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Apple iAd Drawing Antitrust Scrutiny

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the do-not-pass-go dept.

Advertising 260

snydeq writes "US regulators are planning to investigate whether Apple is shutting out third parties such as Google and Microsoft in advertising on the iPhone and iPad under revised terms to its iAd mobile ad platform. Apple's revised developer terms prohibit ad analytics collection unless it is provided to an independent ad service provider whose primary business is serving mobile ads. If enforced, the proposed terms would prohibit developers from using Google's AdMob service on the iPhone, according to AdMob founder Omar Hamoui. Developers using AdMob to deliver ads on cross-platform mobile apps would have to go through an alternative service for the version of the app running on an Apple platform, according to the terms. It's an impractical solution that some are calling restrictive."

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Cue in fucktard sopssa trolling in 3, 2, 1, ... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32534938)

Sopssa is a troll. Remember it moderators.

Re:Cue in fucktard sopssa trolling in 3, 2, 1, ... (-1, Offtopic)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535022)

Sopssa isn't a troll...he/she just likes to express his/her opinion. Nothing wrong with that.

Re:Cue in fucktard sopssa trolling in 3, 2, 1, ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32535118)

ORLY?! [slashdot.org] read that example and tell me he is not a troll. Apple doesn't invest in R&D?! Just look at his posting history, every single occasion he flames Apple and often without any facts to back up his claims. He is a troll. Period.

But hey, don't let facts get in the way of you sucking sopssa's cock.

Re:Cue in fucktard sopssa trolling in 3, 2, 1, ... (0, Offtopic)

skelterjohn (1389343) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535256)

First, reading comprehension. He didn't say that Apple doesn't invest in R&D. He just stated some assumption about what Microsoft does, and said "Apple does nothing like that." I think that statement is probably false, and probably a troll, but what you said is demonstrably false. And a troll :)

Second, don't be a jackass.

Re:Cue in fucktard sopssa trolling in 3, 2, 1, ... (0, Offtopic)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535298)

ORLY?! read that example and tell me he is not a troll.

Misinformed isn't the same thing as being a troll.

Apple doesn't invest in R&D?! Just look at his posting history, every single occasion he flames Apple and often without any facts to back up his claims. He is a troll. Period.

Again, being misinformed isn't the same thing as being a troll.

As a side note, the fact that you had that post so readily on hand is kinda creepy.

But hey, don't let facts get in the way of you sucking sopssa's cock.

I don't know him, aside from what he posts. I rarely agree with him, but that doesn't mean he's a troll.

Good. (2, Interesting)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | more than 4 years ago | (#32534956)

Maybe they'll get scared and let go the market a little.

Worked on MS.

Maury

Christ! Really? It's come to this? (5, Insightful)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#32534962)

For fuck sake, they're ARGUING OVER THE RIGHTS TO PUT FUCKING ADS ON OUR PERSONAL DEVICES.

Are we supposed to feel sorry for them? Fuck them and their ads. Do not want.

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (3, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535076)

Riding on the Metro (the subway system around the DC/Metro area) a few weekends ago, we noticed something strange outside the windows of the train while going through an underground tunnel: evenly-spaced signs made out of LEDs that, when travel past at speed, created a "flipbook" type of advertisement....for fucking Starbucks.

Yes. It really has come to this.

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32535196)

I had that idea a while ago [with never any intention or the means to do it] so i'd love to see it in action.

although i'm sure i imagined using metro lines as giant zoetropes for animations rather than for advertising. unfortunately inevitably advertising gets its dirty claws stuck into everything and actually pays for lots of what we enjoy. its insidious.

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (2, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535302)

inevitably advertising gets its dirty claws stuck into everything and actually pays for lots of what we enjoy. its insidious.

Yes, how dare they pay for us to enjoy ourselves? Damn them!

Personally, I just use ad block. Thankyou advertisers for enabling me to get better content without paying extra!

In situations where ads are unavoidable in a service I enjoy, I would gladly pay for the service so that ad support is unnecessary.

What I really don't like is stuff like when I've paid a lot of money to watch a movie and they still expect me to sit through a bunch of ads.

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32535772)

What I really don't like is stuff like when I've paid a lot of money to watch a movie and they still expect me to sit through a bunch of ads.

Like when you pop in a Bluray movie and you can't skip the previews?

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535338)

I'll admit, the execution of the idea was flawless; it really looked like a little animation being displayed on the subway wall. It was also kinda trippy -_-;;

That being said, it was still insanely frustrating to see advertising taken that far.

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535656)

Don't know about your subways, but the one in Copenhagen is boring - would think it was awesome to have that kind of gimmick - still wont buy it, but as long as I can choose not to look at it it's fine by me.

(They did a trial at the train stations where commercials where blasted out through speakers, that bothered a lot of people since you can't just look away.)

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535762)

More entertaining than the advertisement was the reaction of other people in the car: some looked interested, some looked confused, and one woman looked like she was ready to jump out of her skin.

It did catch us all off guard. I mean, think about it...you're just speeding through a subway tube, when suddenly some pixelated, smiling woman is drinking coffee on the fucking wall.

If that doesn't give you nightmares, go watch Return to Oz. If that doesn't give you nightmares, you aren't human.

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535924)

Hah, I'd actually like to see that, where on the Metro was it?

(Currently ride the Blue Line in to DC)

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (2, Informative)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32536018)

It was on the Red Line, between Farragut North and Metro Center (were going into DC when we saw it)

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32535150)

Then don't download the software. I write apps for a living; either I charge you money up front or I put ads in the application, and I give you the option of which you want. If you find having both of those options unfair, then just pretend I don't offer a free version.

