EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

04.21.10

Why Apple and Microsoft Operating Systems Are Unethical: New Examples

Posted in America, Apple, Asia, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 2:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Chained love

Summary: How proprietary software disables freedom and discourages solidarity, based on the actions of Apple and Microsoft

LAST WEEK we highlighted a case where Apple was censoring applications based on their content and this week Apple is still receiving flak for blocking any application not written/developed with tools that Apple does endorse (because they’re Apple’s). “Steve Jobs bans all apps from iPhone (or thereabouts),” says this headline from The Register:

You could argue that the new Jobsian SDK bars developers from writing any application for the iPhone – unless they possess some sort of savant-like ability to think solely in Objective C.

The much-discussed software development kit for the upcoming iPhone OS 4.0 says that native applications must be “originally written” in Objective C, C, or C++, forbidding developers from using any sort of “translation or compatibility layer.” If you take this legalese to its logical extreme, it rules out just about anything you can think of.

With or without these compatibility layers, Apple has security problems, so the only apparent justification Apple may have here is one of control. Adobe will receive none and the same goes for Novell and Microsoft, whose MonoTouch toolset is being blocked [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] (and yet, Miguel de Icaza and his team continue to ‘help’ Apple with Microsoft APIs).

We regularly stress that Free software is about one’s freedom, independence, and control. It’s not about price, although price is also a selling point, especially in particular areas of the world. Proprietary software, which Apple and Microsoft are championing, is the very opposite of all that. GNU/Linux or BSD cannot be assessed at the same level as OS X and Windows on a purely technical basis as that would be comparing apples and oranges or comparing commercials for a toothpaste to an advisory from Greenpeace.

“Brazil used unauthorized copies of software as an excuse in the 90s to arrest activists of the landless rural workers’ movement. [...] To protect themselves, they moved to GNU/Linux. Everyone else should do that too.”
      –Richard Stallman
On we move to Microsoft. Last week we wrote about Microsoft agents (whom Microsoft used to work with) shutting down free speech in Kyrgyzstan [1, 2]. Carlo from TechDirt wrote about it, but he hadn’t gotten the update about Microsoft actually being indirectly involved. Richard Stallman wrote about this too, under the heading “Microsoft lends helping hand to global authoritarianism“; he explains that “Police in Kyrgyzstan used “unauthorized copies of software” as an excuse to shut down a TV station which was broadcasting news about protestors.

“I was disappointed that the article uses the propaganda terms “pirated” and “Intellectual Property”. The latter term is so misleading that even quoting a name in which it appears spreads confusion if you don’t deconstruct the term. See here for more information.

“Also, to say that “software piracy” is a “legitimate problem” whitewashes the real problem: proprietary software which forbid redistribution.

“Brazil used unauthorized copies of software as an excuse in the 90s to arrest activists of the landless rural workers’ movement. In that case, the copies really were unauthorized, but that didn’t alter the effect. To protect themselves, they moved to GNU/Linux. Everyone else should do that too.”

As we explained last week, the same thing happened to brave journalists in Russia. Proprietary software limits people’s expression and creativity. Nobody deserves this type of treatment. It is often being said the people come to realise what “freedom” really means only when they lose it; otherwise it’s taken for granted.

“‘Free software’ is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of ‘free’ as in ‘free speech,’ not as in ‘free beer’.”

Richard Stallman

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

4 Comments

  1. Jose_X said,

    April 21, 2010 at 7:22 am

    Gravatar

    Perhaps Apple wants to instill a discipline that will allow its platform to function better over time than those of rivals. You can always fix bugs (not to mention that C will attract developers that tend to be more meticulous with their code), but if you code in ways where you always pressure the platform to do a lot of clean-up work for you, then you will generally not be able to create highly efficient applications no matter how much you try.

    Also, I think they might be trying to fight dotnet, java, etc growth which would otherwise help some of their rivals.

