Apple Rejecting Apps That Use Dropbox Because *Gasp!* Users Might Sign Up For Dropbox Accounts

from the control-control-control dept

While I can understand why developers feel the need to conform to Apple's sometimes ridiculous (and often arbitrary) rules for iOS development, sometimes it really seems like Apple goes to highly questionable (and potentially legally questionable) lengths to reject certain apps. The latest, via Hackernews, is that Apple has been rejecting apps that make use of Dropbox's cloud storage system. The reasoning is particularly ridiculous:
Reason for rejection is the fact that if the user does not have Dropbox application installed then the linking authorization is done through Safari (as per latest SDK).

Once the user is in Safari it is possible for the user to click "Desktop version" and navigate to a place on Dropbox site where it is possible to purchase additional space.

Apple views this as "sending user to an additional purchase" which is against rules.
Dropbox is trying to work around Apple's excessive rules, but the whole thing seems a bit crazy. At some point you have to wonder when Apple is going to trip various antitrust rules about using its dominant position on the platform to hurt other companies. It seems developers are eventually going to recognize that, even with Apple's giant market, it might just be easier to focus on more reasonable and open platforms.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    dniMretsaM, May 2nd, 2012 @ 8:56am

    Because this will totally make me decide to drop Dropbox (bad pun) and start using iCloud. Actually, I think I'll just jailbreak and get FullDrop, instead.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    AzureSky (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 8:59am

    and.....

    FUCK APPLE.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 9:04am

    "Once the user is in Safari it is possible for the user to click "Desktop version" and navigate to a place on Dropbox site where it is possible to purchase additional space."

    Not to spit hairs, but doesn't this seem to indicate that it's Safari that's in violation...

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 9:06am

    Re: and.....

    Straight to the point, eloquent in a non eloquent kind of way, and more importantly, so true

    Well played sir!
    Well played!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 9:07am

    'it might just be easier to focus on more reasonable and open platforms'

    and perhaps more pleasing to the developers as well. even if the app is free, if customers are happy, the easier experience would probably do more to encourage the developer to, well, develop! life is full of hassle so let's face it, who needs more when it's unnecessary?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    dniMretsaM, May 2nd, 2012 @ 9:07am

    Re:

    Apple makes Safari, so it's all good. Actually, though, Safari just lets you go there, but doesn't really send you there itself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 9:11am

    I have to wonder why they allow things like the eBay app? Surely they don't get 30% of anything you buy on eBay.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    hmm (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 9:13am

    Simple answer

    All Applie has to do in ios6 is remove the ability for ALL apps to jump to safari.

    Admittedly this will kill the ipad/iphone etc as a general platform as searching for stuff would be a bitch, but its the easiest and simplest solution with only one downside:

    apple goes out of business.

    Wait, did I say downside? :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    hmm (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 9:14am

    Re:

    I'm wondering if they get 30% off any money made if you hire an escort with a "happy ending" (and yes there ARE apps for that!)....

    technically this makes apple pimps and should lead to criminal charges.....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Baldaur Regis (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 9:23am

    Once the user is in Safari it is possible for the user to click "Desktop version" and navigate to a place on Dropbox site where it is possible to purchase additional space.
    I may be wrong in my reasoning, so let me run it by the Apple users here:

    1. Safari is the Apple web browser, which browses the web.
    2. The web is a place where it is possible to purchase many things.

    Therefore, what the fuck is Apple doing on the web?

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 9:25am

    It is the relentless soulless pursuit of greater wealth at the expense of all else that is the genuine root of evil.

    Patents, walled-gardens, lawsuits, illogical contrivances and oxymorons like "corporate personhood", "corporate rights" and other greed grabs all backed up by the farce (typo intended) of "law".

    Said so-called "law" is the concrete that will eventually solidify upon the gears of techmology and cause the entire works to cease and become useless.

    Do you remember when the technology business was about freedom and open standards?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Glen, May 2nd, 2012 @ 9:39am

    Re:

    Those where the days. Even Nokia has decided to go patent troll.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Overcast (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 9:42am

    Kind ask for it, if you buy their phones and stuff...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re:

    It's still painfully tortured logic to use for not approving an app.

    I know it doesn't matter since anything produced in-house will be above the rules. These things just make me feel better about only building Mac-compatible PCs and downloading OSX ISOs...

