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The New Apple Patent: WGA Evil or iPhone Knievel?

200712221554
Daniel Eran Dilger
In another example of the “Apple is the new Microsoft” campaign, Computerworld’s Gregg Keizer recently reported his speculation that patents Apple filed related to restricted execution of applications were not only similar to Microsoft’s notorious Windows Genuine Advantage spyware, but actually a bit worse. That’s wrong, here’s why.


Apple’s patent described a copy protection system for regularly checking to see if code is authorized to run, as often as every five to ten minutes. Keizer noted that the patent application wasn’t entirely new but built upon existing patents filed in mid-2005.

Keizer then guessed it was related to WGA, announcing “Apple used an example of a check every five to ten minutes, which is much more often than Microsoft’s Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) technology. In June 2006, Microsoft took heat, then modified WGA, after users found out it was ‘phoning home’ to the company’s servers daily.”

Is it true that Apple is racing to duplicate Microsoft’s infamously evil WGA, or is it possible that Apple’s patent describes something entirely different that leaps over the heads of industry pundits and performs a spectacular arc over the rows of broken down vehicles underneath (some of which may be on fire), to land a new platform and win applause for doing so?

What is WGA?
WGA is Microsoft’s phone-home license verification system for Windows. It calculates a figure based on the hardware installed in a PC (including your network card’s unique MAC address) and the serial number of a Windows license, then sends this composite of information to the company to track.

If you try to put your Windows hard drive in a different PC, it won’t authorize because the hardware doesn’t match; Microsoft prefers to assume you cloned your drive to steal Windows rather than, say, moved your hard drive for legitimate reasons such as an upgrade. If you make significant changes to your PC’s hardware, it can also fail authorization. WGA can also go offline for days, as it did recently, which will cause XP or Vista to assume you are a thief and lock down your system in basic mode until Microsoft brings the system back online and you can prove you are not.

Since Microsoft invented WGA after the initial release of Windows XP, it has been working hard to get it installed on existing systems; users have been resistant for obvious reasons. Microsoft refers to it as a security patch, which it is not, and tells users “your computer might be at risk” if it is not installed, which is not true either. Users who opt out of installing it have discovered that Windows reports this to Microsoft, too.

Microsoft also tried to force the rollout of WGA by making it a prerequisite for installing Internet Explorer 7, but that made such a dent in IE7 installations that the company recently relaxed that mandate. Even ZDNet Windows enthusiasts like Ed Bott call WGA’s installation “deceptive and misleading” before making excuses for it and advising readers to bend over, relax, and just insert it anyway.

Microsoft’s WGA Failure Earns Zoon Nomination

WGA the Dog: Microsoft’s WGA Failure Earns Zoon Nomination

Apple vs Microsoft in Copy Protection and Spyware.

Apple currently has no copy protection system for Mac OS X at all. You can move a hard drive from one Mac to another, and even boot a system via FireWire target mode, something WGA would not allow even it if were possible on PC hardware.

Apple even uses serial numbers only for certain applications; it also uses a license management system for Mac OS X Server that prevents users from duplicating Server across lots of machines on the same network, but there is no verification or remote authorization process that calls home to report what you’re doing.

With WGA, Microsoft doesn’t need to phone home every ten minutes because its composite Windows+PC number doesn’t usually change. Even so, when it arrived in 2005 it was set to call home daily. What was it communicating? Nobody really knows. After complaints rolled in, Microsoft did make changes; it promised to relax the call home sessions to every couple weeks. Users still don’t know what WGA actually communicates, because it sends encrypted traffic.

Over the last decade, Microsoft has also bundled Amazon’s Alexa spyware with Windows, which keeps track of the web sites users visit and calls home to report this. Microsoft also made a bid to buy Claria, the maker of the world’s most famous adware/spyware, Gator. Microsoft has repeatedly established that it has no interest in users’ privacy and will do anything it can to push ads at its customers. Its supporters only make excuses for this behavior.

