Apple is as predatory as Microsoft

Think of me as a glutton for punishment. What I am about to write is going to get me a smack-down from Apple lovers all across the planet. As full disclosure, I love my OS-X, love my IPod and my miniPOD. In fact I support Apple by buying ridiculously expensive peripherals and accessories. In fact, I can ill-afford a new PowerBook ever year, but I forsake my Dunhill’s and Gray Goose for three months to pay for the shiny object of desire.

But today, I was simply and completely disgusted by Apple’s actions. The company announced its new OS, code-named Tiger. It looks very nice and cool. It has tons of new features and one in particular are the reason I am writing this post: Dashboard.

Dashboard. “The Dashboard is home to a new kind of application called Widgets. Widgets are mini-applications written in JavaScript that are designed for fun as well as function,” writes Apple on its website. Veru cool – except it is a direct rip-off of Konfabulator, a $25 Macintosh program which has been doing this for the longest time. Shame on you Apple!

Microsoft might put big mega-million dollars giants like Netscape out of business, Apple is takkng food out of the mouth of a developer. I think a lot of these tiny guys cannot fight back, and Apple gets away with it. Apple had pulled a similar stunt with Watson search technology and dealt it a mortal blow with Sherlock. (I would not be surprised if Konfabulator team defects to Windows.) The RSS reader in Safari could easily put a dent in Ranchero’s business.

This is a sign that Apple is as predatory that Microsoft and is perhaps more evil than the Barons of Redmond. Why? because time and again, Apple takes the best ideas from the “lone coder” community and subsumes into its operating system. It wants everything in the OS, just like Windows. (Ironically it was lampooning Microsoft today at WWDC!) I am pretty sure if Microsoft did something like this, it would be front page news in every newspaper across the planet. Apple, the shiny happy, smiley face Apple. It cannot do no evil. I think the mac-fan sites don’t get too critical of Apple when they should.

Think about this folks – for a minute spare a thought for that lone coder who toils to bring you the software you love. And let Apple know that it has to earn our love! [PS: I will still buy a PowerBook next year as well :-) ]

Russ is angry about it and has an open letter to all Apple developers

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