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Locked-Down Tablets Endanger FLOSS For End Users 242

Posted by timothy
from the debian-friendliness-as-coal-mine-canary dept.
itwbennett writes "If you buy into the idea that tablets (and ultrabooks, and smartphones) in the enterprise are nothing more than glorified thin clients, then Microsoft's Surface presentation seemed more flashback than future. And if you're a fan of free software, the announcement might also have struck fear in your heart. While Microsoft has never locked out apps based on license, it's not impossible that they might chose a more locked-down Apple-esque approach for Surface, writes blogger Brian Proffitt. 'And that could put free software for end users very much at risk.'"
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Locked-Down Tablets Endanger FLOSS For End Users

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  • Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:01AM (#40385379)
    A post for some anti-Microsoft tinfoil hat? Must be a slow news day.
    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:12AM (#40385543)

      A post for some anti-Microsoft tinfoil hat? Must be a slow news day.

      Indeed.

      But you know, it's Microsoft's product, they can build it however they want - you're not obligated to buy it.

      On the other hand, if you DO buy it, nothing should stop you from at least trying to unlock it and load some other OS... You *do* own the hardware, but MS can design, build, and load it however they damn well feel like...

      • by Junta (36770)

        Problem being, today the relative minority enjoy the hardware out there primarily designed to run MS software but also can run Linux due to the way things historically panned out.

        If tomorrow the 95% of hardwer designed to run MS is tilted to run MS *exclusively*, the minority no longer has a significant, affordable market to buy in.

        • Isn't that the price of freedom?

          It ain't free.

        • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

          by berashith (222128) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:41AM (#40385965)

          Why would this happen? Today there are two players in the market that are well ahead of MS, and seem to be standing strong where MS is trying to break in. One of these players encourages a lot of free and open apps, and has plenty of hardware industry support as well as an original enabler of the entire platform with possibly deeper pockets than microsoft.

          I would not expect a former monopoly holder on last decades technology who is well behind in the current fields to be able to re-assert itself into the same position as it had enjoyed previously.

          • by Junta (36770)

            My concern being does this bleed over to the desktop and laptop market in time. Like it or not, MS dominates that particular space.

            • by berashith (222128)

              the changes seem to be radiating backwards in this case. The users are becoming more attached to their portable devices, and the desktops are going to have to keep up with compatibility. Microsoft is not in the position ( yet, and hopefully to remain.. so i see your point) to drive the utilization of these devices, as more and more companies are allowing users to supply their own toys.

          • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by mapsjanhere (1130359) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @11:51AM (#40386961)
            As the example of Apple clearly shows, it's impossible for a closed platform company to reinvent itself and become a market leader in a new tech segment.
            • by berashith (222128)

              true, but there needs to be some form of visionary in place to realise the new direction that the entire market wants to go in, and then be capable of providing it. I dont think that MS is going to provide a market leading visionary any time soon. Apple provided the ipod and iphone, both of which provided a fairly large change in a product as far as most people were concerned. For microsoft to pull this off, they are already too far behind on the tablets, and will need to redefine how we use the next pieces

        • Re:Really? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @11:55AM (#40387029) Journal

          And whose fault would that be? Time for a dose of cold hard truth boys and girls, if the community would have had a living shitfit at the half baked crap coming from the devs, you know EXACTLY what I'm talking about, crap like companies having to release new drivers even for old stuff because Linus and the kernel fiddlers kept breaking shit, the DE wars, Pulseaudio, repos full of half baked software with zero QC or QA, well then maybe you'd have enough marketshare that MSFT wouldn't dare!

          When Shuttleworth flushes millions down the toilet and Linux never breaks single digits and most places have it close to the same 2% its been in years, when you are offering your product for free with no strings attached and people would STILL rather steal the other guy's product, when forum hunts and CLI copypasta is treated as par for the course on update, when your forums are filled with "Ur a M$ Shill!" and "Works4me" because a vocal segment of your users treat your product as a cult instead of an OS? Well folks its time to suck it up and take a good long hard look in the mirror.

