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keyboard politics [Was: Key bindings proposal]

From: Uday S Reddy
Subject: keyboard politics [Was: Key bindings proposal]
Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 18:20:03 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100802 Thunderbird/3.1.2

On 8/14/2010 4:19 PM, Xah Lee wrote:

Microsoft is also a keyboard manufacture, starting in mid or early 1990s.

If they put their logo on keyboards that they make, that would be understandable. We would have a choice whether to buy those keyboards or not.

Apple always has a Apple logo on their keyboards on the Cmd key, only about 3
years ago it's officially removed. Those who make 3rd party Apple keyboard are
subject to licensing fee too, am sure, and probably also a royalty.

So, you are saying that Microsoft is just copying Apple.  What is the big deal?

Apple is a complete system manufacturer. They can design their systems whichever way they please. And, people have a choice whether to buy those systems or not.

Microsoft never made any complete systems. They started out as sellers of compilers and made their name as the *suppliers* of DOS to IBM. When IBM's monopoly ended and the PC became an open architecture, they became suppliers to us. So, they do not have ownership of the PC or the keyboard that goes with it. Their assertion of ownership to a pair of modifier keys, whose idea has been long in existence before their birth even, is illegitimate.

thinking about this... i think FSF might make a keyboard where the Win/Cmd key
is a GNU logo. Actually i think that's a good idea because the Win logo key on
keyboard is a commonly heard complaint from GNU/linux programers. Actually i
think this is quite a doable market... Several kbd makers started to have a
cult following due to the fact they sell kbds without the win logo, e.g. Daz,
Happy Hacking, and are frequently buzzed about in programing forums and in
gadget review sites.

Sounds quite sensible. But it would be even more sensible to break the Microsoft-branded key in its function, not just in its appearance.


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