    Apple can get away with this because their platform is not intended to appeal to millions of in-house developers (at least not at this point in time). They can focus on a smaller group with a greater level of experience and understanding.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Apple’s main market is rich people (as users) and “good enough” developers. To Apple this is very profitable, even if it excludes so many.

    Jose_X Reply:

    I forgot to mention the “obvious”. Apple may very well have patent leverage in their new devices (Jobs said they have patented everything imaginable).

    For example, with dotnet applications, significant leverage lies in Microsoft’s corner. Apple would be forced to lose significant leverage if they had to go against a company with so many patents that would apply.

    And, of course, Apple *is* playing the patent card to help themselves gain competitive points over rivals (injunctions or at least royalties). Not only can they lose if they have to yield significant money per device to an inferior competitor (and it’s always more profitable to gain instead), but having injunctions against what may end up being popular apps would really hurt their platform.

    …and they want to have as much control as possible over the topmost layers of API being used to code the apps. Eventually, they will add enough layers. Eventually, they will want to leverage the iphone and other devices to help make the Mac platform the largest and seize control of the monopoly driver’s seat from Microsoft.

    …and they fear Google. Any advantages they can preserve (eg, with patenting), they will take.

  2. Dr. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 22, 2010 at 3:16 am

    Gravatar

    @Jose_X:

    Yes, Apple has already threatened both Android and WebOS (Pre) with patents. We’ve begun taking Apple’s threat more seriously. I’m disappointed to see other “Linux” sites defending Apple.

What Else is New


  1. Red Hat's Freedom Reduced to Just Online Partner Enablement Network (OPEN) and Microsoft as a Close Partner; Canonical's Ubuntu Just an 'App' for Windows?

    Free software is being snapped up by proprietary software giants and patent bullies that treat it as little more than an 'add-on' for their proprietary offerings



  2. Linux Foundation Apparently Celebrates Sysadmin Day With a Microsoft Windows Site!

    The Linux Foundation shows ‘love’ to actual GNU/Linux (the real thing) by apparently rejecting it and badmouthing it



  3. EPO Looney Tunes – Part 3: The Legal Line-up for G 2/19

    The deck appears to have already been stacked for G 2/19, a decision on EPO judges' exile to Haar (veiled disciplinary action/collective punishment by those whom the judges are supposed to 'oversee')



  4. Links 17/7/2019: VirtualBox 6.0.10 and Mageia 7.1 Releases, Mint Betas

    Links for the day



  5. Links 16/7/2019: Btrfs Gets 'Cleaned Up', Clonezilla Live 2.6.2-15

    Links for the day



  6. EPO Looney Tunes - Part 2: The “Difficult Legacy” and Its Dark Historical Shadow

    Assuming that he was informed, then it seems fair to say that Battistell’s little “joke” at the expense of the Boards was in very bad taste



  7. EPO Noise Machine Turned On as Haar Hearing Kicks Off, Patrick Corcoran Defamed Again

    The EPO does not want people to hear about Haar; it just wants people to hear about how wonderful the EPO is and there are some who have just decided to slander Patrick Corcoran again



  8. Microsoft is 'Doing Kamikaze' (神風) on Linux

    An analogy for what the Linux (only in name!) Foundation and Microsoft mean to Linux — or by extension to GNU/Linux and Free software whose largest repository Microsoft took control of



  9. The 'New' Linux.com Sometimes Feels Like a Microsoft Promotion Site

    Anything that the ‘Linux’ Foundation touches seems to turn into its proprietors’ agenda; one of those proprietors is Microsoft, which has a "Jihad" against Linux



  10. IBM is a Threat to the Internet, Not Just to Software Development (Due to Software Patents Aggression)

    IBM continues its aggression against technology — a fact that’s even more distressing now that IBM calls the shots at Red Hat



  11. EPO Looney Tunes - Part 1: Is D-Day Approaching for Battistelli’s “Difficult Legacy”?

    European patent justice isn’t working within the premises of EPOnia; a bunch of ‘show trials’ may in fact turn out to be just that — a show



