Thursday, August 27, 2009

Why Do Linux And Open Source Lovers Give Apple A Free Ride?

In its "Windows 7 Sins" campaign, the Free Software Foundation has labeled Windows 7 as "treacherous computing," and accuses Microsoft of such acts as "poisoning education." This is just the latest in a long line of attacks by open source lovers against Microsoft. But Apple is arguably even more closed than Microsoft, yet always gets a free ride from vociferous open source proponents. Can anyone explain this hypocrisy?

Computerworld reports that the group has

launched a campaign against Microsoft Corp.'s upcoming Windows 7 operating system, calling it "treacherous computing" that stealthily takes away rights from users.

At the Web site, the Boston-based FSF lists the seven "sins" that proprietary software such as Windows 7 commits against computer users.

Nowhere does the group mention Apple. Yet in important ways, Apple is more closed than Microsoft. Apple controls not just software, like Microsoft does, but its hardware as well. Try to sell a non-Apple computer with Apple's OS on it, and you'll get hauled into court by Apple lawyers. Apple has also taken legal action against bloggers who report on upcoming hardware and software releases. There's a long list of ways in which Apple is far more closed than Microsoft.

Yet the Free Software Foundation, and many other open source proponents, conveniently ignore these facts, and regularly attack Microsoft, while giving Apple a free ride. Apple, after all, has the "coolness" factor in its favor, and it's fashionable and easy to attack Microsoft.

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