          I would STRONGLY suggest you read these [google.com] two informative [narod.ru] articles, the first by one of the RH devs, and then you will know why FLOSS is so easily blocked with so few giving a shit. The second one has over a hundred links pointing out serious long term problems that are either 1.-swept under the rug, 2.-Ignored, or 3.-Treated as hearasay if you even bring them up. I'm sure this post will be buried by those that treated FLOSS as a religion, aka the FOSSies as I've often called them, because their answer to everything that isn't "Gee Biff, isn't FLOSS Swell, it sure is Skip, RMS is a God among men and M$ burns babies!" is treated like crapping on the Baby Jesus, but in the end the numbers don't lie. if there hadn't been so much infighting, reinventing the wheel, NIH, ignoring of obvious issues, and using the fact that it was free as an excuse to settle for half ass? Well then frankly the numbers would be such that MSFT wouldn't dare block it. the fact that they can and most of the planet couldn't care less just shows a failing in FLOSS to give the people what they want and to offer a better product as far as I'm concerned.

          • by gorzek (647352)

            Good thing Linux's long-term success has nothing to do with whether it is ever popular on the desktop, then.

      • they can build it however they want - you're not obligated to buy it.

        Say I want a video game console on which I can run homemade video games. Should I get a Microsoft, Nintendo, or Sony console? They're all locked down.

        nothing should stop you from at least trying to unlock it and load some other OS

        Nothing should stop people, but copyright law does stop people. Sony v. Hotz.

        • by chispito (1870390)

          Say I want a video game console on which I can run homemade video games. Should I get a Microsoft, Nintendo, or Sony console? They're all locked down.

          Buy a computer.

        • by gorzek (647352)

          Today's game consoles are basically squeezed-down PCs anyway. "Build your own" used to be a flippant response, now it's actually very doable. Get a small case, put some hardware in it, a TV-out graphics card, hook up some gamepads, install whatever interface you want (maybe Linux running MAME, Windows running Steam, basically do whatever you care to here), and bam! You've got a game console.

          It's weird how people complain so much now, when there is so much cheap commodity hardware available that there's no e

      • by alen (225700)

        what would be the point?you can buy a brand X chineese android tablet and hack away all you want
        soon you will be able to buy brand x x86 tablets and hack away

        why buy an apple, MS or other locked down device meant for people not like yourself just to complain?

      • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Dogtanian (588974) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @11:02AM (#40386283) Homepage

        But you know, it's Microsoft's product, they can build it however they want - you're not obligated to buy it. [..] You *do* own the hardware, but MS can design, build, and load it however they damn well feel like...

        Yawn, it's the old "it's a free market and it's their product and you're not obliged to buy it so you have no right to criticise " response that keeps popping up on Slashdot, either from the mouths of fanboys or from those who (incorrectly) think this is how a free market works.

        Let's me be clear- the first (non-italicised part) is valid and reasonable. The problem is when the above types assume that the "no right to criticise" bit follows too. That part is either stated explicitly or implied (as in the above case, since the comment was posted in the context of being a response to criticism of MS's behaviour (*)). Either way, it's wrong.

        Yes... yes, they're entitled to do what they like (within reason). And similarly, people are morally entitled to criticise things about that they disagree with. See, it cuts both ways. I'm quite entitled to criticise a company and their products, services and/or practices, regardless of whether I have the intention of buying them or not. The company isn't obligated to sell it, after all.

        The implication otherwise is that anyone who doesn't buy a given product in a free market isn't entitled to have an opinion on it. See that car model you know is lousy- and can explain why to your neighbour or other forum members who are thinking about buying one? You should shut up about that because it's a free market and they can design it lousy if they want and you don't have to buy it. Matter of fact, logically the implication applies equally to those who did buy it- since they didn't *have* to. The engine fell out of your brand new Chery QQ after 1500 miles? You weren't obligated to buy it, so you have no right to whine.

        In short, no, that's not how it works.

        (*) Yes, let's remember that MS themselves haven't actually done this yet- only that someone is speculating that they *might*.

        • by gl4ss (559668)

          haven't done what? windows rt tablets are locked down, no news there, they're required to do a good effort in locking them down - how good or not they are at it remains to be seen.

          the win8 x86 tablets are free to toy around as much as you want(and ms license requires them to be, too).

          (personally, my biggest complaint about ipad is how locked down it is, too, and I do bitch about it regularly, I don't see any advantage for winRT over ipad really).

      • Though, I don't recall there being any rules which state that products not designed for Windows or iOS having to be locks down.

