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Good News for Linux: Apple Annoys Everyone and Microsoft Cannot Catch up With Apple

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Summary: The software oligarchs fight each other to see who's more capable at restriction and pollution while Linux quietly emerges victoriously

MORE AND more people come to grips with the threats posed by Apple. The company was never truly committed to freedom or openness; the thing about Apple is, it's not Microsoft. One might say that Apple is the "anti Microsoft" choice, whereas GNU/Linux and BSD are the "anti slavery" choice. In any event, witness yet another new report about antitrust threat that Apple comes under in Europe at the same time Steve Jobs is leaving:



Apple's iPad tablet computer may be the perfect vehicle to view glossy magazines, but the iTunes subscription model has some publishers ready to turn the page.

On both sides of the Atlantic, publishers are grumbling about Apple's iTunes store. Some popular US publications, including the New York Times and Playboy, recently announced web-based subscriptions that will offer more flexible options and control over content than iTunes. But in Europe, Apple faces a probe by Belgian antitrust authorities over whether it is abusing its market position by requiring that publishers only sell subscriptions through iTunes.


It gets worse for Apple, which sank following the departure of Jobs. As longtime watchers of Apple already know, Greenpeace has called Apple one of the worst companies when it comes to polluting and poisoning (Microsoft is around the bottom too) and a new report reaffirms this position:

Apple comes joint last among IT firms in a transparency study drawn up by leading Chinese environment groups


Apple's hardware (it's actually just Apple-branded hardware) is very hostile towards just about anything, and as we noted some days ago, Apple screws customers when it comes to screws. Here is TechDirt's take on the subject:

One of the interesting questions we've been looking at for years is whether or not a business is an enabler or a gatekeeper. Being in the gatekeeper business can work for a period of time, but it's often difficult to sustain. Apple is an interesting company in that it certainly has elements of both, enabling in some areas, but being a very strict gatekeeper in other areas. As if to reinforce this point, Apple is apparently changing the screws on iPhones to make them much harder to open.


Thistleweb (Gordon) wrote in relation to the above: "Apple invents fool proof screws, to prevent fools ...erm...owners from getting inside their own devices"

“Apple invents fool proof screws, to prevent fools ...erm...owners from getting inside their own devices”
      --Gordon
Dr. Glyn Moody went even further by remarking: "whaddya say to that, #Apple fanbois?" (risking alienation of his Mac-using followers there)

Our reader A* wrote: "Oh, Chinese are already selling screw drivers for those screws. I believe the chinese screwed crApple. ;-D"

All these silly policies will surely help drive some people to Linux (Android, MeeGo, etc.), yet Woody Leonhard from IDG is conveniently forgetting the Linux option and making it seem like a pseudo-two-party competition between Microsoft and Apple. From his new summary regarding tablets:

Microsoft's marketing strategy for selling Windows 7 tablets to iPad-leaning enterprises proves, once again, Redmond doesn't get it


Watch Microsoft's pathetic PR/advertising in response to hypePad (still ignoring Linux). They are trying to persuade people to choose the dud called Vista 7 and apart from some kitsch, there is nothing there to compel people to leave XP/Mac OS/BSD/GNU/Linux. As Mr. Pogson puts it:

I don’t see anything in there that is new or worth the cost of migrating from XP to “7″. These are all minor tweaks that could mostly be obtained by reconfiguration of existing systems. Renaming something is not usually considered innovation or worth tons of money but M$ needs customers to believe this is innovation. I am surprised SJVN uses this as support for his thesis that “7″ is somehow so much better than XP for networking that a migration requiring replacement of almost every PC and server and a new set of paid software licences is justified.


It increasingly looks like tomorrow's competition will be between proprietary UNIX-like DRM traps from Apple and something more liberal such as Android, MeeGo, and CyanogenMod. The more restrictive Apple becomes, the more fanfare it will get from the old press (like Murdoch's scarce channels of distribution) and the less fanfare it will get from actual customers, who in turn will find Linux and software freedom.

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