the merits of two proprietary (i.e. non-Free) operating systems, whereas the FSF explains to the public the drawbacks of these two operating systems [1, 2, 3, 4]. The “7 Sins” campaign was not just about operating systems as behaviour took a central role and Apple, for example, was targeted too (see this video from the event).

It was actually interesting to see Dana Blankenhorn giving Apple the free pass, despite the company's increasing attacks on Linux. But Blankenhorn justifies his position by reminding readers of the unique things Microsoft has done to deserve distrust:

Microsoft did not really change its tune after the court case wound down.

* Microsoft subsidizes the channel so every PC in the store runs Windows, even netbooks where that’s more trouble than it’s worth.
* Sharepoint is designed specifically to extend its monopoly.
* Remember the OOXML standards battle, where Microsoft corrupted the standards process itself to maintain control of the applications market?
* The Novell deal, in which Linux vendors admit that 2+2=5 so Microsoft won’t assert non-existent patent claims against them, still gets me mad every time I think about it.

Blankenhorn is correct here without a doubt, but just because Microsoft’s sins are greater than Apple’s does not mean that Apple should be let off the hook. Other than Apple’s hostility towards GNU/Linux (Apple is afraid that people may realise they do not need to pay premium for a similar or better O/S without the antifeatures), Apple continues to show apathy towards safety of its clients. The Inquirer, as usual, sensationalises it a little by stating that “Apple blames users for exploding devices.”

Apple said it has “seen no evidence” that overheating batteries had caused screens on some of its Iphones to explode. Of course you can’t see much if you have your eyes wide shut in religious faith that your product is perfect.

Apple blamed the sudden rash of exploding gear on an “external force”.

That’s it?

There is actually more from Apple. The following may be acceptable given the browser discriminated against, but nonetheless, watch what else Apple is doing:

Unless the problem has anything to do with Mobileme that is. You see, Mobileme works with all standards compliant browsers, Firefox, Chrome and even Safari… but not Internet Exploder. Despite Microsoft’s public shouting, IE has never been close to standards compliant and likely never will be. Basically, if you want to use your Mobileme account with IE, “You can use Internet Explorer 7, but you will not have access to all MobileMe features and will experience slower performance.” You have to use a real browser to be able to access Mobileme properly.

The bottom line is that proprietary software companies other than Microsoft must also be watched. Consider for instance how McAfee throws slime at Free software [1, 2, 3].

“Freedom advocate” is not analogous to “Microsoft hater”. It just happens to be the case that Microsoft attacks freedom by far the most. “Environment activist” does not equate “Exxon hater” and the feminist movement is not “anti-men”.

“FSF did some anti-Apple campaigns too. Personally I worry more about Apple because they have user loyalty; Microsoft doesn’t.”

Bradley M. Kuhn (SFLC)

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4 Comments

  1. Yuhong Bao said,

    September 1, 2009 at 12:49 pm

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    “despite the company’s increasing attacks on Linux.”
    In this case Linux-based hardware to be more precise (in this case the Palm Pre, which runs the Linux-based Palm WebOS).

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Not necessarily. I’ve been writing about the effect of Apple’s software patents on GNU/Linux since 2006/07.

    http://boycottnovell.com/2007/11/23/apple-patent-linux/
    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/02/09/linux-patent-collision/

  2. Yuhong Bao said,

    September 1, 2009 at 2:03 pm

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    ““Freedom advocate” is not analogous to “Microsoft hater”. It just happens to be the case that Microsoft attacks freedom by far the most.”
    And in the most unethical ways too, which is why BN also watch MS attacks against proprietary software too, like MS attacks against OS/2.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Novell is also a proprietary software company (or “mixed source”), besides being the focus of this site. If one looks out for threats to Free software, Microsoft, SAP, and SCO are usually there begging for attention. Microsoft has earned the treatment it is getting, which is no “special treatment”.

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