    In their garden the rules don't apply evenly...guess what happens in my garden?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Mike42 (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 9:48am

    Wow!

    I see nothing but haters. No fanbois at all.
    It warms my heart, actually. I've had nothing but contempt for Apple since 1985.
    And if you guys are any indication, I'd say Apple stock has peaked. Sell 'em if you got 'em.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 9:51am

    I like to refer to Apple as AppHell. And not just because of this article.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 9:58am

    Apple users are and odd bunch

    I have no idea why people use Apple products. I figure they didn't get enough parenting as a child and need Steve Jobs to be their father figure. Why anyone would chain themselves to a closed platform is beyond me.

    As for the antitrust thing, if Microsoft was doing what Apple is doing, there would be alarms going off everywhere. Somehow Apple is seen as some kind of benevolent dictatorship.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 10:03am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'd guess you cut down your apple tree?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 10:04am

    Apple hates competition and will do what ever it takes to stifle said competition.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 10:09am

    The problem is, Windows is trying to become like Apple with Windows 8. Now we are going to have TWO crappy OSs. Linux, anyone?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 10:16am

    It's apple. They know what's best for you, so get back in line for the next version and be quite.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    DannyB (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 10:17am

    Could Apple have it's own cloud storage that it would prefer everyone to use?



    All that is necessary for Apple to triumph is for Google men to do nothing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
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    gorehound (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 10:31am

    Re: and.....

    +1
    Let the fanboys buy their iSoftware while the rest of us Techie Geeks just build a smokin fast Rig for a lot less and run Win 7 on it.And have a lot more Apps and Games to fool with.
    I will not buy an Apple nor will I ever want to buy an Apple.
    I would rather eat one.Lately been eating Pink Lady and Braeburns.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    r.roborovsky, May 2nd, 2012 @ 10:38am

    Apple and Drop Box Exclusion

    I suppose Apple can do whatever it likes with it's Ecosystem, but excluding Drop Box because it may compete with an Apple Product is sad. This move leaves Dropbox users in the cold, people who were using the cloud before Apple decided to look up at the sky.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
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    Andrew F (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 10:50am

    Er ... wouldn't any app that redirected to Safari violate this?

    Because once you're in Safari, for whatever reason, you could always type in the URL to Amazon in the address bar. And then, you know, buy stuff.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 10:56am

    Sanity people...

    Look I am and am not a Apple User (not in recovery). I own Apple products, also Android, and Microsoft products.

    Apple implemented the policy to prevent outside purchases not just to protect their eco-system but also to prevent scammers.

    The reason they did this was to aid the average (read:not informed) person from paying for something that they did not expect to, or for signing up for a reoccurring service they did not mean to.

    Not do I think this situation is wrong. Well, heck yeah.

    Policy is a way to belay thinking. In this case they did not engage thought.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 10:57am

    Re: Sanity people...

    Sorry quick comment resulted in bad grammar and spelling.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    harknell (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 11:01am

    Inconsistent Approval Process

    I actually have some some apps in the IOS app store and we ran into a somewhat related issue when we submitted an update for one of our apps. In our case our app consolidates many feeds into one place, as well as webpages. The reviewer of our app update went into our app and then navigated to the webpage being displayed (which was called using IOS's Safari viewer from within our app)and noticed that the person *on their website* had a donation button.

    The reviewer disqualified our app update until this was "fixed". Obviously this wasn't part of our app, it was their website--but we asked them to remove the donation link for a week. After the approval they put the link back up.

    In our case it was obvious that the reviewer had no idea how IOS works, or how it's programmed. But it's sadly typical of some of the arbitrary ways you can interpret their rules on this area.

    Look, we all know Apple wants to get paid, but they do have a major issue if their own people don't understand how this "should" work.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    Andrew F (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 11:04am

    Re: Er ... wouldn't any app that redirected to Safari violate this?

    For that matter, if you redirected to any website with ads, you would violate the policy. Because you could click on an ad which sends you a page you can buy stuff.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    E. Zachary Knight (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 11:04am

    These are the people who rejected an e-reader app because people could download the Kama Sutra from Project Gutenberg. I am really not surprised.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090522/1051084979.shtml

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    BlindGuy, May 2nd, 2012 @ 11:21am

    Re:

    "I have no idea why people use Apple products. I figure they didn't get enough parenting as a child and need Steve Jobs to be their father figure. Why anyone
    would chain themselves to a closed platform is beyond me."

