Bonum Certa Men Certa

If There is a “Microsoft Hater” Label, Should There Also be an “Apple Hater” Label?

Hate



Summary: Quick analysis of the increasingly-characteristic dismissal of valid criticisms using daemonising labels (and what it means to the Linux-hostile Apple, for instance)

EARLIER in the month we wrote about the "Microsoft Hater" label, which Jason now explains in a similar fashion (amongst other familar labels):

Microsoft Hatred

Picking up traction is the idea that “Microsoft Hatred” is driving Mono/Moonlight/CodePlex/Miguel criticism, and perhaps is even the real ideological foundation of the Free Software movement.

Of course, this is absurd and insulting, but I suppose I should take a moment to point out that RMS and the FSF also object to Apple, Amazon, DRM, and Software Patents. It is a very consistent and principled stand for end-user freedom and against those actors trying to control and restrict freedom. It just so happens that Microsoft is one of the largest offenders in this area. So they get a lot (but proportionately appropriate) amount of criticism.

Further the idea that objection and criticism == hatred is false. The intent is to discredit the critic by portraying is message as emotionally driven and irrational. But pointing out that some companies are working very hard to remove freedom through DRM, patents, proprietary formats, price dumping, illegal practices, bribery, vote-stacking, or other offensive practices is fact-based, rational, and grounded in documented evidence.


Boycott Novell actually criticises many companies other than Novell, including Amazon, Apple, McAfee, etc. Microsoft is just the most frequent offender against Free software because it's determined, fixated and hellbent on destroying freedom. One who plays fair might as well put on Microsoft the label "Freedom Hater" and describe Microsoft as pathological for that.

Another company that more quietly attacks Linux would have to be Apple. Its CEO rejected Linux despite its engineers' advice (they wanted to base the iPhone on Linux) and he must know very well the reason to be afraid of Linux, which is technically better than their UNIX and a lot cheaper too. So Apple uses dirty tricks against Linux phones like Palm's and here is the latest twist:

On Tuesday, a Palm spokeswoman confirmed to The Reg that "webOS 1.2 did not reestablish media sync with iTunes."

Palm and Apple have been playing hide the salami with iTunes syncing since the Pre shipped in June. First syncing was in, then it was out. Then in. Then out.


Slate Magazine, which has Microsoft roots, condemns Apple for it, summarising its case as follows: "Apple's hypocritical move to block competitors from accessing its software."

Michael Masnick agrees with the above.

No one's buying Apple hardware because it syncs with iTunes. They're buying it for many other reasons, and Apple can continue to compete on those. Blocking the Pre and other devices from accessing iTunes is petty and unnecessary.


Should the "Apple Hater" label be put into use too? Surely, that must be "irrational hatred", right? And the fault of "zealots" like Michael Masnick, who coined the term "Streisand effect" and typically defended rights and freedom.

"We should design some of our extensions explicitly so that IBM can't run them under OS/2. We need to put real thinking into this."

--Bill Gates [PDF]

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