        I figure that the UEFI BIOS for ARM is open source, Linux is open source... Shouldn't be so hard to produce a non-Windows or Apple tablet. I just don't see any problem with Microsoft and even other vendors locking the devices they make. Why not just buy something else?

        Oops... Forgot.. Slashdot... People here intentionally buy locked down devices do they can bitch about their lack of
    • by camperslo (704715)

      A post for some anti-Microsoft tinfoil hat? Must be a slow news day.

      Well there is news that is more eye opening or at least entertaining (see below). Maybe combine the stories, list this one as an example of what locked-down keeps out? Or twist it into something more fun, a feature for beta software where the dev breaks in and comments on a feature you're using and offers an improvement or asks you if you'd like source to do it yourself?

      http://arstechnica.com/security/2012/06/hacker-uses-malware-built-in-chat-to-toy-with-researchers/ [arstechnica.com]

  • FUDD (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:02AM (#40385399)

    They may also make it such that it calls you mean names...

    • Re:FUDD (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cpu6502 (1960974) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:12AM (#40385545)

      +1. I was aboout to post the same thing. This is a BLOG that is filled with nothing but speculation to induce fear, uncertainty, and doubt about what Microsoft MIGHT do to lock-out devices. It was a waste of my time to read. 1/10 stars.

      The final paragraph should have been the /. summary: "Free software won't completely go away, of course. There's too much back-end functionality in too many IT sectors for that to ever happen. But with the rise of thin clients and the app store gateways, end users may have a harder time finding and installing free software for their personal or business use."

      • by Microlith (54737)

        doubt about what Microsoft MIGHT do to lock-out devices.

        Might do? You mean like mandate 3rd parties enforce UEFI Secure Boot to ensure nothing can modify the boot process? You knock out malware and alternative operating systems (arguably malware from Microsoft's perspective) in one blow.

        Free software won't completely go away, of course. There's too much back-end functionality in too many IT sectors for that to ever happen.

        No, but you'll be pushed down the path of buying a multi-thousand dollar server of som

        • by Baloroth (2370816)

          Might do? You mean like mandate 3rd parties enforce UEFI Secure Boot to ensure nothing can modify the boot process? You knock out malware and alternative operating systems (arguably malware from Microsoft's perspective) in one blow.

          One of two things will happen if MS does this: 1) it will have no effect because they are such a tiny player in the tablet market and trying to lock out Android/ etc will have no impact on the availability of Android tablets (not necessarily unlocked, but that is up to the manufacturers) or 2) MS will get their ass sued off for anti-trust in about 5 seconds if they try things like "you have to sell only locked tablets to get OEM prices for x86 Windows." I'm not particularly worried: MS just doesn't have th

          • if they try to exploit their non-tablet clout they will find themselves in a world of hurt legally

            With the US DOJ being rendered toothless by the right wing and the EU allegedly about to break up over debt crises, from whom will this hurt come?

          • I think you need to expand 2:
            2a: Microsoft is sued.
            2b: Microsoft stalls
            2c: Microsoft appeals.
            2d: After ten years, the legal action is finally over. Microsoft is fined for tens of millions of dollars. But by this point their control has allowed them to eradicate all competitors and make many billions of dollars in additional profit. Net winner: Microsoft. We've seen it before.
            • We've seen it before.

              You are, apparently, very selective about the directions you're looking at, because Microsoft was fined a grand total of 4 billion dollars in EU not long ago (for IE).

          • by Sir_Sri (199544)

            By going to route of contracting their own devices microsoft runs the risk of making enemies of all of their former downstream partners. If they're enemies windows is going to get smacked down even trying to enter the tablet space, and if microsoft only really makes a lead in device (like the Google nexus line) then you just don't buy the Microsoft locked down product and buy the 3rd party manufacturer one that isn't.

            In the end I think there is a market for dumbed down, locked down devices. Especially bec

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      They are bringing back Microsoft BOB?

  • Lock Out (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Grudge2012 (2662391) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:02AM (#40385405)
    It's not Apple locking out GPL, its the GPL locking out the App Store.
    • by Microlith (54737)

      No, it's a mutual incompatibility between the App Store and the GPL. Apple chose to make it this way.