    Blind people. I am blind and Apple is the only and I mean only vendor selling a fully accessible product.

    Screen readers for Windows cost 1000 US$, and there is no equivalent free alternative for linux.

    Apple is corporate evil but the only in town caring about the disabled.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    John Doe, May 2nd, 2012 @ 11:27am

    Re: Sanity people...

    Apple implemented the policy to prevent outside purchases not just to protect their eco-system but also to prevent scammers.

    How very thoughtful of them. And the fact that they get 30% cut of every sale is just an unfortunate side affect. I guess it is kind of like paying for protection; only who protects you from Apple?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
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    Kirion (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 11:32am

    So why did people freaked out when Brin said that Apple is an enemy of open web, again?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 11:38am

    Re:

    I already use Linux. Ubuntu all round.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Dennis Holloway, May 2nd, 2012 @ 11:42am

    Ohhh really, The reasoning for rejecting apps is just ridiculous. I think Apple just hates the competition with others (microsoft, windows, etc) or their strategy might be to avoid spammers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    jhn, May 2nd, 2012 @ 11:45am

    Sorry, if you cry about "openness" but then use a closed platform like Windows or Android then you're full of it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Don, May 2nd, 2012 @ 11:54am

    Re:

    Because Apple doesn't have iBay -- when they do, say goodbye to the eBay APP.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    Skeptical Cynic (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 11:58am

    Re: Re: Sanity people...

    I agree, but why should you fault them for charging for the services they provide?

    Apple pays for and maintains the marketplace.

    I don't like the constrains of the Apple App store and iTunes store, but I am also not the person to decide where people should spend their money.

    So people can decide.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re:

    Ummm... So wrong *facepalm*.

    Every version of Windows I've used since Windows XP has had the accessibility tools. Which include a free text to speech application.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    hfbs (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 12:15pm

    Re:

    Sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of my DRM-free files being played on whatever the fuck player I want them to be.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
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    ottermaton (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 12:16pm

    Re:

    +10

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Apple users are and odd bunch

    I'd say Apple stock has peaked.


    I don't know about that, yet, but the apple blossoms are certainly starting to wilt. It wasn't all that long ago that my iPhone-wielding friends were all about how awesome iPhones are. Nowadays, however, every single one of them drools over my Infuse and wishes they had something like that instead. They're chafing at Apples' restrictions, from basic things like being unable to swap out batteries, more esoteric things like the fight over jailbreaking and the increasing problem of desired apps not being available for the iPhone, and much more.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re:

    there is no equivalent free alternative for linux


    Maybe they all suck, I don't know, but there are several free Linux screen readers available.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 12:30pm

    Re:

    Although Android is not as open as everyone would prefer, it's mostly there. And in the most important ways it's fully there: I can install anything I want, program anything I want, change anything I want, do anything I want with Android, without paying additional fees or getting approval from anybody, and nobody can stop me.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    droslovinia, May 2nd, 2012 @ 12:36pm

    Funny

    I don't know what's more humorous: posting yet another article to invite the Apple-haters to ramp up their frothy hateful "Apple is the devil" posts, or the implicit assumptions in all this that A) Everyone is somehow FORCED to do business with Apple and B)The fact that you hate Apple gives you a right to decide what they should adopt as their business practices.

    Either way, it's pretty funny.

    If you don't like the way Apple does business, suck it up and take your money elsewhere, but give the rest of us a break and talk about something that actually matters.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    ANON, May 2nd, 2012 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Wow!

    I own 0 apple products and doubt I will ever buy one. Highly prefer something more open (Samsung + Android?). At any rate I think the stock will rise for the iPhone 5 with all the sales of that coming.. I wouldn't sell quite yet.. But yes I would sell.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    ANON, May 2nd, 2012 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: Apple users are and odd bunch

    Apple has not had the best phone in quite some time. Samsung, HTC and Motorola seem to always have something depending on what specs you focus on 2-4 times as good.

