Bonum Certa Men Certa

Copying Apple's Graphics, Not Apple's Business and User Experience

Linux Mint 15



Summary: What we can copy from Apple and what we oughtn't ever copy, only abolish

IMITATING Apple's business practices in order to advance GNU/Linux is not a good idea. Imitating Apple's presentation, however, may be acceptable (Apple's patent aggression aside because it's trigger-happy w.r.t. lawsuits). One thing which Apple is undoubtedly good at is marketing, unless or until it gets caught. Years ago we covered examples where Apple essentially bribed or influenced some bloggers to help manufacture some hype for the hypePad and days ago Apple got caught paying homeless people to pretend to want Apple gadgets rather than a home [1]. That's just utterly rogue. Think different. Think Apple.



Anyway, there are several Ubuntu-based distributions which try to imitate the appearance (and sometimes behaviour) of Apple's platforms. Pear OS [2] and Elementary OS [3] are just two of them and they are likely to meet just limited success because they aim at converting Apple fan, who would probably be disappointed as GNU/Linux can't meet the expectation of being Apple. The many efforts to sell GNU/Linux as a "cheap Windows" (see Xandros, Linspire and several other defunct companies) were never successful because even with Wine GNU/Linux was unable to imitate Windows reliably enough. GNU/Linux is not Windows. And it's not supposed to be.

"Nobody deserves Apple-branded products as a gift; it's not a gift, it's a digital jail in shrink-wrapped boxes."One distribution which uses some Apple-like graphics but does not go too far in imitating Apple is Linux Mint and right now it tries Apple's method of selling hardware tied to the operating system [4-6]. Linux Mint is currently the distribution I install for GNU/Linux converts because it gives them the polish of Mac OSuX while not pretending to be Mac OSuX. It is easy to use (good out-of-the-box experience) and it removes the need to be technical for those who are not.

On the technical side, Apple fails on the basics [7], copies Android/Linux [8], and uses technical tricks to punish and restrict customers [9]. Nobody deserves Apple-branded products as a gift; it's not a gift, it's a digital jail in shrink-wrapped boxes.

Related/contextual items from the news:



  1. L.A. homeless hired to buy latest iPhones
    A businessman scheming to get his profit-minded hands on dozens of new iPhones allegedly recruited about 100 homeless people from Skid Row in Los Angeles to wait in line overnight at the Pasadena Apple Store, but many were left unpaid and stranded after his plan was exposed, local media reported Friday.


  2. Pear OS 8 Linux Distribution Will Be Inspired by iOS 7
    David Tavares, the father of the Pear OS distribution, has just shared a screenshot on Google+, teasing Linux users with the iOS 7-inspired look of his upcoming Pear OS 8 operating system.


  3. If I had to leave the Mac? I'd switch to Elementary OS
    Perhaps it’s a holdover from the Apple Depression of the 1990s, but I sometimes wonder where I would go if I ever needed to leave the Mac.


  4. The MintBox 2 is available!
    The MintBox 2 is now available and can be ordered from CompuLab at http://fit-pc.com/web/products/mintbox/
  5. MintBox 2 Computer Officially Unveiled, Powered by Linux Mint 15
    Clement Lefebvre, the founding father of the extremely popular Linux Mint operating system, had the pleasure of announcing today, September 13, that the next-gen MintBox mini PC is available for purchase.


  6. MintBox 2 ships with Linux Mint 15 and Core i5 processors
    Linux Gizmos reports that the MintBox mini-PC is shipping with Linux Mint 15 and Core i5 processors. This is a neat little computer, and I particularly like the fact that Linux Mint is the default distro on it.


  7. Chaos Computer Club breaks Apple TouchID


  8. Did Apple copy Android in iOS 7?
    Today in Open Source: Did iOS 7 borrow ideas from Android? Plus: Linux Defenders and dangerous patents, and the launch date of Ubuntu Touch 1.0


  9. Free Software Foundation statement on new iPhone models from Apple
    The Free Software Foundation encourages users to avoid all Apple products, in the interest of their own freedom and the freedom of those around them.


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