      The App Store (and by extension, Apple's walled garden) is decisively anti-end user freedom. The GPL is totally pro-end user freedom. But since Apple controls the store, the only way to legitimately get GPL software on there is to own all the copyrights to the code, strip the GPL (because it will be replaced with Apple's onerous terms,) and post it. Users can then go figure out how to make use of the GPL cod

      • by Dog-Cow (21281)

        There is nothing at all stopping you from

        A) Including your own license. Apple's does not apply in this scenario.
        B) Including the source for your app and making it available via iTunes.

        The sticking point would be the DRM that prevents redistribution of the binary.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        No, it's a mutual incompatibility between the App Store and the GPL. Apple chose to make it this way.

        The App Store (and by extension, Apple's walled garden) is decisively anti-end user freedom. The GPL is totally pro-end user freedom. But since Apple controls the store, the only way to legitimately get GPL software on there is to own all the copyrights to the code, strip the GPL (because it will be replaced with Apple's onerous terms,) and post it. Users can then go figure out how to make use of the GPL cod

        • by Xtifr (1323)

          No, the GPLv2 is incompatible with the App Store as well. It has nothing to do with Tivoization, and everything to do with not adding any additional restrictions. Apple doesn't allow independent distribution of binaries that appear in the App Store, which is an additional restriction and thus forbidden by the GPL. The DRM stuff may be an additional issue that only applies to the GPLv3, but they're already incompatible with any flavor of GPL to start with.

      • Re:Lock Out (Score:4, Informative)

        by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@noSPaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @01:03PM (#40387853)

        Your comment only applies to GPLv3 - and that was not Apple's doing.

        GPLv2 code is fine on the app store (and there's a fair bit of it on there). Apple even changed their terms and conditions after the VLC incident to clarify the issue. There's nothing stopping you from releasing a GPLv2 app on the store and distributing the binaries and the source via other means (or even within the app).

        The "hostility" comes in the form of the GPLv3, written seemingly in a fit of nerd rage that while the Tivo box was technically using the code legally, the spirit of the licence wasn't being followed, thus the highly restrictive v3 was born. I can totally understand why it was written, but to try and claim that the reason you can't use GPLv3 code on the app store is *Apple* hostility is just not painting the true picture. The v3 licence is simply incompatible by design *of the writers of the licence* to be hostile to App Store and Tivo-type business models.

        Again, I can understand and respect that position, but it's not all on Apple for "being totally anti freedom".

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bhlowe (1803290)
      I think the iOS $0.99 per sale model is better in the long run than the "Free as in GPL" model. At least making a $0.70 per sale can defray some of the development costs. Writing an tablet app, not charging anything for it, and giving away the source code seems to me like shooting yourself in the foot--unless you're part of the small minority of coders who don't need to earn a living.
      • by mark-t (151149)

        Count how much freely available software there is out there, with source code.

        That's at least how many programmers there are who will write software and give away the source code (since many free software products have multiple contributors). While it might not be a majority of programmers, it's anything but a small number.

        • by bhlowe (1803290)
          On Sourceforge.net there are fewer than 400 iOS projects (I had a hard time finding the exact number)... compare that to the 500,000 apps in the App store that are not open source. Yes, there are plenty of open source projects.. just not that many in the iOS space.
          • by mark-t (151149)

            GPL v3 alone was used in over 2,000 different software projects in 2008 [infoworld.com]

            That's not counting GPL v2, LGPL, BSD, MIT, Apache, or any one of quite a number of other open source licenses. And of course, that's not counting how many other projects have become open source since that count was taken.

            There's a *LOT* of programmers that give away code they write for free... and I highly doubt that even a significant percentage of them are in the category of being well enough off that they don't need to worry ab

    • No, it's Apple (Score:5, Informative)

      by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:35AM (#40385867)
      There is nothing inherent to the repository / app store model that is incompatible with the GPL. It's Apple's policies that are incompatible with the GPL, whic was a deliberate decision on the part of Apple to maintain their power over users.
      • by 0ld_d0g (923931)

        It's Apple's policies that are incompatible with the GPL, whic was a deliberate decision on the part of Apple to maintain their power over users.

        Sorry.. could you point out what those are? I just read the app store policy and cant find any mention of 'source code' or GPL.

