Why does the Open Source Community love Apple?

Apple is everywhere at open source events; Does that make sense?

Attend any computer conference these days and you can expect that almost every giveaway is an iPad. In fact, I recently attended a conference for a Microsoft oriented customer group and the talk of the attendees was Apple and how excited they were to possibly win an iPad from the vendors in the exhibit hall. It makes me wonder, why isn’t the open source community in a complete uproar against Apple the same way that they are against Microsoft? Apparently, the open source community is indifferent which should be a surprise based on past history with Microsoft and their anti-open source positions. Attend any open source event or talk to most open source zealots and you will find a complete and utter disdain for Microsoft and all things Windows; however ask them about Apple (or just look at their Mac laptop) and you will know that Apple is the hardware king of the open source community. In fact, I have attended a few open source events recently and am surprised with the huge success Apple is having in this portion of the computing marketplace. Most attendees have either an iPhone or iMac, although I am seeing more Android phones showing up, but people seem worried about Google being a good open source player which makes sense but that discussion never moves over to Apple. Why is that? This free pass to Apple from the open source community has been interesting to watch and understand. To further my thinking on this topic, I did a search of "is apple bad for open source" and "is Microsoft bad for open source" to compare the types of articles. The Microsoft search results were standard open source is socialist, evil empire type of thing we all know and love but the Apple results were much less direct. In fact, the 6th highest result was from php developer complaining about support costs; hardly what we are used to with Microsoft and open source. I am beginning to think that the simple coolness factor of Apple being hip and edgy simply plays exactly into line with what the open source community believes and thus is willing to look the other way as Apple moves computing even further away from an open business model. Here is a great example of this, http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/why-do-i-refuse-buy-anything-apple-because-th/// as you will see the people really go back and attack Microsoft in the comments and let Apple off the hook. What do you think? Am I missing something basic on how Apple really is a great company for open source and that I am just not seeing it? Is the marketing power of Apple so great that even the open source community is mesmerized? I look forward to your comments and discussion.

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