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iPad is Like Zune

Posted in Apple, Europe, Microsoft at 6:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Amnesty bin
From fimoculous

Summary: iPad — like Zune — might not reach the European Union (EU), possibly due to lukewarm reception and lack of appeal, not trademarks

MICROSOFT’S Zune was such a massive failure that it never made it into most European nations (almost none). Microsoft tries to “contain” the losses and keep the experiments running in just a few countries. Well, after the disappointing launch of the Apple iPad [1, 2, 3, 4] is turns out that Apple too may be getting cold feet and might not be release the iPad in the EU. They blame trademarks.

EXPENSIVE GADGET MAKER Apple is probably already regretting its daft name for its giant Ipod Touch, but it is looking like it will have a devil of a time using the Ipad name in the EU.

Let’s remember that Apple is a company that relies on a niche. Apple only sells products in few countries that are wealthy, but in the majority of the world, Apple is not even an option which is why GNU/Linux market share is higher overall. Here is Ballmer’s slide from last year:

Ballmer's slide on Macs and GNU/Linux
Steve Ballmer’s presentation slide
from 2009 shows GNU/Linux as bigger than Apple on the desktop

In addition to the above news, the FSF has just announced that over 5,000 people signed the “Defective by Design” iPad petition.

The first 5,000 names have been printed on a four-foot tall “tablet” and shipped to Cupertino. Defective by Design will send a new tablet for every 5,000 signatures.

The full press release is reproduced below.

Defective by Design delivers iPad anti-DRM petition with 5,000 signatures to Jobs — more coming

BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA — Thursday, February 4, 2010 — The Free
Software Foundation’s (FSF) Defective by Design campaign against
Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) delivered its “iPad is iBad for
Freedom” petition to Apple CEO Steve Jobs today, demanding that he
drop DRM on all Apple devices.

The petition was launched at http://defectivebydesign.org/ipad to coincide with the iPad debut event in San Francisco.
Within 24 hours, over 5,000 people had signed the petition.

The petition is still accepting signatures, but the first 5,000 names
have been printed on a four-foot tall “tablet” and shipped to
Cupertino. Defective by Design will send a new tablet for every 5,000
signatures, so supporters can still add their voices at

Photos of the tablet being delivered are at http://www.defectivebydesign.org/apple-ipad-drm-petition-mailed.

In a cover letter to Jobs, Defective by Design said, “5,000 people in
24 hours took time out of their day to call you out on this, and
demand change. There is still time for you to do the right thing in
the next 60 days, before the iPad actually goes on sale. You can drop
the DRM from the device and the App Store, and actually embrace the
ideals you claim to stand for — creativity, freedom, and
individuality.” The full text of the letter is online at

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting
computer users’ right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer
programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom)
software — particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants –
and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread
awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of
software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important
source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF’s work can
be made at http://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

Media Contacts

John Sullivan
Operations Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942

Holmes Wilson
Campaigns Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942

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  1. your_friend said,

    February 7, 2010 at 12:20 pm


    It is amusing that Apple is once again collecting arrows in the back as Microsoft’s pioneer. iPhone, iTouch and iPad are all exactly what Bill Gates said the world should have when MIT tried to deliver a $100 laptop for educational purposes. He sneered at OLPC’s “tiny screen” and said that phones that talk to larger screens should be used instead in the developing world. He strangely thought that TVs and other large screens were common or desirable because his brain is entrenched in the broadcast past and his business model depends on that kind of centralized power. It is no surprise that Gates and Apple demand the complete lack of software freedom found in all of the Apple hype products, nor is is a surprise that the form factor would evolve. GNU/Linux users have enjoyed the benefits of this form factor for a decade or so and there are countless commercial devices that exploit GNU/Linux on it. The irony is that Gate’s vision for ruling the developing world’s computing future is largely confined to a wealthy world niche. The developing world can not afford all of the taxes and restrictions non free software dumps on computing. They will inevitably be drawn to free software and hardware makers that cater to this will be the winners, not Microsoft or Apple.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Do not forget Surface. According to CNET, it was Gates’ insistence that kept it from dying before launch (Robbie Bach knew it would fail) and I suspect he also had something to do with the concept, which hardly even appeals to the super-rich.

    Another disastrous prediction from Gates was the SPOT Watch.

