[OpEd] Ho! Ho! Ho! You've been served!


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In tune with the spirit of the holidays, Apple has filed lawsuits against those it says have spilled the beans on an unannounced product and illegally distributed an upcoming version of X. Further, a number of mac-centric websites--Powerpage.org, Apple Insider and Think Secret--have been subpoenaed to turn over materials related to said leak.

Information about the product in question--a FireWire-based breakout box for connecting musical instruments and devices to a Mac--has been in circulation for about month. Various builds of Tiger, the next release of OS X, have been available for several quarters.

That feel-good spirit

Apple management have gotten their collective knickers in a twist over these issues. But, why these issues and why now?

A breakout box is, well, just so unsexy. In fact, I've got one at home that does exactly the same things and it's not even on my desk--it's underneath it. What is the BIG problem with news of it getting out a little early?

And, lord knows the Taiwanese or Chinese makers of the product can't keep secrets to save their own lives. Moreover, they've probably bragged about supplying the product to Apple in the local press.

So, what's up with this?

And, what's all this fuss about Tiger? For as long as I've been using the Internet (1993) there have been current, legacy and prerelease versions of Mac OS freely available. This is definitely nothing new.

Let's go buy!

So, there must be some blockbuster details that we're just not privy too, right? Things just too terrible for Apple to bear?

Whatever these horrible things are they must be worse than the public spectacle of a public witch hunt among its employees and customers during the holidays?

To be sure, Apple has the right and the need is all too real for those pushing this. Nevertheless, this has the same full-bodied aroma of Microsoft's "right to innovate" (ie it stinks).

What's your take?