Three Reasons Why Microsoft Can’t Ship (and Apple can): Window’s Adware Infatuation

Will Apple Follow Suit with a WGA Clone?
While Keizar rolls out a scenario where Apple matches WGA in Mac OS X and makes it worse by “checking more often,” in reality what the patent describes is not really a WGA-like system at all.

We know this because Apple already uses this method of DRM on games for the iPod to prevent users from dumping copies of games on P2P sites. The patent doesn’t describe a system to call home repeatedly to validate or authorize software that comes pre-installed on a PC; it describes a DRM system for selectively running software on different hardware platforms, verified locally by the system.

On the iPod, games don’t phone home; they authorize against iTunes locally, which keeps track of the songs, movies, and games you buy. There is no mechanism in place to deactivate these later, such as is the case with Microsoft’s exploding subscription music rentals in the Zune, Xbox, and PlaysForSure systems.

Apple’s Steve Jobs has repeatedly noted that such draconian DRM systems don’t really work and has been proven correct since being quoted on that in 2003. While it may be a great embarrassment for Windows Enthusiast pundits to admit, Apple obviously doesn’t look to Microsoft for its ideas.

Ten Myths of Leopard: 9 Apple is Spying on Users!
UnWired! Rick Farrow, Metasploit, and My iPhone Security Interview
Hacking iPod Games: How Apple’s DRM Works

What’s Next: iPhone Software.
A more obvious use of this transparent copy protection described in the patent is in selling software for the iPhone, a mechanism I’ve been describing for the last year. That’s because the problem with the current mobile software market is that there just isn’t much of a market.

If someone makes the efforts to develop a significant and useful Palm OS or Windows Mobile app, there’s a very limited market to sell to, and once sold, casual piracy destroys any hope of further sales. That offers little hope for retail exposure or promotion that might help things. This reality results in little profit incentive for creating good mobile software. Instead, there are lots of junk apps that commonly demand a $50 to $150 price, knowing that they’ll only sell a few copies.

In contrast, Apple plans to do the same thing to mobile software that it did to digital music sales: lower the price to the point where it becomes an impulse buy, and then use transparent copy restrictions to guide users toward paying for the stuff they want at a reasonable price, rather than trying to steal everything simply because they can.

If iPhone apps follow the same kind of pricing as $5 iPod games, developers will find a huge audience of paying customers ready to support real mobile development, and that support will in turn boost the creative and technical achievements available in mobile software. Apple’s iTunes will act as a retailer and promoter, helping to build markets for mobile software that is otherwise very hard to sell.

How Closed Is the iPhone?
Steve Jobs Ends iPhone SDK Panic
Inside the iPhone: UI, Stability, and Software

Explosion of the iPhone Software Platform.
Back in January, I profiled the joke that is mobile software in “More Absurd iPhone Myths: Third Party Software Panic.” Digging through the top applications people were buying for Windows Mobile, I identified more than $450 of popular third party software that is either already provided with the iPhone or is not necessary because the iPhone lacks problems common to Windows Mobile devices.

If the software for Windows Mobile, Palm, and Symbian looks shoddy now, imagine what will happen when a real market develops for the iPhone, with its ‘easier to write code for’ Cocoa platform, its unified and compatible installed base supported by a single hardware and software vendor, and the retail transaction simplicity of iTunes.

Apple has already sold 1.5 million iPhones; in its first full quarter it grabbed second place as a platform and first in unit sales, eating up 27% of the US market. It now looks on track to sell another 2 million this quarter. That’s roughly 3.5 million iPhones for 2007, and Apple’s goal is to sell 10 million more in 2008. By the end of next year, the iPhone platform will have roughly half the installed base of the Macintosh, even assuming that Apple does not roll out additional iPhone-like systems that contribute to sales, and without counting sales of the iPod Touch which will also be able to run the same software.