    More recent examples here.

    your_friend Reply:

    The surface is more of a marketing and hype generation tool than a product. Of course the idea is obvious, has been done before and it is even desirable when done with the user in control. Microsoft has tried to deploy these things where people will see them, casinos, hotel lobbies, airports and other high profile places. They are fitted with bluetooth and are used to track customers, but that has not apparently been enough to justify their costs and unreliability which a partner once called, “so Microsofty.” Microsoft claims to ahve invented every they copy from others and use displays like this to convince gullible people that Microsoft is a technology company. As the “Evangelism is War” slide show put it, “It’s not about the customer, it’s not about the tech, it’s about Microsoft.” Microsoft wants people to talk about them not nifty tables.

    iPad, on the other hand, is where Apple would like their products to go. The form factor is essentially a $40 picture frame that they will sell for $400. The the customer then faces a long line of restriction forced tie in sales and subscriptions. Both iPhone and iPod are successful precursors to this and both of them run off the same cheap hardware that should be available in free software form but is not.

    Gates greedily dreamed of forcing the iPad/iPhone/iPod model onto the developing world as he realized the days of two thousand dollar computers were numbered. It was from that perspective that he lambasted the more appropriate OLPC a $100 laptop with cooperative networking, low power consumption for off grid use, and software that can be modified to do what the user wants. Free software cuts middle men like Microsoft out of the picture. Restrictions are designed to draw revenue that no one should have to pay and the developing world can not afford.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Some moments ago I found the first article in months that actually mentioned Surface. It’s about it coming to Australia a long time after its debut in the US; only one publication found it worth covering.

    I have some decent posts coming tomorrow. Microsoft crumbles, so let’s keep up Free software advocacy.

  2. Chips B. Malroy said,

    February 7, 2010 at 6:44 pm


    Quote: “Let’s remember that Apple is a company that relies on a niche. Apple only sells products in few countries that are wealthy, but in the majority of the world, Apple is not even an option which is why GNU/Linux market share is higher overall.”
    Both Ballmer and Gates come out with statements they are not supposed to, but in Ballmers case its an graph even. After paying sites like Net Apps to skew and spread the lies, the truth came out.

    Apple is a niche, because of the price. And on many things they cooperate with MS. In fact during the Antitrust case, MS bought 25% stake of Apple non-voting stock. Not sure MS ever sold that stake either. But I think there is a point where we might see more competition between Apple and MS soon. Apple likes the high prices, make no mistake about that. It will do nothing that it thinks will cannibalize its premo market above $1000 laptops in the USA. The problem for Apple, is as prices still drop on regular OEM laptops, Apple is starting to sell a few less, but not that many. Also, Apple would like to expand its market. The Ipad being one of those efforts. And here lies the problem, by next Xmas season, Arm will be out here in the USA, most likely. ARM may further the race to the bottom for Intel based OEM PC’s. While this spells trouble for MS, its also a problem for Apple, as Apple will also need to come out with cheaper computers than they already have. or reduce prices. Say a $700 to $800 Mac Laptop instead of an $999 one? And you see where this is going? It would mean Apple would do about the same thing in the USA to this market
    that they did to MS in the plus $1000 laptop market.

    It will not be the end for MS, but it could be a far less profitable MS by just this years end.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Microsoft already has debt. Friends of mine are not sure how profitable it really is.

    your_friend Reply:

    That graph is far too optimistic. We should not conclude that Mr. Balmer’s graph is true simply because it contradicts other things Microsoft has said in the past. Liars at Microsoft contradict themselves regularly. It is likely that the graph underestimates both Apple and GNU/Linux. They do this by using the same selective and fraudulent statistics they used for Zune and Vista/Windows 7 marketshare. When complaining about “piracy” Microsoft sockpuppet BSA claims 41% of software on PCs is “pirated” but the graph above looks more like 25 to 30%. From what I’ve seen in people’s homes over the last ten years, the real unlicensed figure is likely more than 50% in the US and higher world wide. In the last ten years, a large portion of that unlicensed number has moved to free software rather than fool around with Microsoft and all the malware it brings, especially when it comes under the table. When talking to investors, Microsoft says that 90% of the world’s desktops use Windows and are paying the Microsoft tax. When buying new laws to protect their monopoly, Microsoft cries about “piracy” and says that no one is giving them any money. When talking about GNU/Linux, they will always say “no more than 2% of the market”. Their internal emails showed “comp-hot” regions of the world where free software was widely used. The success of free software in places like Brazil is unquestionable and it’s doing better than Microsoft will tell you everywhere.

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