Memorandum to Tim Cook and Apple, Inc.


To: Tim Cook, CEO, Apple Inc.

re: Creating Windows Users

Hi, Tim, I hope the day is treating you well. I just needed a moment for a brief setup and question.

I’m a Linux user. The main reason for this came about for a circumstantial nexus by which I loathe Microsoft Windows but cannot afford much for Apple gear. An iPhone, sure. A Mac? No, not really. And it’s also true that since abandoning the Macintosh Way, Apple has been reducing the value of its desktop computers as marketplace tools, which is one way of saying that I can’t afford to buy the desktop that doesn’t feel one generation too slow.

My point being that a cheap PC and Linux are my best option.

Still, I’m just back from a couple weeks abroad and this time around I traveled as lightly as I could on this point. Then again, only owning one laptop at present, I didn’t feel like carrying the thing overseas.

To the other, a friend recently decided an inexpensive Nextbook device she had was not sufficient for her work purposes and picked up a Lenovo Yoga. She gave the Nextbook to my mother, actually, but the point is that there is now an up-to-date Windows device in my proximity.

And I have several hundred photos to transfer from my iPhone.

Do you understand the implication, Mr. Cook? I’m sorry; that’s patronizing: Of course you recognize the implication.

When we look around the Linux community in order to figure out the latest answer to the question of iPhones and Linux, the report is always grim: Either take your chances when our library is up to date and you haven’t moved against that fact, or simply install Wine and run iTunes. Or, you know, find regular access to an actual Windows device, because that does happen sometimes, for some of us.

I can’t afford enough gear to offload my iPhone onto another Apple device. Social media software compressions are useful enough in their general function, but I would, in fact, like the full-size files. And right now I can’t afford another Apple device to accommodate that.

And your open hostility toward Linux means, Mr. Cook, that you require that I should have a Windows experience.

Trust me, if Google could convince me it was worth it to use one of their phones, we wouldn’t be having this discussion because I would no longer be an Apple user by necessity of being unable to afford your gear. But I tried a Google phone; I don’t ever want to use one again. My daughter had a Windows phone, and you know as well as I what goes without saying about that. An actual Linux phone? Depends on who you ask. The same career tech friends who see nothing wrong with Windows’ hostility toward Unicode—you don’t need Unicode, they say, and a bunch of them work in tech, so when you say, “Alright, how do I properly execute an alt-code?” they just stare at you like you have Lord Canti coming out of your head and say, “What’s an alt-code?”—are the people who suggest if only the pesky, recalcitrant Linux community would just write a program, we could all have Linux phones. No, really, that’s the argument, that my carrier isn’t omitting Linux, but that the Linux community refuses to write some small, easy, unspecified program that will magically make Linux phones work properly with American carriers.

Then again, the other answer is that Linux phones work just fine in some other countries, and it’s a matter of American carriers choosing to support them or not. Practically speaking, we come back to the point about Google phones.

I’m an iPhone user, sir. I will use your desktop computers again, someday, when I can afford them, provided you haven’t rendered them completely useless at that point. And in the meantime, your hostility toward Linux is every practical disincentive toward iPhone use. And that’s the thing.

I could simply not be an Apple customer, and in truth that would probably make me sadder than it would you. But a Google phone costs less than an iPhone, and runs with Linux, please, I don’t like the things; aside from the kernel, Google has nothing in common with Linux; their ethos might even be lower than Microsoft’s.

And that’s also a problem because, well, okay, I said brief, and sometimes the setup just takes more than I conceive in those moments. The question, however, is about as simple as can be:

Why is Apple Inc. manufacturing Windows users?

Your considerate regard toward the question has my sincere gratitude. Thank you.


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