09.29.09

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Apple Mimics “Shovelware” Tactics from Microsoft, European Commission Unable to Mitigate Impact

Posted in Antitrust, Apple, Microsoft at 8:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gardening series

Summary: Apple quietly pushes more software into people’s PCs; Microsoft almost escapes justice in Europe

ACCORDING to The Register, cybercrime rises sharply, but the measured unit is frequency or volume of phishing attacks. Now, a lot of people may not remember that Mozilla slammed Apple for using malware-like techniques to advance itself and envisioning a duopoly with Microsoft. SJVN is now reporting that Apple repeats an offence by shoving uncalled-for software down people’s throats.

Apple may have recently shoved an unsafe update down your PC’s throat, but the broader problem is Apple, or anyone else, installing any unnecessary program on your PC.

[...]

I didn’t think anything more about it. I don’t install programs I don’t need or plan on testing. Others though did and they discovered that this completely unneeded Apple shovelware for 99.9999% of all users installs not just a configuration program, but the Apache Web server as well. For the tiny number of people who do need it, this lets corporate iPhone users ‘phone’ in to the business Web server for updates.

This type of behaviour is more characteristic of a company north of California. In fact, Microsoft is managing to get away with bundling (similar to "shovelware") because another term is ending. Opera is rightly upset.

The chief European critic of Microsoft’s Windows-IE bundling says the company’s proposed web browser ballot screen compromise is a sham, accusing Redmond of packing the screen with “threatening and confusing” questions.

Microsoft is also "threatening" against the use of ODF by displaying “confusing” messages.

The FSFE has just addressed the European Commission, asking politely that nothing should be done hastily because Microsoft has not complied yet and it continues to reap the benefits of market share it obtained illegally.

High Noon in Brussels. At the end of her term, competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes is wrapping up two open cases against Microsoft. The company offered to settle in July 2009.

FSFE is involved in both of cases. We are concerned that the Commission may end up reversing years of successful antitrust work if Neelie Kroes settles for far too little in order to close a deal, any deal. That would mean that Europeans remain stuck with the present Microsoft monopoly in most areas of the desktop. Even worse, that monopoly would have the Commission’s official seal of approval, effectively ruining many years of outstanding work by Ms Kroes and her team.

If the Commission cannot police the non-Free software industry, who can? Even the Commission itself is being influenced by lobbyists and those who are harbouring them.

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A Single Comment

  1. Yuhong Bao said,

    October 8, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Gravatar

    On Apple, to be honest, in both cases you can manually deselect the new software and install updates without them, and Apple do not have automatic update on Windows like Microsoft.

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