Apple is dramatically expanding the size of its Cocoa-based Mac platform not just with 40% growth in Mac sales, but in the more than 50% additional expansion from the iPhone and iPod Touch. The growth is not only in numbers, but also in reach; the iPhone is pushing into corporate markets and dragging MacBook Pros along behind it. It also represents expansion among high end users who are happy to vote with their dollars, rather than low end volume expansion like the loss leader sub-$500 desktop PC market that other hardware makers are all ineffectually fighting over.

More Absurd iPhone Myths: Third Party Software Panic

Plan Now or be Sorry Later.
The time to plan how the software market for the iPhone platform will work is now, not after things get too large to fix. Apple is applying lessons it learned in watching desktop platforms develop over the last 30 years. Among them is the finding that allowing anyone to install anything without any safeguards is a bad thing.

Microsoft’s ActiveX and other Windows mechanisms for allowing mass rollouts of software only worked within the comfort of a secured LAN where everyone was trusted. Disgruntled employees proved that to be a naive mistake, and the Internet destroyed any remaining shred of hope that Microsoft’s “security through proprietary obscurity” was a good approach to software installation and management.

Apple has spent the last couple years perfecting secure mobile software sales and distribution while the rest of the world thought it was chasing its tail with iPod games. Next spring, Apple will roll out a comprehensive system for selling software that will rocket the iPhone out another several years in front of all competitors.

Apple's Secret iPhone Application Business Model

Apple’s Secret iPhone Application Business Model

Will Microsoft Ever Catch Up?
Microsoft enthusiasts like to think that the company will simply copy all the good ideas that arrive and turn them into more expensive, proprietary versions that it can force adoption of using its monopoly. However, that ship has sailed. Microsoft has proven that its own efforts at technical leadership are weak and poorly architected, and more recently, that it can’t even successfully clone ideas even when attempting to do so almost verbatim, such as with the Zune.

As for mobiles, the WinCE basis of Windows Mobile is nearly a decade old; Microsoft specifically announced Windows Smartphones in 2000. Since then, it hasn’t offered anything original and interesting but rather just copied the Palm Treo until it could overwhelm it in marketing clout. In contrast, Apple’s first attempt at delivering a phone wiped the floor with what Microsoft had promised for 2007.

Analysts keep talking about remote deactivation and deletion of phone data for corporate users, but Windows Mobile has only supported that in an insecure fashion up to this year. Few Windows Mobile phones are yet running Windows Mobile 6, the first version that could actually delete data from a SD Flash card, where sensitive data would most likely be. Of course, if the fired employee or thief removes the card before it can be wiped, company data is gone.

With the iPhone, Apple has delivered a device with far more RAM, but it’s all built in and can’t be removed. If a thief recovers a locked phone, they have less opportunity to attempt to get anything off it before a remote authorization system as Apple’s patent describes can deactivate it.

Windows 95 and Vista: Why 2007 Won't Be Like 1995

Windows 95 and Vista: Why 2007 Won’t Be Like 1995
Why Microsoft’s Copy-Killing Has Reached a Dead End

Who Do You Trust?
Further, since Apple doesn’t have a three decade long history of scandalous, criminal behavior or a penchant for installing user-hostile spyware as Microsoft has proven it does, it’s a lot easier to trust a system with remote termination potential coming from Apple.

The company responds to user complaints and makes real changes, such as when it turned off the iTunes recommendation system that privacy advocates freaked out about. Those same advocates seem cool with the spyware built into Windows and WGA, making it hard to take them seriously. The difference is that Apple answers directly to irate users rather than marketing toward big business and corporate interests at end users’ expense.

So no, Apple is not the new Microsoft. We can be extremely glad that somebody with the clout and visibility of Apple is taking on Microsoft to restore competition in the industry and support open source and standards-based development over Microsoft’s completely proprietary, standards-hostile, anti-competitive, third rate products dripping with spyware and onerous DRM policing in a way that insults users. Unfortunately, the tech press gets more attention by spinning invented controversy than in simply pointing out the truth.

Symbiotic: What Apple Does for Open Source

What do you think? I really like to hear from readers. Comment in the Forum or email me with your ideas.

