Operating systems investigate

AtG: Apple ACCC update, Delphi of ATO, Microsoft says open is better

Apple claims Australia's 3G networks are equivalent to international 4G, the tax office uses Delphi for e-tax, and Microsoft gets truly open with ASP.NET.

We lead out today's Around the Grounds with an update on proceedings from the ACCC vs. Apple court case from yesterday.

Beyond the refunds Apple stated it would offer yesterday, the company has agreed to post signage on its website and at points of sale stating: "This product supports very fast cellular networks. It is not compatible with current Australian 4G LTE networks and WiMax networks."

News.com.au reports that Apple's barrister said in court that the 3G networks in Australia were equivalent to overseas 4G networks and that Apple should not be bound by Telstra's definition.

Mediation has been ordered between the two parties and they are due in for a hearing on liability on 2 May.

A quick question: how many Australians realised that the e-tax software used by Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and a great many individuals each year for filing tax returns was written in Delphi? I was shocked to learn that. And thanks to Delphi's new support for OS X, e-tax now supports OS X as well.

For as long as the ATO has focused on a desktop client to its e-tax service, I've always wondered why it didn't go with a web application approach — it would certainly keep Linux and, increasingly, mobile users happy. An ATO spokesperson told us that as part of investigations on supporting various platforms, including the possibility of a web application that one of the major considerations was balancing the need for greater usability and security requirements to ensure taxpayer information is protected — particularly with mobile computing devices.

While we are on the topic of Linux users, the GNOME Foundation released GNOME 3.4 overnight.

And in a case of hell being slightly cooler, Microsoft has opened up its ASP.NET web API and ASP.NET web pages source code to external contributors. Previously, Microsoft has released source code under a look-but-don't-touch form of licensing, but this move to a more open model of development is an eye-opener. Especially when Microsoft says it is a better model.

"We will also for the first time allow developers outside of Microsoft to submit patches and code contributions that the Microsoft development team will review for potential inclusion in the products. We announced a similar open development approach with the Windows Azure SDK last December, and have found it to be a great way to build an even tighter feedback loop with developers — and, ultimately, deliver even better products as a result," wrote Scott Guthrie, Microsoft corporate vice president, Server and Tools Business, in a blog post.

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Some would say that it is a long way from software engineering to journalism, others would correctly argue that it is a mere 10 metres according to the floor plan.During his first five years with CBS Interactive, Chris started his journalistic advent...

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