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Familiar Villains: Apple and Blackboard Attack Linux/Free Software Again

Posted in Apple, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Interoperability, Kernel, Microsoft, Patents at 9:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Doodled desks

Summary: Apple kicks Palm’s Linux-powered phones out of iTunes and Blackboard spreads FUD about Free software counterparts

AFTER patent intimidation and illegal proposals [1, 2], Apple saw Palm filing a complaint against it. But more infamous would be Apple’s harming of interoperability with Palm, which really just ought to strike a deal with Amarok or something (it is a Linux gadget after all). The invitation is already there, whereas with Apple it’s an abusive one-way relationship; as The Register put it yesterday, “Palm Pre evicted from iTunes (yet again).”

Apple’s Thursday update to iTunes – version 9.0.2 – yet again kicks the Palm Pre off Cupertino’s media-sync reservation.

Typical Apple. And then we have Microsoft’s friend*, Blackboard.

Blackboard sues its rivals using patents [1, 2, 3]; when it does not use patent FUD against Free (libre) educational software, Blackboard turns out to be throwing other types of FUD. This just in:

Blackboard’s Response to Open Source: Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt


Blackboard has not been having a good time in the state of North Carolina. As I noted recently, the University of North Carolina (a Blackboard customer) reported highly favorable results of their pilot study of Sakai, with an outcome of further investigation into Sakai as a full replacement of Blackboard as their primary LMS. It turns out that this was following on the heels of a similar study done by the North Carolina Community College system favorably comparing Moodle to Blackboard. The details were different but some of the underlying dynamics were the same: the open source system in each case was found to be functionally equivalent to Blackboard for all practical purposes, the open source platforms did roughly as well as Blackboard (in the Moodle evaluation) or better than Blackboard (in the Sakai case) in usability evaluations, and Blackboard was deemed to be expensive relative to the alternatives.

Read the rebuttal; it’s funny how the notorious Magic Quadrant [1, 2] gets a mention. As a reminder, Microsoft tried to piggyback Moodle in order to promote its own lock-in. It must be stressful to them losing all this market share to Free software.
* Blackboard was initially funded by Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4].

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A Single Comment

  1. uberVU - social comments said,

    December 18, 2009 at 9:33 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by BazzaK: Familiar Villains: Apple and Blackboard Attack Linux/Free Software … http://bit.ly/a9jmn

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