    I would expect Apple to have a bigger screen this time with the iPhone 5, LTE and there is a slight chance of quad core. If they manage to put out a quad core + LTE in the USA they might be the only company with one. HTC & Samsung phones that are quad core in the EU are dual core in the USA if they have LTE so far.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 1:10pm

    yet another reason NOT to buy anything apple. Ever install safari on Windows, Good luck getting rid of it without reinstalling windows.

    Boycott Apple!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The Windows Narrator is free but of no use in normal desktop applications.

    The Mac Voiceover is far superior and integrates with even OpenOffice.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Re:

    Just as soon as developers stop using directx...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    dniMretsaM, May 2nd, 2012 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Indeed, it is terrible logic. Actually, I'd make the argument that there is no logic at all (other than Apple doing what ever it can to lock it's users in).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 1:40pm

    Re:

    False dichotomy. It's not a question of 'open or close' it's a question of degrees and it's patently obvious that iOS, Windows, and Android are not 'closed' to the same degree as each other.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Funny

    You don't have to hate Apple to recognize that some of their business practices are anti-competitive nor must everyone be forced to do business with Apple for their business practices to be so. So no, it doesn't imply either of those things at all and even if you're too blind to see it it does actually matter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Funny

    the implicit assumptions in all this that A) Everyone is somehow FORCED to do business with Apple and B)The fact that you hate Apple gives you a right to decide what they should adopt as their business practices.


    I see no such assumptions, implicit or otherwise.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 2:10pm

    Re: Wow!

    And if you guys are any indication, I'd say Apple stock has peaked.

    I don't think we are any indication.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 2:13pm

    Boy I'm glad I left the walled garden that is the App Store. I've been Apple-free for nearly two months since I bought my sweet, sweet Android phone. My iPhone 3GS is right where it belongs, sitting on my nightstand as a glorified alarm clock.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    Cynyr (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 4:59pm

    Re:

    Android closed?

    I'm running cyanogenmod-7 on my phone. I can checkout the full sources from git if i felt like it. I'm free to extend/modify/etc to my hearts content. My phone will load any valid APK I want it to, regardless if google/my carrier/my handset vendor wants me to or not. Anyways, in that respect I would say it is open. It isn't open like RMS would like, but then even my desktop (running gentoo linux) doesn't. I have the nvidia driver installed, and skype.

    http://www.cyanogenmod.com/
    https://github.com/CyanogenMod
    http://source.android.com/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 5:09pm

    Another Malus for Apple

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
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    tqk (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 6:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Sanity people...

    I used to recommend Apple. Nowadays, no. However, I agree with you. Apple likes its Universe locked down so it can have the control it believes it needs to support and protect its customers and its cash flow. People who buy Apple either don't care or appreciate it. Nobody's holding a gun to their heads to buy into the walled garden, and it's none of our business if they want to.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
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    trrll (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 6:59pm

    but means nothing to users

    This seems to be one of those things that enrages some geeks, but means zilch to the typical user. After all, how often do you buy additional Dropbox space? It's easy enough to navigate to Dropbox yourself on Safari and buy more space, and Apple is perfectly OK with that. And if you really need to go to Dropbox a lot, you can click the button to add a link to your home screen. So a direct link from an app is at most a very minor convenience to the user.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2012 @ 1:27am

    Apple sucks. Go Linux!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Zac Carrell, May 3rd, 2012 @ 1:43pm

    Apple views this as "sending user to an additional purchase" which is against rules.

    Seems legit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2012 @ 4:15pm

    Re: Re:

    Yeah, I'm with you on this. I respond with the same thing myself. For some reason they always come up with "Google's Android is as closed as you get", the funny part is I've written exactly what you've written and then been called "deluded" or told that I'm an idiot for believing any of that, despite the fact that it's all true.

    Heck, I can go compile the source code myself right now if I wanted to and tweak it to my heart's content and get a completely one off version of Android that ONLY I will have (unless I decide to share it). That's as open as it gets. iOS, hahaha! Yeah. No comparison.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    LazDude2012, May 6th, 2012 @ 6:11pm

    Re: Re: and.....

    You call yourself a techie and don't use Linux?
    :/ I think that's a bit untrue. I mean, Windows 7 is great for Windows, but it's still Windows. Security holes, proprietariness, oh, and the most annoying, intrusive auto-update system ever. Windows? Eh.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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