Did you hear about that Palm Pre update yesterday? The one that re-enables iTunes syncing? Yes, probably, but Palm would still very much like to emphasise to you, and now the USB Implementers Forum, that it's fighting the good fight.
Following their endearingly blustery update announcement, a Palm spokesperson explained that the company will take this fight, possibly the greatest battle of our generation, to the ends of the earth. Or at least to the leading opt-in industry advocacy organisation for USB hardware:
Palm believes that openness and interoperability offer better experiences for users by allowing them the freedom to use the content they own without interference across devices and services, so on behalf of consumers, we have notified the USB Implementers Forum of what we believe is improper use of the Vendor ID number by another member.
To quote the least appropriate person possible, uhh, "Boom?" But what does "improper use of the vendor ID number" mean? Palm isn't very specific, though I imagine they have a conceptual, rather than a compliance, issue with Apple. In other words, Palm seems to think that Apple's use of the its vendor ID to shut others out of using its software is somehow wrong, or out of line with the USB-IF's stated ethos. That, and the fact that Palm pretty much has to question the legitimacy (or usage) of Apple's vendor ID, because by designing the Pre to spoof an iPod vendor ID, they're totally infringing upon it. Check this USB-IF compliance update from 2007:
The Vendor ID used by a product must match the VID of the company producing the product (the integrator). Please ensure that the VID used by the product matches the company making the product. The USB-IF does not permit the product to display the silicon VID instead of the company making the product...With written permission, the device may be listed on the Integrators List.
I've got a feeling Palm doesn't have that permission slip.
The best part about this is how low the real stakes are: Vendor IDs, "USB Compliant!" badges and iTunes syncing are all that's materially at risk here for either company. All the rest is a battle for good PR, fought by PR people. If nothing else, it has been, and will continue to be, really, really fun to watch. [Quote via AllThingsD]