Microsoft gives you more freedom than Apple

Several years ago, it must have been 2003, Kurt Kuene said the following:

I don’t really like Microsoft, but Apple is even worse. And more restrictive!

Back then I didn’t completely share his opinion. Now I do. Even though Microsoft is blatantly anti-FOSS, at least they don’t dictate what their developers can and cannot publish, and they don’t control the sales channel. Apple does both.

Apple seemed nice at the time. They took the KDE project’s KHTML rendering engine and slapped an Aqua GUI around it to make their web browser, Safari. They took the Apache project’s Apache web server to make their “Web sharing” web server. They took OpenSSH to make their remote login feature. They took VNC to make their remote desktop sharing feature. That’s when they seemed less nice, Apple’s improvements always took a lot of fighting to get back into the projects.

Apple used a lot of FOSS components to build their Mac OS X and associated applications. I’m willing to bet that without FOSS, Mac OS X wouldn’t be here today, still not, even after years of development.

We saved Apple millions and millions of dollars of software development investments, and what did they do with that? Build a restrictive media empire. And then milk and rape developers at the same time on iOS. All the while they take large tips from the entertainment industry that fears Apple so much they even accept iTunes’ ridiculous margins simply because Apple is the de-facto monopolist in digital media distribution. You don’t want to anger the guy with the firehose when your hair’s on fire.

By now I think Kurt Kuene was right. Microsoft is an unscrupulous, money-hungry cunt of a company, but I think Apple stooped lower than that. They are trying to build a new draconian empire in which Steve Jobs tells you what you’re allowed to think and do, and they want to dictate prices to the industries that feed your media hunger. This is true at least on your phone or tablet. And if market researchers can be trusted, tablets and phones will matter more than the PC market in a few years’ time, so this might be where the money’s made. Apple’s there to fish it out of your wallet.

I would not have thought that I’d ever defend Microsoft for anything, but today I do. Apple has set new standards for sleaziness and paranoid control-freak behavior, a level that Microsoft have never reached.

So hi Microsoft, thanks for being the lesser of two evils now.

And Mr Kuene? You were right all along.

One thought on “Microsoft gives you more freedom than Apple”

  1. Much as I hate to agree with the MS is nicer than Apple comments.. I do! And I never thought I’d see the day.

    Still, in this day and age, it’s apparent that lots of people think Orwell’s “1984” was an instruction manual, not a warning against oppressive regimes. Mix it up with Huxley’s “Brave New World” and look what happ… ooh! American Idol’s on.. Shiney!



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