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19 comments

1 nat { 12.22.07 at 10:37 pm }

Linked to this article on InsanelyMac (formerly OSx86), a site that has recently been posting slanted news stories from places like Computerworld, including the one addressed here. Before you posted this article, I already knew the story was misleading, but I couldn’t very well defend my position.

Thanks, Daniel, for keeping them honest.

2 Jon T { 12.23.07 at 4:25 am }

Boy, you have a continuous supply of misleading articles to deal with when it comes to MS and Apple!

I’m probably not alone in being grateful to you for putting it into a truthful context, giving voice to my innate distrust of everything MS.

A very Happy Christmas to you Daniel, and all fellow RDM readers.

3 bicclick2002 { 12.23.07 at 5:18 am }

A little off topic but. . . am I beginning to see the light after all these years? Or am I just being misinformed by a pro-Apple /

anit-Microsoft campaign? Last time I used a Mac, I was in middle school; Mac OS x.x.x was terrible then, maybe this

isn’t the case anymore? Back then XP was the way to go, but now I’m beginning to have second thoughts. Or is it,

like I said, a misinformation war on Mac vs Windows? By the way, I’m not kidding, I would like a straight foreward

answer. Thoughts, ie personal opinions. . .

4 PerGrenerfors { 12.23.07 at 8:04 am }

It’s interesting that few point out that MS sells to corporations like HP and Dell (not to mention larger studios and the record industry), and not to consumers like Apple does. This difference, I believe, is vital to understand each company’s attitude towards the consumer. Great job.

Merry Christmas, Daniel!

5 nat { 12.23.07 at 6:20 pm }

@bicclick2002,

Go here to view Daniel’s resume:
http://www.roughlydrafted.com/resume.html

Then do a search for “Windows” on that page. You’ll see he’s experienced in a number of systems. Decide for yourself.

Also, you never mention how the Macs you used in school were “terrible.” Examples?

6 bicclick2002 { 12.24.07 at 4:07 am }

@nat,

True, I don’t recall which Macs they were and I can’t recall specific ‘terrible’ experiences that I had with them. We used early iMacs (the ones with the different translucent colors), and the early ‘all-in-one’ Macs that had the ‘rainbow apple’ on the front.

But on the other hand, I was younger, immature and didn’t have any kind of Mac background / Mac technical skills. So if an ‘error’ happened to arise I was unaware on how to approach or fix such problems, like I mentioned earlier, I was not Mac savvy.

But at the same time, they were located in a middle school in which they could have been easily ‘fiddled’ with by various students to cause problems etc.

Nonetheless, I am beginning to like Macs more and more, especially after learning about Boot Camp. With the inclusion of that feature in the newer Mac OS I will still be able to play my Windows games and run other proprietary programs etc. ; )

7 Jon T { 12.24.07 at 5:12 am }

bicclick, Take an hour out and read the many many tales of switchers to Mac in the last year – they aren’t hard to find. To a man you will hear the same commentary, that Mac way surpasses XP and Vista every time and in every way.

Try it and you’ll likely wonder why it took you so long to experience your own epiphany…

8 bicclick2002 { 12.24.07 at 5:32 am }

@ Jon T,

Thanks for the idea! But since I’m lazy would you happen to have a good direction in which I could find such ‘tales’?

9 Bobson { 12.24.07 at 7:43 am }

Good article, but I was kindof surprised it didn’t go into more detail about what Apple’s patent will do. It discusses what it’s not, then sidetracks to what it can be used for, without the usual analysis of how it would work.

10 John Muir { 12.24.07 at 2:14 pm }

@bicclick2002

I had a similar experience to you, only back in 1996 / 1997. We had a desktop publishing class at high school and as a by then veteran home user of Windows 3.1 and recently Windows 95 I found the black and white little Macs very annoying and limited. I presumed that this was all Apple had at the time and that was why they were in real trouble.

