10.22.10

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Apple Makes New Enemies Among Mozilla, Battelle, Linux/Android Developers

Posted in Apple, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google at 11:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Radiation area with Apple

Summary: Developers and media people have grown weary of Apple’s ego-system and Steve Job is specifically being shown for his arrogant vision of monoculture with Apple in charge

MR. JOBS has been making some enemies recently because he spends too much time slamming his competition (Linux included) [1, 2], which no CEO should ever do. It is counter productive, but then again, Apple rose to glory by marketing itself with ego tactics (psyche), based on insulting its competition. Just look no further than Mac versus PC ads.

Despite loads of Mozilla developers using a Mac, Mozilla’s Beltzner is now joining the group which slams Apple’s CEO. Here is one summary:

Mozilla man accuses Jobs of ‘bypass the web’ scheme

On Wednesday, as Steve Jobs went “Back to the Mac”, the fanbois of the world enjoyed their usual collective orgasm. But for Mozilla director of Firefox development Mike Beltzner, the reaction was decidedly different.

“I wonder when Apple will stop shipping Safari,” Beltzner tweeted in the wake of Jobs’ press event. “It’s obvious already from today’s keynote that they’re looking to bypass the web.”

A day after Mozilla unveiled a prototype for an “open web app store” – a browser-agnostic store offering access to standards-based web apps sans Jobsian gatekeeper – Beltzner was less than pleased with the predictably draconian setup of Apple’s new Mac App Store.

To quote John Drinkwater (today in Identi.ca), “if this is Apple with 20% of US market, how would they behave with 80%? leveraging above their own weight atm.”

John Battelle, probably best known for Federated Media, is already growing uncomfortable with Apple. He writes:

Today Apple announced a move that, on first blush, seems to push the Mac, its seminal and defining product, into the iWorld. You know, the world of Apple-controlled, closed, manicured gardens a la iPhone, iPod, iPad, and iTunes.

[...]

But given the trajectory of Apple, which is now driven far more by iWorld than by Mac, I’m not holding out much hope for the Mac continuing to be a computer in any real sense of the word. You know, where a computer means you have choices as to what apps you run on it, what apps get developed for it, and how you express yourself using it.

Apple offers no software freedom, either. No choice, no freedom, no affordability. Apple is also downplaying source code, even though it is exploiting so much source code which other people wrote. Developers are rightly striking back at Jobs:

In his Back to the Mac event keynote speech on Wednesday, Steve Jobs said nary a word about competitors. This was in stark contrast to Apple’s earnings call on Monday, when he came on the line and let loose on competitors, with Android in particular bearing the brunt of his remarks.

In a nutshell, Jobs tried to reframe the Android-iPhone “open versus closed” debate about developer access to open-source software to what he called “fragmented versus integrated” — with Android exemplifying “fragmented” and, of course, Apple leading “integrated” access.

When we think of open-source software, it has many meanings, but as I see it, it means the code is available to developers and they can modify it and contribute to its development.

Yes, Apple is against many things, even choice, not just freedom. “Jobs argues for Soviet command philosophy” is this headline which takes it a step further (“Soviet” as dog whistle) and the article states:

For Jobs Android is not open software because it has many versions out in the market, making it “very fragmented”, and this is a situation made worse with operators adding proprietary interfaces to it. For Apple’s founder this leads to many app stores and many Android apps that won’t work on Android phones. He mentioned four Android app stores Google’s, Vodafone’s, Verizon’s and Amazon. Actually Jobs forgot to mention the app stores Archos and Toshiba have set up for their tablets.

Yet most people would imagine that a free and open source OS that has many versions on many handsets just means that it’s popular. Each mobile network operator can choose the best version for its customers and many mobile users with unlocked handsets can change to whatever version they like.

Jobs gleefully mentioned that Android 2.2 ‘Froyo’ was no good for tablets and it’s true, as Google has said so. But when the tablet specific Android OS comes out, like for the phone handsets it’s not a stretch of the imagination to realise that those existing tablet products will also be able to upgrade.

For Jobs these different versions for different products and the need to upgrade all leads to an unacceptable reduction in apps because his Itunes store has 300,000 and they all operate on the monolithic Iphone and Ipad operating system that is IOS. But will the fanboi who wants to spend their annual income on most of its 300,000 apps please step forward?

The x86 monopoly is an example of a “natural” monopoly people can justify using excuses like “convenience” (the whole “industry standard” PR). To some, it’s the same with Windows. It was never justified at all. What the world needs is code freedom and standards. Software freedom overcomes both issues (hardware and software).

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