        • by Xtifr (1323)

          Can you provide a link to the app store policy? My understanding is that the developer has to agree not to make the binaries available through other channels, which, of course, has nothing to do with source code, but is an additional restriction and thus forbidden by the GPL. So you were looking for the wrong thing (after being misinformed by the OP). Note that we need to look at the developer's agreement, not an end user policy.

        • by kthreadd (1558445)

          They don't exclude GPL. It's GPL which is incompatible. GPL puts many requirements of the distributor, which is Apple. However Apple does not want to take more responsible over third party software than what is absolutely necessary and does not allow developers to require such things from Apple. Therefore it's not specifically GPL, but all GPL like licenses that are incompatible. Apple's App Store is agnostic toward license, as long as the license is compatible.

    • +1 informative.

      Do apple ban redistribution of sourcecode? No. VLC for iPhone's source code was available for download. (before VLC was pulled on request of one of the authors of VLC)
      Do apple ban redistribution of the binary? Any iphone is free to copy from your iphone backups, and to send to whoever wants it....not that the recipient would be able to do much with it!
      Do apple ban the use of using other peoples sourcecode in your own project?. Of course not

      What apple do, is prevent installation of anything, t

      • by kthreadd (1558445)

        +1 informative.

        Do apple ban redistribution of sourcecode? No. VLC for iPhone's source code was available for download. (before VLC was pulled on request of one of the authors of VLC)

        Actually, it's still available. You just have to build it yourself.
        http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-ios.html [videolan.org]

      • by Microlith (54737)

        I dont mind a walled garden, as I would rather not have a device that can be infected with Adware/Trojans/Viruses!

        Given that iOS is not immune to remote exploits (c.f. Jailbreakme) you are not immune to those problems. The 3 things you fear so greatly that you are willing to submit to Apple's authority are resolved by having applications vetted in the store. Anything else falls on you, and if you don't feel you can trust yourself to not install SuperSexySwimsuitApplication.app, then you shouldn't install an

  • "And that could put free software for end users very much at risk"... all the more reason for Apple and Microsoft to want it.

  • Let microsoft control software on their own hardware. There will be hardware vendors to fill the void, and I'm guessing that hardware will run something open source.

    WebOS is already out there. Android too. And for generic computing, you have Linux, BSD, etc.

    Nothing to be afraid of here. It's an opportunity. Perhaps those who want 'cheap hardware' will now be forced to finally look at the better OSs. It disgusts me that I work for a government contract, managing unix servers, where we waste so much money, time, and effort shovelling this unusable crap on our desktops.

  • Fearmongering (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mattr (78516) <mattr&telebody,com> on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:14AM (#40385573) Homepage Journal

    tl;dr: "they are could be closed devices"

    This typo is a good summary of the article.
    Perfectly good vocalizing about the death of open systems.. except that it hasn't happened yet has it. Wake me up after the product launch.

  • Correct me if I'm wrong but only the Windows RT platform is app store locked whereas the Windows 8 Pro is not app locked. Also, aren't they making both an ARM Windows RT Surface and a x86 Windows 8 Pro Surface? If my memory is accurate then wouldn't that suggest that this entire article is stupid and a waste of time? Just buy the correct version. Problem solved.
    • Re:waste of time (Score:5, Informative)

      by Microlith (54737) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:21AM (#40385665)

      Metro is 100% locked, regardless of CPU architecture. Microsoft wants all future development to take place using Metro, and it isn't hard to see why.

    • Just buy the correct version.

      Except I don't think members of the general public will be able to afford the correct version. What MSRP do you expect for each of the two configurations?

  • by kurthr (30155) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:16AM (#40385605)

    Speculation and fear mongering... Google could be more like FB. Slashdot could be more like reddit.

    In particular, M$ is touting their enormous number of programs that run on Win8 (even if not in the Metro tiles).

    There are enough bad things that might happen with some actual substance, why not worry about those.