Those Macs were Mac Classics and were new … in 1990 or so before I even started at high school! Their processors where the original 8 MHz 68000 as used in the very first Mac in 1984!! I was judging hardware that was essentially a decade out of date. No wonder I felt happier with my home computer.

Later in 1997 / 1998 I went to college and they had Windows 95 PC’s and colour Macs (probably newish PowerPC desktops) in the labs. This was in the UK (traditionally a less Mac friendly place than the US) and everyone gravitated to the familiar PC’s, so I decided the give the Macs a try again. I was glad that I did. Netscape and IE were better presented and crashed less than on the PC’s, and without Novel Netware installed the Macs were all obviously faster. I wrote essays in Word and basically got things done much more easily on the Macs … and rarely had to wait for a free machine.

It still seemed strange that so few even tried them out.

Despite my good experience, I went with a PC laptop at around that time (price!) and bought a Windows 2000 desktop a couple of years later. The iMac and iBook caught my attention, but I was unsure about switching to them because by now I had a lot of Windows software I owned and was used to and it seemed a big leap. I remained a happy PC user more or less until I got broadband in 2002…

That brought the malware. I tried to fight it by upgrading my hardware. Daft idea … malware always wins. It was also getting me nowhere when it came to noise, which was a big problem with the hot Pentium 4′s and Athlons at the time.

Then Steve Jobs unveiled the aluminium PowerBooks at Macworld in 2003. I soon heard about them with some well placed (and still all too rare) TV advertising here in Britain. I was ready to take the leap and I bought a 12″ PowerBook G4.

Best tech decision ever. It’s five years later now almost and I’m pleased I switched and have brought over around a dozen other users with me. Today I have the quietest desktop on the planet: a Mac mini and still use the trusty PowerBook as my portable … both in Leopard.

So that’s my switching story; Google “Mac switcher” if you want a lot more. Strangely enough, we never hear ones about people going in the opposite direction. I wonder why that could be…

11 bicclick2002 { 12.25.07 at 3:29 am }

Intriguing! I’m glad you took the time to share your story, it was a great read ; )

P.S. I would like to visit the U.K. one day, that would be amazingly fun! By the way, I am from the States if you didn’t already know. . .

12 bicclick2002 { 12.25.07 at 3:30 am }

^ @ John Muir

13 MetalboySiSo { 12.25.07 at 10:42 am }

@bicclick—

I’ll give you another switcher story (my own, of course):

I started out using the (at the time, awesome, as I thought, though dated) Apple //e, and also using 1 of the school’s 2 Macintoshes at the time. As this was in 1988/89, and I was only 7/8 years old at the time, this was my first experience with a GUI/mouse operated system, and I loved it. The Mac also was the first computer I had seen with a CD-ROM drive (maybe it was in 1990, now that I think about it), and we had the Grolier’s Multimedia Encyclopedia, too. It was awesome.

My dad, however, worked for a company that used M$ products. So, when we got home computers, especially the $2000-3000 laptops that work sent him home with, they were Windows computers. And, when I got into Jr. High/high school, my school also had Windows 3.1, and later, Windows 95/98 computers. So, needless to say, that was what I used, and I, like so many others, got adept at working around Windows’ flaws, and considered myself “computer saavy.” I also fell into a deep dislike (and maybe even contempt) for all things Apple. I felt (like so many others did and still do) that were worthless for use in “real” applications, and were only good as toys, for use by children in elementary school and such.

Then, as so often happens, I got myself a steady girlfriend. Not the first, but the first serious one. Her old PC had just gone kaput, so her mom was in the market for a new one. My girlfriend and I were not with her mom and sister when they went shopping for the new computer, so they came home with a “blueberry” iMac, chosen, as I understand it, because the younger sister thought it was “pretty.” “Pretty?!?!” I said, amused (and maybe a little dismayed). “That’s not why you buy a computer! And it’s a freaking Mac! Macs SUCK!” This particular Mac had good specs, however, and I offered to help them set it up, thought I knew VERY little about Macs.This iMac had Mac OS 8.5 or 8.6 on it, it was very easy to set up, and I ended up using it quite a bit over the next couple of years (thought I still thought it was just a toy, not a “real” computer).

