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"Is Apple a Software Bully?"


When it comes to finding ways to make Apple Computer's products better, anything goes. That's the predominant view of the 550-plus people who responded to our May 22 Reader Survey.

Some 56% of those who participated think it's ethical for Apple to imitate the work of third-party software developers in order to make its products better (vs. the 34% who don't). Whether it's ethical or not, 80% think it's a smart move.

True, 92% think it would be desirable for Apple to work with outside developers rather than appropriate their ideas. But 59% professed not to be disillusioned by the image of their favorite company using the same strategy that archrival Microsoft has been accused of using against Apple.

In short, one word seems to suffice for both Apple partisans and those who disapprove of the company's tactics: Tough. Here are the detailed results of the survey which, as always, wasn't scientific, since anyone who wished to could participate:

Do you think it's ethical for Apple to imitate the innovations of third-party programmers in order to deliver better Apple products?

Option

Total

%

Yes

311

56.34 %

No

190

34.42 %

No opinion

51

9.24 %

Whether it's ethical or not, do you think Apple is smart to copy the work of independent developers in order to make its products better?

Option

Total

%

Yes

441

80.18 %

No

88

16.00 %

No opinion

21

3.82 %

Do you think it would be desirable for Apple to work with the outside developers whose programs it admires as it incorporates their ideas into Apple products?

Option

Total

%

Yes

509

92.38 %

No

24

4.36 %

No opinion

18

3.27 %

Does it disillusion you -- or not -- that Apple uses the same strategy that Microsoft has used from time to time in terms of vis third-party developers, and even against Apple itself?

Option

Total

%

Yes

163

29.58 %

No

323

58.62 %

No opinion

65

11.8 %


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