  • I don't see Microsoft doing particularly well with any product directly marketed to consumers except windows. Even then, the real selling point is primarily based on the monopoly (nothing else will run my games etc...). I think this is likely to be a blip just like windows phone was.
  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:26AM (#40385735)
    If you look at some of the MS SDK licenses, redsitributables and similar things, you often find a clause refering to 'identified software' - here's an example, taken from the ASF/WMA/WMF specification license (http://read.pudn.com/downloads3/sourcecode/multimedia/9891/ASF%20Specification%20v.1.0/ASF%20Specification%20v.1.0.doc, abridged for clarity):

    "2 (g) ...your license rights to the Specification are conditioned upon your (a) not distributing the Implementation in conjunction with Identified Software (as defined below); (b) not using Identified Software (e.g. tools) to develop the Implementation; and (c) not distributing the Implementation under license terms which would make the Implementation Identified Software. ... Identified Software includes, without limitation, any software that requires as a condition of use, modification and/or distribution of such software that other software distributed with such software (x) be disclosed or distributed in source code form; (y) be licensed for the purpose of making derivative works; or (z) be redistributable at no charge"

    The details vary between different licenses.. The most restrictive, those on things like the ASF specification that I used as an example, prohibit even using 'Identified Software' at any stage in the development process.

    Translated roughly from legalese, this means that if your software is open source or even if you allow users to redistribute it, you aren't even allowed to put it on the same CD as a microsoft redistributable. If you use one of the affected SDKs or licensed specifications that takes the most restrictive variation then you are not only prohibited from releasing your source, or allowing others to redistribute your software, but you can't so much as use vim or emacs to edit your code or GCC to compile it. I also find almost the same clause in things like the Windows XP Embedded EULA, so if you make a product which depends upon XP Embedded then you are not able to open-source the application software that you wrote to run on it.

    If Microsoft were to go full-on Evil Empire once again, this is exactly the clause they would probably adapt. All they'd need to do is pass a policy that no 'Identified Software' be permitted in the marketplace. A trivial legal change, and it would easily and effectively not merely bar open source software from the market (And thus Windows RT entirely, as well as use of the metro interface), but possibly even prohibit any Windows dev hoping for commercial success or any accessibility to the ARM mobile users from even utilising open-source development tools.
  • by MrWin2kMan (918702) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:56AM (#40386183) Homepage
    This article is obviously written by someone who hasn't bothered to take a look at Metro development on Windows Phone. Having a locked-down environment does not prevent anyone from placing free apps in the Marketplace nor providing the source code. Marketplace, like iTunes, does have some control of what can get published, as all apps have to meet established criteria. Tell me, do we really need to tout 500,000 apps, when 100,000 have some sort of flatulence sound as their reason for being? Not having Chrome or Firefox or Opera on Windows Phone bothers me not a bit. The environment is web-based, and the evermore slight variations in the way the different browsers present the display can wreak havoc on the user experience. Microsoft is right to control this. The fact that API's are not available to allow an alternative browser to function on Windows Phone/Windows RT as it would on a full Windows 7/Windows 8 client probably points more to the relative youth of the OS. For once, Microsoft is taking direct control over its future, and following in the footsteps of the beloved Jobs. Windows RT tablets will directly compete with the iPad, and offer pretty much the same user experience. If you want something more robust, use Windows 8. If you want to write more robust applications and provide you sourcecode, write for Windows 8. It will be a much larger audience anyway.
  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:59AM (#40386235) Homepage

    While Microsoft has never locked out apps based on license, it's not impossible that they might chose a more locked-down Apple-esque approach for Surface

    It's not impossible that they'll kick a puppy for every copy of Windows 8 sold, either. Won't someone please think of the puppies?

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      It's funny you should mention puppies.

      The whole torturing of puppies thing has been done before.

      Edison could be viewed as inspiration of Gates and he engaged in an interesting big of FUD against Tesla that included electrocuting puppies.

      • by equex (747231)
        And(/or elephants. Saw the elephant footage. Please erease Edison from records. He was an ass.
  • If it's not completely obvious by now, Microsoft is imitating Apple to a T, from the verticalization of their platform (in-house hardware + software) to the hip dictator face of their new product line (Sinofski). Their complete reversal on user freedom and customization is also a sign of the changes in Redmond.

    If you view it from a corporate perspective, why should they pass on making extra dollars on App Market subscriptions, cashing 30% of each downloaded app and be able to reject apps that could compe
  • Because there aren't any free Apps on either Itunes or Play now.
  • by Ossifer (703813) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @12:29PM (#40387441)

    For the love of god, please stop adding letters to the abbreviation of "open source"!

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