Forward to college. The college I went to had a Mac lab, with blue and orange iMac G3s (this was in 2000, so they were still pretty new). In my Calculus class we used the Mathematica program, and it ran on the Macs, so I used them for that. My earlier learned adeptness at using Mac OS 8 was useful there, and I was able to use them fairly easily. Also, I used them outside of class, because, like John Muir up there, nobody ever used them, and without Novell Netware, they were a LOT faster then the lab PCs at the time. Still didn’t like or want to own a Mac, though.

Then, in early 2004, the same girlfriend (although an ex-girlfriend by now) got a 20 GB iPod. I thought (being somewhat of a music buff) that it was the coolest thing I had ever seen, ever. Being able to carry some 5000 songs around in my pocket? That would certainly put an end to my having to drag my heavy-ass Case Logic CD case around everywhere. So, a couple of weeks later, I got paid, and went and bought one. I LOVED it. I was NEVER without my iPod (until I killed it about a year and a half later).

Shortly after my newfound love of the iPod, the same female’s mother went and bought her an iBook G4 (dual USB late 2004 model). As you can see, this family went Mac, and didn’t go back (like so many others). This was my first experience with Mac OS X. She then upgraded to Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4, if you don’t know), and I started playing with THAT on her iBook. I, somehow, inexplicably, fell in love with that iBook and Mac OS X. Me, the guy who would NEVER buy a Mac.

I was STILL (after all this) a little undecided, however. What finally turned me over was my band. I am an amateur guitarist (meaning I don’t get paid for playing, for the most part), and as such, in a contemporary rock/metal band. When I first saw iLife ’04, and Garageband, I was completely sold. I bought an iBook G4, and haven’t looked back. I love my iBook (which I am typing this on now), and will continue to love it for a few more months until the AppleCare warranty runs out, then I am looking to get a new MacBook Pro (for which I am already saving up, not being a wealthy individual). I can’t wait to make the Intel switch, and I’m sure I’ll love it, just as I love my little iBook 14in.

So now I have come full circle, back to my elementary school days, back to Apple, hehe. I have got one of my younger sisters convinced to switch when she goes to grad school next year, and I have got my mother completely sold (she lives with me, and I talk about how much I love my Mac constantly; she could probably sell the damn things just on my constant info alone), and I am working on the rest of my family.

Sorry so long winded and rambling, but I hope it helps, buddy! Good luck, and hopefully you will join the “Switchers” before long!

Cheers,
SiSo

14 John Muir { 12.25.07 at 5:48 pm }

@SiSo

Interesting you should mention the Apple hate side of things too. Windows 3.1 was the first useable GUI I encountered and I was already so invested in it — learning the pitfalls and inconsistencies — that Macs always seemed some who other place to me, and as such I wasn’t quite interested in them. Sounds strange to say it now, but that was how I was as a young teenager anyway.

I remember playing around with Eliza on those Mac Classics and in a lengthy little satire a friend and I wrote instead of doing classwork, we joked with the talkingfake-psychiatrist about “the idiosyncrasies of the Apple Mackintosh”. I only still remember this because some of the rest of it was funny enough that I printed it out! (Yes, we were stuck for things to do on the class computers before we had the internet around…)

The truth was that the Macs were consistent, and my skills had been honed on the extremely fiddly early versions of Windows of the time. I could feel there was something different between them … but because I was invested in one platform, I was one of the Stockholm Syndrome people Daniel recently wrote about.

Fortunately I didn’t actually hate the Mac, so much as looked at it with a suspicious eye. Soon enough when it came to college network and 25-7 internet access, I learned that the advantage lay with the other platform. Though it still took me a few years to make the switch myself.

I really think that the internet has changed the equation. Years back you had to find all new software if you wanted to change your platform. You basically became a newbie computer user all over again. That is no longer the case.

