Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 13th Jan 2012 22:45 UTC, submitted by bowkota
Google It really hasn't been Google's week. First the entire internet exploded because of some uninteresting nonsense regarding social networking (really internet?), but today something happened that's actually a bad thing and worth talking about: in Kenya, Google has been caught accessing the databases of a competing business, and offering Google's own product to the people in the database. Google has already apologised, and is currently investigating the matter.
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RE[7]: monopoly abuse
by Neolander on Sun 15th Jan 2012 14:55 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: monopoly abuse"
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Genuine question: what do you think that Apple has done that is evil?

Well, I guess the trick here is that careful argumentation must be given as to why something is good or evil. Anyway, here we go, in roughly historical order :

-Claiming overall ownership of the concepts of graphical user interface introduced at Xerox PARC, then attempting to refuse any other legal arrangement than pulling the competing product (Windows 2 IIRC) out of the market, in order to keep a lucrative monopoly on GUI interfaces.

-Introducing the "iPod connector". From an engineering point of view, it is a waste, as the already existing mini-USB standard was capable of everything that this connector was, in a smaller and easier to use form factor. From a customer point of view, it meant paying something like €30 for a freaking wire each time you lost it or broke that 30-pin socket. The only one benefiting from this were Apple, who could sell overpriced wires instead of leaving it to more competent manufacturers.

-Still in the iPod family, introducing the world's first example of nonstandard earphones with the iPod Shuffle 3G. Basically, if you lost or broke the bundled earphones, you also lost the remote control of your MP3 player, and thus were forced to buy new ones either from Apple or from one of their partners with the premium that one may imagine.

-Setting the trend of making the batteries of consumer products as difficult to buy and replace by the user as possible, in order to ensure that the company selling the device remains the only supplier of an accessory that would otherwise be readily sold elsewhere at a much more competitive price point.

-The iOS ecosystem is so full of legally-enforced monopolies that barely make sense that I don't know where to begin... let's talk about the hardware it runs on : Apple have apparently managed to patent design drafts that represent a slab-like device of rounded rectangular shape. Nice trick, I have to admit, they deserve the same kind of admiration as Al Capone or Madoff for that. But then making use of the legal leverage that this gives in an attempt to ban competing products from the market ? Come on...

I leave it to others to complete this list.

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