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What about the GPLv3 prevents them from using GNU user space tools?

Nothing prevents them, they chose not to. It would restrict them from shipping GPLv3 versions in the future if they tivoize the platform further, which they almost certainly intend to do, its kind of Apple's thing nowadays.

The GPLv3 has clauses in it that opens up a new load of legal questions for Apple that they'd rather avoid. I just wish that Apple would move to using less encumbered shell that is actively being developed, like pdksh or zsh.

If Microsoft is willing to ship GNU tools as a officially sanctioned extension to Windows, then Apple definitely has no valid excuse to avoid GPL v3.

> If Microsoft is willing to ship GNU tools

They're not. After you enable the Linux subsystem you get the userland from Canonical under Ubuntu's license, Microsoft ships WSL and CLI shims triggering the download of the Ubuntu userland.

Apple and Microsoft have different legal departments. Apple's still has questions over GPLv3, for better or for worse.

They really don't. They know exactly what they can and can't do. They don't think it's vague or ambiguous.

They just don't see it as worth the energy for them to use it.

I can't disagree with that strategy (if no one is really pushing you to do X, why bother), at Google we do the same with android mostly, but for different reasons:

We don't use GPLv3 because the OEMs/etc don't want it, and rip it out anyway :)

Similarly, i expect in Apple's case, they don't use it in parts they may keep common to ios/macos because then they can't keep them common.

In any case, the TL;DR is that there aren't open legal questions or magic things they are waiting to play out. They've made their choice and have been sticking by it.

Microsoft does not ship any GPL code at all on the operating system.

"The GPLv3 has clauses in it that opens up a new load of legal questions for Apple that they'd rather avoid."

I'm curious why you think it opens up legal questions, etc. They've pretty definitively stated they just don't want to use it. There are no vague or mysterious questions they are waiting to get answers to or anything like that.

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