We do so much online now — where all platforms are equal — and Apple supply a great baseload of bundled apps with every system. The leap is nothing like what it used to be, and OS X is clearly something else.

We’re living in interesting times people!

Now back to the egg-nog free British Christmas … I’m sure we’re not out of cheesy festive music yet.

15 Apple : Alerte au brevet antipiratage at Serial Serveur { 12.26.07 at 9:18 am }

[...] Apple pour limiter le piratage des jeux sur l’iPod, comme l’explique Daniel Eran Dilger sur son blog. Et ce type de protection pourrait tout à fait être une méthode valable pour limiter le piratage [...]

16 Joe Sa { 12.26.07 at 11:48 am }

As far as being invested in software goes, some companies will do cross grades. Here is Adobes policy on swithching your software license to another platform:

http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/2007/05/cs3_switching_p.html

17 pecos.bill { 12.26.07 at 1:30 pm }

I strongly feel this patent covers Apple’s code that prevents OS X from running on non-Apple hardware.

18 webhead { 12.28.07 at 10:39 am }

Hey I use both a MAC OSX, Vista and Ubuntu. I program for all three and love all three; however, Apple OSX does have tis drawbacks…

First of all let me say at least MS and Linux let me choose my hardware. Apple is just a hareware. Think about it. MS and other OS manufacturers sell the OS and allow you to choose your hardware… they make money on the OS. Apple has a lot more to loose… a few thousand dollars per install as you have to buy there hardware.

To save there arse, Apple had to use the Berkley Unix to make OSX… this version of UNIX is free; however, Apple make you pay for it! Why did OS9 die; it died because it was a cow to program for… I should know, I use to write programs for the thing… The early MAC OS was earth shattering… it was fantasic; however, it was Apple that killed it with all of there hardware restriction and proprietary crap. Then they bring out an AD that shows the MS guy holding a think C++ book… Hmm I use C++ to create Apple OS X programs so why the dig?

Hardware: at least when my computer with Linux or Vista (XP for that matter) breaks down, I can port it to another vendors hardware without too many problems. Apple… nope I am locked into Apple hardware… hell it is even in there license agreement for OSX… it cannot be ran on any other hardware platform other than one with an Apple on it!

Wake up… Apple is just another vendor with a great marketing department. Is cool paying for a free OS? You can argue that MS charges; however, you do the math… XP release approx 2001 it is now 6 years old. It cost me approx $300 in 2000 and I recieved free updates for the past 6 years. MAC OSX I purchased and have had to upgrade it how many time? Four. And each time I have had to pay how much? The cost of these upgrades have now exceeded what I paid for XP. And to top it these are meant to be minor upgrades hence no OS XI.

On security… OS X has had some many security patches it almost beats XP and yes a lot of these were very serious.

OK. Leapard. Yep installed the upgrade and my Adobe programs don’t work, the firewall is not a firewall and yep it crashed on top of that… I could just see the MS ad on TV! Yes Apple will fix these; however, as a consumer, I am not told this. I just see the slick MS bashing ads on TV (check out http://www.macintouch.com/leopard/compat.html)

I think to balance you view you should not bash MS and compare it against Apple. I think that you should take a closer look at Apple and there practices and stand them on their own merits.

From a programmers standpoint… Anyone who develops software should be able to restrict the use of it to the person that has purchased it. Programmers need food too!

19 mrunderhill { 01.06.08 at 3:29 pm }

I’m a Mac user and have been for longer than i care to remember, but Leopard is the first OS that i have had to uninstall due to problems.

I keep my software up-to-date as my job depends on it, but Leopard has been more trouble than its worth. I’ve lost count the amount of times i’ve sent Apple feedback after my programs have crashed.

I’m back on Tiger for now and will give it a few months/ updates before i make the switch back to Leopard.

It has some great features and should be a great OS once the bugs are ironed out, but i’m really disappointed with Apple for releasing a new OS that IMO isn’t quite ready.

However it’s still a million times better using Mac hardware/software than any PC setup i’ve ever used.

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