Who needs scammers ripping you off at that point - it will all be done officially by MS!
I can't wait for the law suits - Apple has managed to dodge the bullet so far but MS has been sued repeatedly over competition rules and I can see it starting again but this time on speed - and I can't help feeling Apple and Google will be dragged in to because of the same levels of user extortion!
What difference will it make? It still comes down to picking between Apple or Microsoft for most people. Almost like asking if you'd rather be infected with one disease over another. Apple, Microsoft, Google, Oracle, and all the other big players have effectively blocked any and all independent innovation by threatening to file patent infringement suits against anybody doing anything with computers or software. And what they won't sue you for, the patent trolls will.
If that's not enough to scare off any potential investors (thereby guaranteeing your endeavor is stillborn) they'll pull you into court and bury you under so much legal expense you won't survive long enough to even make it to trial.
And FOSS? It's only a matter of time before the entire
commercial software industry hits the GNU/Linux world with meritless patent infringement and other nuisance suits from every direction at once. Because it's fairly obvious they are hell bent on killing Tux and are simply biding their time. (Wasn't it Ballmer who argued that GPL and free software was fundamentally illegal since the terms of it's licenses went against what patent and copyright laws were set up to protect? He basically equated giving software away for free with all that was immoral, anti-business, and anti-capitalist. He even went so far as to imply it was also somehow communist
in its goals. Oh horror of horrors!)
About the only thing that's prevented this from happening so far is that the players are too busy fighting each other to have the time to focus on GNU/Linux. They also view Linux as a less immediate threat because they know
they'll be able to crush it whenever they finally decide they need to.
And I don't expect much relief from our judicial systems. If it comes down to a choice between doing the right and moral thing under law - or protecting domestic businesses and industries from competition by ignoring or bending the law
- I'm almost 100% certain which way that
decision will go.
If governments the world over are willing to tolerate the most egregious human rights violations and genocides rather than give the International Court of Justice some real teeth (because such powers might someday be used against their own abuses
) I don't think that ignoring antitrust and anti-competition laws is going to cost most politicos and judges any sleep.
Because if we're already turning our heads away from real and quantifiable
human suffering (in the name of expediency and protecting "national sovereignty") I don't have much hope that preserving open standards and hardware platforms is going to get much thought or attention where it matters.
BTW: Is my post above an example of the sort of "going off topic" wraith808 was talking about in this thread
If so, all I can say is "Nuts." (With apologies to Gen. Anthony McAuliffe - U.S.Army .