Actually that's only the case for the general audience. For you, I'd prefer it if you didn't use my apps at all -- you're probably a customer service nightmare, too, and not worth the bother. Of course, you also probably don't actually own an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, and are just being a righteously indignant douche; in which case, this is all academic.

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (0, Flamebait)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535456)

Actually, Mr "Anonymous Coward", if indeed that is your real name...I have a mix of devices at home and work. iPhone for my phone, macbook pro for my laptop, Dell for desktop, etc. No, I don't have an iPad, and if you'll re-read my signature, you'll note it's a joke.

And, as far as you "developing" apps for the iPhone, I'm sure you're amazingly successful.

I've been in this industry a long fucking time, and I've seen shit come and go. But this time, the consumer isn't even a thought. This is two companies arguing over who gets to put ads on our devices whether we want them there or not. And that's horseshit, IMO.

Oh, and thanks for the course on how software works. I'm sure you're quite successful.

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32535608)

And, as far as you "developing" apps for the iPhone, I'm sure you're amazingly successful.

I'm sure you're quite successful.

Scare quotes and repeating your sarcasm... Just a hint: when you sound simultaneously like a crotchety old timer and an eleven year old boy, you've lost the argument.

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32535910)

This is two companies arguing over who gets to put ads on our devices whether we want them there or not.

Well, not really. The Apple agreement basically says that you can't use an ad provider that collectes a lot of demographic info and also plays in the mobile business. The reasons for this are clear. Apple doesn't want Google ads collecting user demographic and usage information as a tool for improving android. Other than that the agreement says you can use whatever ad service you like.

Personally I don't mind ad supported web sites or applications as long as the ad isn't sucking my CPU dry (ie no flash) which is why I run flash block, not ad block. I have no problem with a company that goes to the time and expense to create something I like making a living.

Sometimes the attitude of the people here surprises me. I have no idea why a significant portion of the slashdot community thinks they should be able to have whatever they want, how they want it, if they're not paying for it. Don't like Ads? Buy the app. Oh, you don't like commercial software you say? Then write it yourself. There is a ton of ignorance in this community about what antitrust and monopolies are. Here's a hint. Apple is no where near a monopoly. Here's another hint; You cannot have a monopoly in your own products.

Posting as AC because I spent 15 mod points modding down idiots in this post

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (2, Insightful)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 4 years ago | (#32536148)

The problem here is that you are 100% wrong. There is not a single application included in the stock software that serves an ad. Every single ad-laden app on an Apple-produced product got there because the owner/user downloaded it.

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535882)

If you make whatever you make for Android, I'll tolerate your ads. I won't, however, buy iCrap to see them on.

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (2, Insightful)

dayznfuz (1606545) | more than 4 years ago | (#32536086)

As long as developers stick with the "I only put ads in the free version" mentality, that's fine. But, let's be honest, if a developer can get away with it, they'll put it in paid apps as well -- "well, it'd be MORE expensive if I didn't have the ad in there". There is precedent, you know. Several games over the years have put ads into the games (ie "billboards" on car racing games). It's subtle, but there. Then there's cable TV. They used to have fewer commercials then regular TV. Not anymore. Movie theaters now show ads before the movies start, despite the fact tickets continually go up in price. Hell, Dishnetwork started putting up ads at the bottom of my guide screen. I screamed bloody murder, and THEN they told me how to turn them off (you have to go about 3 screens deep in the setup menu). iAd makes ads easy, prettier, "less" intrusive. All justifications for a developer to stick them in, even if it's a paid app.

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (3, Informative)

frinkacheese (790787) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535254)

Quite. I was walking past Pizza Hut the other day and they were trying to send their bluetooth shite to my phone. Not being happy with their crap spamming my phone and noticing the little bluetooth ad box plugged in by the window, I popped in and turned it off.

NO I DONT WANT A BLOODY PIZZA HUT SPECIAL OFFER.

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535986)

Holy shit, really?

That's a bit too far in my opinion. What did it do? Send a pairing request from a device named "BuyPizza"? Or did it go further than that?

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32535366)

So... Sony makes TVs. TV is supported by ad revenue. Sony makes an ad division named Sad. Sony says "no ad that are not sad ads can play on Sony TVs". Customers flock to the new Sony TVs because they have downloadable games you can play while you're supposed to be watching the news. So many people are buying them that the cable companies start to fold due to lack of revenue. Once the cable companies go away, slashdotters lose their cable modems....

Feel sorry now?

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (4, Informative)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535368)

There are lots of apps in Android that come in both paid and ad-ware versions. It offers choice to users and to developers. Of course, on Android, as a developer, you can use any advertising network you want; Apple could certainly port iAd to Android, if they wished. Choice is a Good Thing(TM).

Compare that to the iPhone. If it's just content you're interested in, you could always just do a website. Except with the latest version of Safari, Apple are trying to kill off web advertising too. So if you want reliable income from iPhone users, you've got to do a content-delivery app. Users then have to buy your app through the AppStore (and Apple get their cut). If it's free and ad-supported, all of the major competitors are locked out so you're stuck with iAds... and Apple gets their cut. And if you get pissed off and want to abandon the iPhone and switch to Android? Well, have fun rewriting your app from scratch: Apple banned you from using any compatibility platforms which would make it portable.

Yes, in this particular incident we're talking about ads, and I hate annoying ads as much as the next person, but leaving it at that is short-sighted and naive. This isn't about eliminating ads and improving user-experience, no matter what Steve Jobs tells his adoring masses. This is competition Mafia-style. You can say 'this is all fine, it's Apple's platform and they can do what they like with it.' But it's also what's called 'rent-seeking' behavior and I don't know of any economist who doesn't consider it abusive and anti-competitive. Hence all the recent DOJ investigations.

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32535582)

What I still can't figure out is why developers are putting up with this in the first place. I remember reading something a few weeks ago about some development houses complaining about Apple's tactics, then saying they have no other choices. When your target device's manufacturer keeps pulling all of these stupid moves, isn't it time to investigate Android/WebOS/Symbian/anything else out there?

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32535620)

Except with the latest version of Safari, Apple are trying to kill off web advertising too.

Really? By including a feature that they copped from existing, multi-browser implementations (readability, Instapaper)? That the user has to activate him or herself? Once they've already browsed to the webpage in question? Yeah, I guess you get screwed out of page views for the 1 page of content that the website has spread over 15 pages; on the other hand, fuck you for that bullshit.

If it's free and ad-supported, all of the major competitors are locked out so you're stuck with iAds... and Apple gets their cut.

Except that that statement is completely untrue. You're not stuck with iAds. Independent 3rd party ad networks are still allowed; they just can't share the analytic data they collect with other parties (like mobile phone OS manufacturer, for example); if you're an ad network owned by a mobile phone OS or hardware manufacturer, you're not considered independent, and so can't collect analytics. But you can still provide ads.

Sure, iAds is more attractive in this case, but independent 3rd party ad networks can still provide comparable ad services. But AdMob isn't able to collect the analytic data that would make their ads as valuable as Apple's or those of an independent 3rd party. But, hey, that's Apple's right. And why should they provide the extra user data to Google that would allow them to better integrate their advertising into Android? Let them do their own research on their own dime.

This is competition Mafia-style.

This is capitalism.

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (1)

medcalf (68293) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535708)

You need to look up the term "rent seeking". In fact, you probably need to start with rents and fee simple and such before you progress to more advanced topics like gaming the system of ownership. It may or may not be a good thing (and it's probably, on balance, neutral), but it's not rent seeking.

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (2, Insightful)

forand (530402) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535864)

Ad serving networks have been plagued by serving up malware to unsuspecting users for some time. When such a thing happens on a well respected site, for instance the a major news site, many here, rightfully, get angry at the site for not policing the advertising being served to their users. If Apple is willing to ensure that no such malware will be served to my device and that the ads will comply with certain standards then I am all for it. If, however, Apple does no oversight and lets any crap onto my device then you have a point. Choice is a Good Thing, but I strongly suspect most owners of Apple products would CHOOSE not to have intrusive or abusive ads.

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (4, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535638)

For fuck sake, they're ARGUING OVER THE RIGHTS TO PUT FUCKING ADS ON OUR PERSONAL DEVICES.

I think thats where you are making the mistake. The iPad is not your personal device. Its Apple's, and they have shown that with their previous practices.

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (1)

awjr (1248008) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535792)

Yes you do, you just don't understand why.

The actual cost to you would be site subscriptions and all apps costing you money.

Society is not prepared to bare this cost.

Re:Christ! Really? It's come to this? (4, Informative)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535890)

not really.

apple nor google put ads on iphone or android devices. the ads go in the apps that developers write. i don't like ads any more than the next guy, but developers should have the freedom to use them to try and obtain compensation for their time, if they so wish. if *you* don't like it, don't use the app.

Someone else's playground (3, Insightful)

yogibeaty (224757) | more than 4 years ago | (#32534966)

I can't wait to be able to put Ford stickers on the back of Toyota trucks, and use your Droid to advertise At&T!

Re:Someone else's playground (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32535726)

Yeah... so when Microsoft locks down your OS so data cant be transmitted through anyone but them for internet usage/advertistment... bye bye bubble #2.

iNelson (1)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 4 years ago | (#32534974)

iHa!

Ah yes (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32534984)

People fighting over advertising. Given yesterday's conversation on here, I'm sure some of you are aware of how this amuses me.

Apple the new MS. (1)

JDmetro (1745882) | more than 4 years ago | (#32534990)

Seems like Apple is getting all the bad publicity now. Aww I miss the good old MS bashing days.

Re:Apple the new MS. (0, Troll)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535164)

Apple bashing is much more fun, since they behave even worse, and their fanboys are way more ignorant...

Re:Apple the new MS. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535500)

Apple has always tried this kind of thing, but usually they've backed down because they had such a tiny market share that no one really noticed, and if they did anything too evil people switched to Windows. Now, they have a couple of new markets where they have a big(ish) share, so they are being obnoxious and people put up with it. When cheaper alternatives appear, people will switch to those and Apple will go back to what it does well - keeping the most profitable 5-10% of the market happy.

Re:Apple the new MS. (2, Insightful)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535712)

When Apple courts that "most profitable 5-10% of the market" is when historically they've fell flat on their face. They didn't see great success until they started making products for the unwashed, price-conscious masses, like the iPod and the iPhone. Even the iPhone was a huge bucket of fail when they tried to sell them for full price with a contract the first go round? You remember that entire year of iPhone suckage, don't you, or has that been purged from the Apple history by Steve yet?

looking at the app store lockin as well! OSx ALSO (0, Redundant)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32534998)

looking at the app store lock in as well! OSX hardware lock in also should be looked at as well!

apple may end being under some of same rules that M$ in under.

Re:looking at the app store lockin as well! OSx AL (2, Interesting)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535206)

It definitely would not hurt them, Apple is always the best when they are the underdog, they have a tendency to be major assholes once they have success. It was like that in the 80s when they sued everyone for the graphical userinterface, which they obviously did not invent (thanks to that we got stuck with windows and a Microsoft monopoly instead of the back then superior gem)

It is about time Apple gets a severe smack on its hands again so that Steve starts to behave decently again.

Re:looking at the app store lockin as well! OSx AL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32535596)

Yes! Yes! This!

Because abusive monopoly is the same as NO MONOPOLY.

You freaking moronic tool.

lol (1)

charliemopps11 (1606697) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535024)

And everyone always hated MSFT for this sort of thing when Apples 10x worse.

Re:lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32535144)

But it's Apple! Apple is god! You cannot tell me I ruined my credibility by blindly following the wrong company! Apple CANNOT DO WRONG! *fap* *cry* *sniffle* *fap* AAAAAAAPLLEEEeeeee!

Re:lol (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32535512)

And everyone always hated MSFT for this sort of thing when Apples 10x worse.

And everyone would hate Apple too, if Apple did what MSFT would do. Two points --
1. Apple isn't stopping AdMob from serving ads on iOS, they are preventing AdMob and Google from collecting device and user analytics.
2. People have short memories. This is not the sort of thing MSFT would do. If MSFT were able to control ad placements, they would say only their ads can show up on Android devices AND iOS AND winmobile AND PalmOS. In other words, Apple seeks to control what goes on their own devices, MSFT sought to control what went on everyone's devices. Notice the difference?

I don't like ads BUT (4, Insightful)

Mark19960 (539856) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535040)

If Microsoft did this people would be all over their asses.
Apple telling these developers you can only use our ad service is just blatant abuse at this point.

I think Apple knows that the writing is on the wall and they are going to lose something so why not cash in as much as possible?
This is the now third 'potential' investigation into their business practices of various issues and markets.

Re:I don't like ads BUT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32535146)

This is slashdot... we love some Microsoft asses. The ones of Âpple are to restrictive.

Re:I don't like ads BUT (3, Interesting)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535168)

It's tricky. Once a product/service reaches a point where it's widely used and relied upon by users it potentially becomes a marketplace. The question is should it be considered a part of the rest of the "market" and be regulated as a free market like the rest of our market? How do you define what qualifies to be considered a market that should be free and open? By number of users? Value of potential revenue? Or should it all be free and open? I can't run an Ad network on PS3, Wii, etc. So why is the iPhone singled out?

Re:I don't like ads BUT (4, Interesting)

TheCrayfish (73892) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535728)

Great questions. I'm having a hard time deciding how to form an opinion on this issue because I can't seem to come up with the right analogy to map this over to other real-world scenarios with similar questions.

I mean, if you consider Apple a "publisher", in this case a publisher of applications, why can they not control how ads get delivered? If they published books, for example, could they not make publication of an author's book contingent on the author NOT selling advertising space inside it? The author, after all, can self-publish his work and include any content he wants, whether advertisements or something else, so he still has choices. He can also seek out other publishers who might have publication rules that allow him to sell ads within his book.

The creator of an application has many other platforms and devices on which he can publish his application, if he feels that Apple's advertising rules are too restrictive. So he, too, has choices.

If we look at Apple as a merchant rather than a publisher (in this case, a merchant running an App Store,) can we not make comparisons to merchants in brick and mortar stores? Wouldn't a clothing store owner be within her rights to decree that any shirt sold in her store must not advertise competitor's stores? The creator of the shirt can still go to other outlets to sell his shirt, and doesn't the proprietor of a store have a right to control the merchandise sold through that store?

In every analogous situation I can think of, I come down on the side of Apple -- having the right to decree what can and cannot be published/sold through their storefront.

Re:I don't like ads BUT (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535902)

I don't know about you, but I'm CONSTANTLY inundated with ads on the 360. Between product placement in games and the home screen constantly hocking me about what new games are out and what's new on the market, I feel like I'm always being pushed to buy something. Even M$ points or whatever they're called.

Re:I don't like ads BUT (3, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535242)

Apple isn't saying you can only use their ad service. You can use ANY ad service. They're just saying that ad services belonging to direct competitors in the OS/Hardware game can't collect some device demographics information. AdMob would have been able to, under this rule, if Google hadn't bought them.

This is actually an improvement over what they announced earlier this year. When they unveiled iOS4, they said no one could collect that data. They've loosened that.

AdMob says not getting that data will hurt their ability to place relevant ads. I'm not sure of that, but it could be true. It doesn't really matter to me, I don't care.

Most of the stuff I get off the app store is either free and adless (because the developer was just making something fun), or paid for (like most games I play) and thus has no ads. I don't like ads.

There is only one app I use with these kinds of ads in it, and I hate the app. I haven't found a replacement for it yet.

Should Apple get in trouble for this? I can see it. It wouldn't surprise me at all if this is called anti-competitive.

Do I care? Not really. I avoid apps with ads, so this doesn't really effect me.

Re:I don't like ads BUT (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535446)

This is actually an improvement over what they announced earlier this year. When they unveiled iOS4, they said no one could collect that data. They've loosened that.

An improvement in shit over bullshit is still shit.

Re:I don't like ads BUT (1)

bongey (974911) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535952)

To use a car analogy.
I buy a Ford, then I get a after market GPS from Toyota. The Toyota GPS collects some data and sends it to Toyota. Problem is that Ford EULA says you cannot use Toyota GPS because Toyota competes with Ford.
It is a my car, I should be able to put what I want in it.

Re:I don't like ads BUT (1)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 4 years ago | (#32536130)

Apple isn't saying you can only use their ad service. You can use ANY ad service. They're just saying that ad services belonging to direct competitors in the OS/Hardware game can't collect some device demographics information.

analytics are *everything* to an ad service. the service is essentially useless without it.

Re:I don't like ads BUT (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535248)

I don't fully get exactly whats going on.

So I went and looked up Anti-competitive practices on Wikipedia. I guess the two things that may apply are

"Barriers to entry" (to an industry) designed to avoid the competition that new entrants would bring.
and
"Coercive monopoly" - all potential competition is barred from entering the market

Now those are always a little fuzzy to define, but if this iAd thing falls into those categories, wouldn't also their App Store? I don't understand that if the current allegations are illegal, why it has been allowed since the beginning...

Re:I don't like ads BUT (2, Interesting)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535642)

Nothing much is going on other than one company carefully building a wall around their playground.

The market is significantly bigger than Apple though, so neither of those anti-competitive terms apply. Depending on which side of the fence you stand, you could easily argue that there are far more capable handsets on store shelves - some significantly more open than others. Quite a few Linux based handsets out there with little or nothing standing in the way of root access.

The only way the iAd thing could fall in to any of those categories is if there were no alternatives on the market. There are dozens of manufacturers, thousands of phone models to choose from - competition is fierce and healthy in this domain.

Re:I don't like ads BUT (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535282)

Sorry anchor was done wrong. Should read "...1% of the market share..." after the would

Re:I don't like ads BUT (2, Informative)

drerwk (695572) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535334)

Apple telling these developers you can only use our ad service is just blatant abuse at this point.

It is somewhat more subtle. One interpretation is that Apple is protecting user privacy. Reading the text of the TOS : http://mediamemo.allthingsd.com/20100412/is-apple-closing-off-the-iphone-to-rival-ad-networks/ [allthingsd.com] it seems pretty reasonable from an app user POV.
I also think this is an informative take: http://davidbarnard.com/post/684540619/anti-competitive-and-potentially-creepy [davidbarnard.com]

Re:I don't like ads BUT (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32535948)

They're not protesting user privacy, because it's selective. Every ad company is allowed to collect that analytic information EXCEPT one related to a competitor in the phone hardware space. It is clearly, a move aimed at direct competitors. It has nothing to do with user privacy, user choice, or user protection, it's about Apple protecting their own market and trying to force developers to use their own Ad solution over competitors Ad services. It's the very essence of anti-competitive behaviour.

Re:I don't like ads BUT (5, Insightful)

thestudio_bob (894258) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535518)

Apple telling these developers you can only use our ad service is just blatant abuse at this point.

Are you a shill? Seriously, Apple IS NOT telling developers use our service or else.

Apple IS trying to control the flow of their customers personal data. They are preventing analytics... as a user I appreciate this. Apparently you don't give a rats ass about your browsing, data using, phone call history, geo location and whatever the f*ck else these guys (Google) are collecting.

Here's the rules

3.3.9 You and Your Applications may not collect, use, or disclose to any third party, user or device data without prior user consent, and then only under the following conditions:

- The collection, use or disclosure is necessary in order to provide a service or function that is directly relevant to the use of the Application. For example, without Apple’s prior written consent, You may not use third party analytics software in Your Application to collect and send device data to a third party for aggregation, processing, or analysis.

- The collection, use or disclosure is for the purpose of serving advertising to Your Application; is provided to an independent advertising service provider whose primary business is serving mobile ads (for example, an advertising service provider owned by or affiliated with a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems or development environments other than Apple would not qualify as independent); and the disclosure is limited to UDID, user location data, and other data specifically designated by Apple as available for advertising purposes.

Sounds to me like Apple is taking back control of how developers and third parties access and use sensitive user data on their iOS platform, that's it. Looks like you can still use an INDEPENDENT advertising company.

Re:I don't like ads BUT (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32536066)

Except everyone but Google (and Bing presumably) are allowed access to all the precious user data they are supposedly protecting. They've aimed these new clauses at Ad services affiliated with their direct competitors.

It's not about user privacy protection, it's about shutting Google and Microsoft out of their market. They're defending their iAd service from competition from AdMob because it's owned by Google by shutting AdMob out of their devices. The very essence of Anti-Competitive behaviour. Whether that anti-competitive behaviour is sufficiently egregious for sanctions depends on the outcome of the DOJ and FTC investigations.

Re:I don't like ads BUT (2, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535710)

This is the now third 'potential' investigation into their business practices of various issues and markets.

It's the third potential investigation because some of Apple's competitors (well, one key one in particular but others have jumped on the band wagon) have decided that a good business model is to run to the government and complain every time Apple twitches (yes, the image of a child running to mommy and daddy was intentional) rather than just shutting the hell up and focusing on making great products. And it's ironic because that company has made some really good products over the years but, now that they've grown in size to be the behemoth that they are, they're becoming everything they claimed to stand against - they are no different from the other mega corps out there now.

Apple isn't perfect, by any stretch, and they do tend to push the bounds of what is acceptable (in many, many ways) but claims that they are abusing a monopoly or depriving consumers of choice or any of the other claims that other corporation have levied against them are absolutely, without question, laughable when one considers how much of the market the other company owns in their primary business sector. If one turns the accusations around and redirects them back at the company, one will see they are not only similarly applicable, they are overwhelmingly applicable. In other words, the hypocrisy is staggering.

Amusingly, one could easily assume I'm referring to Microsoft when I vaguely refer to another company being a hypocrite in leveling accusations of abuse of monopoly but I'm not. :)

Re:I don't like ads BUT (2, Interesting)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535860)

I think Apple knows that the writing is on the wall and they are going to lose something so why not cash in as much as possible?

Perhaps Apple sees the inquiry coming and knows they'll have to give up something to appease the DOJ and FTC. So they are purposely coming out with over the top rules.

It's a win-win for them. If they govt doesn't like it, they can take away the fluff, and Apple still will have what they wanted all along. If the govt decides it's ok, they have their cake and can eat it as well...

It's kind of like if you wanted a 10% raise. You then ask for 20%. If you get 20%, GREAT. If not, you can negotiate down from there, but since the bar is higher, 10% seems like a good deal (you're happy, because you got what you wanted, and they are happy because they "negotiated a fair compromise")_...

Re:I don't like ads BUT (1)

dogzilla (83896) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535946)

Well, it's Apple and people are "all over their asses".

And just to clarify a point - after having read the terms, Apple doesn't appear to be telling people they cannot use any other ad service, just not ad services that send demographic and usage data back *to companies who also own a product that competes with the iPhone*.

I would suspect Apple's response to an unfavorable ruling will simply be to ban ads and/or analytics in iOS apps. But it seems unlikely that Apple will get an unfavorable ruling on this - it seems a bit unrealistic for the government to force a company to reveal information to competitors.

How is this different... (1)

webdog314 (960286) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535056)

How is this different than say, Apple wanting to us it's own analytic engine on Google?

Re:How is this different... (4, Informative)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535134)

They can on Android...

Re:How is this different... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32535422)

And Google can (and does) display their ads on Mac OS X, so what's your point?

Grandparent post has (absolutely correctly) pointed out the Google's hypocrisy. Once other ad companies can replace Google's analytics with their own *on google.com*, Google can start complaining about inability to run their analytics on the iPhone.

Re:How is this different... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32535618)

What's with all the stupid comments suggesting Google should allow people to modify their site? This would be like saying Apple has to modify their website to promote Microsoft products, and is completely irrelevant to the topic. Use an appropriate analogy, or don't use an analogy at all.

If Google started removing sites from their index that didn't use Google ads, this would be comparable.

Re:How is this different... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32535916)

What's with all the stupid comments suggesting Google should allow people to modify their site? This would be like saying Apple has to modify their website to promote Microsoft products, and is completely irrelevant to the topic. Use an appropriate analogy, or don't use an analogy at all.

So, according to you, forcing Apple has to modify their website to promote Microsoft products is not OK, but forcing Apple to modify their smartphone to promote Google products is OK? This makes no sense to me.

If Google started removing sites from their index that didn't use Google ads, this would be comparable.

I think Google absolutely has the right to do just that. Why not? It's their website after all.

Re:How is this different... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32535306)

It's completely different. A comparable situation would be Apple wanting sites using its ads to be indexed by Google. You can compare web sites indexed to applications listed in the store, in this case.

The difference is that Google isn't asking Apple to place ads on the iDevices, but rather developers want to be able to place ads from different providers on the apps they make. Obviously creators of ads want devs to be able to use the ads wherever possible, without them being forcibly ousted from competition.

Anti-trust on a product not in the market???? (2, Insightful)

hejish (852589) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535162)

Google will not allow me to put my own ad engine to work on their site. Since when does an anti-trust investigation start when a service or product is not even on the market? This is at best premature. iphones do not rule the internet, and if Apple wants to experiment with different service offerings, then let 'em.

Re:Anti-trust on a product not in the market???? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535258)

Bad analogy.

Lets say you are using a Microsoft operating system, why should Microsoft allow Google to put their own ad engine on your computer even if you want it and are willing to install it yourself?

It's because it is your computer not Microsoft's computer.

It's your Iphone not Apples.

Re:Anti-trust on a product not in the market???? (1)

medcalf (68293) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535418)

Then write your own program with whatever ad engine you want. But you won't get it on the App Store, because it's Apple's app store, not yours.

Re:Anti-trust on a product not in the market???? (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535630)

"You can do it your own way, if it's done just how I say."

Re:Anti-trust on a product not in the market???? (2, Insightful)

cabjf (710106) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535442)

It may be your iPhone, but it is still Apple's AppStore and services you use. Anyone is free to create web apps instead of native apps and web ads instead of native ads still. It's a bit like a local radio station or listener demanding their station to be available on satellite radio because it is the radio owner's stereo, not the satellite radio company's.

Re:Anti-trust on a product not in the market???? (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535896)

It may be your iPhone, but it is still Apple's AppStore and services you use It's a bit like a local radio station or listener demanding their station to be available on satellite radio because it is the radio owner's stereo, not the satellite radio company's.

Eh, not in this case. You forgot the all important developer of the App,thus your analogy fails. The developer is left with less freedom to choose ad services and that would affect their bottomline. Hence they would make Apps paid(hurting the iDevice customer) or not develop the App(customer gets less choice again). This is directly hurting the customer who would rather see Ads than pay for the App. Apple is specifically targeting Google by banning companies that have a mobile operating system from showing ads based on analytics.

Re:Anti-trust on a product not in the market???? (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535650)

The sole purpose of Google's search site is to serve as a portal to their ad engine. For the obligatory car analogy: That's like complaining about not being able to order a Chevy pickup from the factory with a Honda engine. Whereas what Apple is trying to do would be like Chevy saying only their approved manufacturers get to make after market parts, which just happens exclude their biggest competitor.

Re:Anti-trust on a product not in the market???? (2, Insightful)

rumith (983060) | more than 4 years ago | (#32536082)

-1, Wrong.
Google does [google.com] accept quite a lot [google.com] of third-party ad providers on their network, and any website owner can choose if to opt in those alternative providers or not. Google search engine's webmaster, apparently, chose not to opt it. Would you deny him that right? Once again: you can serve third-party ads via AdSense on your site, if you want to. I do not, so I don't opt in - the possibility is nevertheless there. That is not the case with Apple.

AdMob ads are still allowed by Apple (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32535186)

Apple's terms do not exclude 3rd party ad networks, including AdMob:

3.3.9 You and Your Applications may not collect, use, or disclose to any third party, user or device data without prior user consent, and then only under the following conditions:

- The collection, use or disclosure is necessary in order to provide a service or function that is directly relevant to the use of the Application. For example, without Apple’s prior written consent, You may not use third party analytics software in Your Application to collect and send device data to a third party for aggregation, processing, or analysis.

- The collection, use or disclosure is for the purpose of serving advertising to Your Application; is provided to an independent advertising service provider whose primary business is serving mobile ads (for example, an advertising service provider owned by or affiliated with a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems or development environments other than Apple would not qualify as independent); and the disclosure is limited to UDID, user location data, and other data specifically designated by Apple as available for advertising purposes.

This specifically covers advertising analytics, and prevents disclosure of advertising analytics to 3rd parties by independent ad providers; and if you're an ad provider owned by a mobile phone manufacturer or mobile OS provider, you are not considered independent.

Google's perfectly free to provide ads on iOS. They just can't collect extensive information about how the users interact with the advertisements.

Now that does dramatically reduce the value of the advertisements, since advertisers want that kind of information, but it's not a ban.

And then there's the competitive aspect. Why should Apple allow Google to use their platform to collect information that will allow them to improve the integration of advertising into a competing platform, Android? Sure, this move may be in part aimed at getting back at Google for the AdMob purchase, but there's a good case to me made that the primary motivation is to provide as little research and development assistance as possible to a competing platform (note that the limitation on analytics is for any phone or mobile OS manufacturer).

Finally, I'm personally fine with limiting the ability of ad providers to provide user analytics to 3rd parties. I'm not electing to do business with those 3rd parties, so I'd prefer that they not profit off me.

Re:AdMob ads are still allowed by Apple (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535420)

Finally, I'm personally fine with limiting the ability of ad providers to provide user analytics to 3rd parties. I'm not electing to do business with those 3rd parties, so I'd prefer that they not profit off me.

Then don't download the ad-supported app and you won't have any problems.

Not so easy... (1)

bashibazouk (582054) | more than 4 years ago | (#32536030)

Except through my history of owning an iphone a number of apps have gone from the purchase model to ad supported model via updates that listed no such thing in the documentation of what the update does. I've deleted or not updated every one that has done so, but still...

It's a problem with the iphone and probably other platforms that is not talked about much. Being very weary about updating. I have way too many apps that I will not update for various reasons. Generally a bad habit to get people used to...

Re:AdMob ads are still allowed by Apple (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535966)

And then there's the competitive aspect. Why should Apple allow Google to use their platform to collect information that will allow them to improve the integration of advertising into a competing platform, Android? Sure, this move may be in part aimed at getting back at Google for the AdMob purchase, but there's a good case to me made that the primary motivation is to provide as little research and development assistance as possible to a competing platform (note that the limitation on analytics is for any phone or mobile OS manufacturer).

Wow. That sure sounds like an example of 'An eye for an eye and soon the world will turn blind'. 'Helping' is different from actively blocking.

Why should Google help Apple by developing Youtube for iPhone? Why should Google help Apple by making a very nice Google Maps for iPhone at launch(can't imagine they make a lot of money off that)?

How will Google retaliate? Ban HD video streaming from Youtube to iDevices? Apple is acting like the bad kid on the block and soon the other kids may take their toys and go home.

Re:AdMob ads are still allowed by Apple (1)

Stick32 (975497) | more than 4 years ago | (#32536144)

Apple's terms do not exclude 3rd party ad networks, including AdMob: ... This specifically covers advertising analytics, and prevents disclosure of advertising analytics to 3rd parties by independent ad providers; and if you're an ad provider owned by a mobile phone manufacturer or mobile OS provider, you are not considered independent.

Google's perfectly free to provide ads on iOS. They just can't collect extensive information about how the users interact with the advertisements.

Without being able to track analytics, AdMob wouldn't be able to give away advertisement let alone charge for it. It's essentially a ban on Admob in everything but name.

And then there's the competitive aspect. Why should Apple allow Google to use their platform to collect information that will allow them to improve the integration of advertising into a competing platform, Android?

When Apple couldn't get admob they picked up another mobile advertising firm. There's nothing to stop from them advertising on Android. Google already has a a successful mobile platform. They already get data on how users interact with advertisements on a smart phone platform. The only research benefit they would get from Apple Iphone analytics would be a larger data set. There's nothing stopping apple from obtaining the same data from Android that Apple is prohibiting Google to obtain from apple. In my honest opinion the data that Apple could obtain from analyzing Android adds would be MORE valuable since it would provide data from users across different networks using different ui's.

I do believe that this move by Apple is in fact anti-competitive and will provide Apple with an unfair advantage if Google doesn't follow Apple's example. Which I would believe is very unlikely.

Re:AdMob ads are still allowed by Apple (1)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 4 years ago | (#32536198)

Now that does dramatically reduce the value of the advertisements, since advertisers want that kind of information, but it's not a ban.

yes it is. analytics are everything. it's like an advertiser wanting to place a cable TV ad, and asking how many viewers they can expect, and the cable TV company saying "we have no ideas". the advertiser walks out because one they have no idea how to negotiate a price and two they have no idea how effective the ad can be.

Antitrust (2, Interesting)

gorzek (647352) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535234)

At what point do Apple's actions run afoul of antitrust laws? They are certainly allowed to lock down their platform to some degree, but they aren't allowed to do just anything they want.

Would it be legal for Sony TVs to automatically go dark whenever they detect a Samsung commercial playing?

Re:Antitrust (1)

senorbum (1795816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535646)

Actually, it'd be more like Sony owning a business that does advertisements, then blocking all advertisements not produced/created by them whenever they appear on TV. Except Sony probably doesn't have the same market share that the ipod has. But I guess it depends on how you define market...

Or maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32535246)

While Apple's motive may not be entirely pure with respect to protecting user's privacy, though that is a side-effect of this decision. It appears that Apple is trying to prevent its direct competitors in the "mobile phone space" from using their presence in mobile ads to gather detailed strategic analytics on iphone user habits.

Apple isn't blocking other ad providers, they are just saying that those add providers can't invade your privacy. But this is Slashdot, where we don't let reason and common sense get in the way a chance to bash Apple.

As they should be. (1)

JansenVT (1235638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535400)

Apple's actions in this, and many other cases, are textbook examples of anticompetitive behavior. Third-party developers are being hurt significantly from this.

Re:As they should be. (2, Insightful)

medcalf (68293) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535550)

That's a pretty tenuous argument. In what way am I (I am a third party app developer, after all) being hurt by this? There are different services that offer to put ads in my software for some payment terms. I can either write software without ads (and charge or not for it, depending on whether I want to make money) or I can write software with ads, hoping to make money off the advertising. If I choose the latter, I can pick from several different ad networks, based on which offers me the best terms; I can even mix and match if I so choose. Now, because of this, AdMob will likely offer worse terms on the iPhone than they would have otherwise; I can choose to accept those terms or not. If Apple prevents anyone from offering good terms on the iPhone, and I want to write an ad-supported app, then I can move to Android and try to do better there. But in no way is Apple really limiting me, as a developer, even if I were to choose to write ad-supported apps.

Not a Fanboy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32535558)

I am no Apple fanboy by any means. Hell, I never even purchased an Apple product, ever. A friend did gift me an Itouch. However, I must say though, the absolute monopolies these companies are creating / controlling are beginning to freak me out. Everyday, I read about something. If I had to choose between Google or Apple, I side with Apple. Google gives me far more the impression that they are working against my privacy toward exploitation than Apple does. I'd deal any day with proprietary devices rather than intrusive exploitative relationships. I'll do my own research thank you. If these freaks would spend less time on adverts and more time on content, maybe they could hold the attention of people long enough to make a buck. Would you let your neighbor find out your search habits are? Should they know every little thing about you, what you like? I doubt it. Tell me then, why would you ever TRUST ANYONE beyond those closest to you to know what brings you happiness and pleasure. Why should you even PUT that upon a stranger? People these days have a really screwed up view over what relationships and trust mean and how they are built. What these companies propose toward their users and PROOF that this is true. This abuse toward the consumer against the very nature of what a respectable relationship is, must stop.

Re:Not a Fanboy (2, Insightful)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535982)

I'm like you, I've never bought an Apple product & the only thing I own made by Apple is a Touch given to me by my missus when she upgraded to an iPhone.

Over here in the UK, Apple has never been a big player anyway (sure, that may change from this point onwards) and despite 30-odd years of both working with and messing about with computers, they've never made anything at a good enough price that was better than other cheaper options. Recently, they've got too greedy and too closed, just giving me one more reason not to buy their stuff.

But I would side with Google here. I do have concerns about privacy when using their stuff and I hate advertising - but they make a lot of neat stuff, it's made using open standards and as a Windows/Linux user, it's great that I their stuff works on both platforms pretty much equally well.

The actual problem is more intrinsic - personal information is valuable to *any* company, not just Google, and privacy is an issue for most people nowadays because they don't bother to stop and think about the type of information they are potentially revealing on applications like Facebook, Hotmail, Gmail, etc. It is entirely possible to make use of these applications provided that you think about what you are revealing about yourself and not put the responsibility for you personal information into the hands of some big faceless corporation.

It's not *just* about Google, it's about education and making people realise that the safest place to store your information is somewhere where only you can get to it.

Me no liek (1)

dandart (1274360) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535584)

Me no liek ads. Me wantsh Adblock for teh mobiles. But noooo! >o<

Ok but... (2, Insightful)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535680)

how is it even possible for Apple to be anticompetitive in this case?

I thought under US law, being anticompetitive means either forming a collusion with most of the other major players in the same market or leveraging a [near] monopoly to lock in another market.

Why not split off? (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535974)

If the problem is that AdMob is owned/operated by Google, why not just make it its own company? Unaffiliated with Google except for being built originally by them. AdMob, Inc. could do - well, just that: serve ads. Then it would meet Apple's criteria for allowed advertising and it would be a pretty simple move by Google, and a big "Up Yours" to apple. If Apple doesn't allow it after that, I think it's a pretty clear-cut anti-competitive move.

Get the fsck off my lawn! (0, Flamebait)

logique (600113) | more than 4 years ago | (#32535994)

Seems like Slashdot is nothin but a bunch of good-fer-nuthin whiny snotty-nosed geeky-wannabees.

Complain when Apple don't want to carry a particular product in their App Store; Get a clue people! - it's their friggen store! Does a Ford dealership have to sell GM cars? Get over it.

Complain when Apple sell a locked down appliance ; (check: iPod, iPhone, iPad) - if you don't like it, don't buy it! (Duh!)

Compare Apple to Microsoft in a bad way: Now you are really showing what a whiny clueless bunch of snots you really are;

  • Microsoft was/is a monopoly => Apple is not (there are other places to get your Computer/Phone/MusicPlayer/Music/TV Shows/etc).
  • Microsoft acted illegally in it's position as an effective monopoly... and not just in the BS browser fiasco (probably MS worked the DOJ into following that lame line);
    what was worse than the Browser 'war' was MS using their power to Stop ALL major OEMs from even offering an Alternative OS (even a boot time alternative), effectively killing any OS competitor before they started:
    Anyone here old enough to remember BeOS (Multi-user, Multi-tasking, Multi-threaded OS that booted in 20 seconds on mid-90's hardware?) - They could not even GIVE it away because of MS's threat to the OEMs.
    Anyone remember more recently on MS's ballot stuffing shenanigans with the ISO (resulting in an ISO standard, breaking all of the committees own rules, and producing a standard to which there exists even now - not a single implementation!)... and the nasty still continues (head on over to Groklaw for more nasty MS behaviour)...

Now get the fsck off my lawn!

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