  12. Links 16/7/2019: LXD 3.15, Q4OS 3.8 and D9VK 0.13f

    Links for the day



  13. Links 15/7/2019: Vulkan 1.1.115 and Facebook Openwashing

    Links for the day



  14. Microsoft Office 360 Banned

    OpenDocument Format (ODF, a real standard everyone can implement) and Free/libre software should be taught in schools; it's not supposed to be just a matter of privacy



  15. Microsoft, in Its Own Words...

    Sociopathy, incompetence and intolerance of the rule of law, as demonstrated by Microsoft's top managers



  16. Microsoft's WSL is Designed to Weaken GNU/Linux (on the Desktop/Laptop) and Strengthen Vista 10

    What Microsoft does to GNU/Linux on the desktop (and/or laptop) bears much resemblance to what Microsoft did to Java a couple of decades ago



  17. Links 14/7/2019: Linux 5.2.1, Unreal Engine 4.23 Preview, Linux Mint 19.2 Beta

    Links for the day



  18. 25,500 Blog Posts and Pages

    With our thirteenth anniversary just a few months away we're at a pace of about 2,000 posts per year



  19. With WSL Microsoft is Doing to GNU/Linux What It Did to Netscape

    Embrace, extend, extinguish. Some things never really change even if they become an old and repetitive accusation.



  20. Allowing Bad Guests to Become the Hosts

    Why the so-called 'Linux Foundation', a nonprofit that acts more like a PAC controlled by proprietary software companies and people who don't even use Linux, is increasingly becoming a Linux-hostile front group



  21. Honesty and Collaboration Make Free Software Stronger, Microsoft is Inherently a Misfit

    In spite of all the lies Microsoft and its Web sites spew out on a daily basis, nothing has really changed and Microsoft is still attacking Software Freedom (mostly from the inside nowadays, helped by FUD proxies such as WhiteSource and Snyk)



  22. Patent Certainty Waning, But That's Still OK for Patent Trolls

    Patent maximalism remains a threat to everyone but patent lawyers (and patent office chiefs who measure their own performance only by the number of patents granted); best served are the patent trolls who extrajudicially attack already-impoverished parties behind closed doors



  23. GitHub is Microsoft's Proprietary Software and Centralised (Monopoly) Platform, But When Canonical's Account There Gets Compromised Suddenly It's Ubuntu's Fault?

    Typical media distortions and signs that Microsoft already uses GitHub for censorship of Free/Open Source software that does not fit Microsoft's interests



  24. Canonical is Turning Ubuntu Into a More Proprietary Deviant of GNU/Linux

    Ubuntu is becoming more 'Ubinary'; binaries without their source code available are packed up and cooked up for (or baked into) the ISO; this may be good for widespread adoption, but it's not an advancement of freedom, a capitulation rather



  25. Links 13/7/2019: Librem 5 July Update, Project Trident 19.07, KDE Frameworks 5.60.0

    Links for the day



  26. The Problem Isn't Women or Minorities in Free Software But Particular Corporations That Exploit or Steer or Hijack Their Agenda

    If technical issues are being disguised using colours and genders (among other things), then it's important to highlight who's behind it (what company/ies) rather than fling back insults at people because it makes things worse



  27. There's No Such Thing as Cloud Computing, Serverless and All That Other Nonsense

    Buzzwords. Confronted.



  28. Linux is Doing 'Well' Only for Those Who Dislike Software Freedom and Love Control Over Users

    Linux, the kernel, has become a corporate playground or a sandbox that's used to upsell proprietary software, including surveillance; freedom in Linux is gradually being diminished if not completely obliterated and it does not worry the foundations entrusted to guard against it



  29. Consultation About Direction and Future Focus for Techrights

    We invite ideas and recommendations for the future of the site, notably which topics and aspects are worth covering as a matter of higher priority



  30. European Media Continues to Ignore the EPO Crisis While Law Firms and EPO Management Cover Things Up

    The EPO crisis silently deepens because serious problems are lied about, not acknowledged, and the legitimacy of European Patents is greatly diminished, not to mention the EPO's ability to attract talent


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts