I just found an article on the BBC News site titled,
As I started to read down this I thought it was a journalist with a Microsoft grudge who hadn’t done his research and it wasn’t until I got to the end that I realised this wasn’t exactly the case
The article was written by Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation.
Go read the whole thing yourself but here’s a couple of the sections I’d like to take issue with
“Microsoft’s software is distributed under licenses that keep users divided and helpless. The users are divided because they are forbidden to share copies with anyone else. The users are helpless because they don’t have the source code that programmers can read and change.
If you’re a programmer and you want to change the software, for yourself or for someone else, you can’t.
If you’re a business and you want to pay a programmer to make the software suit your needs better, you can’t. If you copy it to share with your friend, which is simple good-neighbourliness, they call you a "pirate".”
I’m sorry Richard this is called BUSINESS
Firstly, if I create something and expect to be financially compensated for it I expect every person who uses/owns it to pay up. Not just the first person who then passes onto everyone he knows who then in turn pass it on to everyone they know, etc, etc
Currently the same applies to DVD’s and music. If you copy those and pass them on for free then you are a pirate it’s not “good neighbourliness”. The fact that it’s software is irrelevant
Your obviously a big fan of free software. Well am I too. But I don’t believe that ALL software should be free. People still need to earn a living so if they decide they want to make money from their software. Good for them
If someone makes some similar software and charge less for it (or makes it free!) then that first person has to make their software even better. That’s called competition!
Do you work for free Richard? How do you pay for your house? Your food? Your computer hardware? At some point money comes from someone working. People make money from the skills they have. If that’s making software then so be it
Secondly, the bit where you talk about not being able to pay a pay a programmer to make the software suit your needs is way off the mark
Microsoft make a big deal out of the fact they are a platform company
Let’s talk about one of their flagship products as an example, Microsoft Office
For some years office has come bundled with Visual Basic for Applications. It allows you to turn the program into a platform where you can then add on extra functionality where making use of the products core functions as part of that. It’s so simple even I can do it!More recently we’ve also had the Visual Studio Tools for Office which perform a similar function but allowing you to take full advantage of the .NET framework
“In the UK, Microsoft established a major office in Gordon Brown’s constituency.”
So what? Microsoft have offices all over the UK. In the same way they have them all over the US and all over the world?
“There’s also the Digital Restrictions Management: software features designed to "stop" you from accessing your files freely. Increased restriction of users seems to be the main advance of Vista.”
Is DRM Microsoft’s fault? How does it “stop you from accessing your files freely”?
YOUR files that YOU create are completely under your control. You’ll need to explain this one to me I’m afraid
I think what your talking about goes back to the pirating issue. Media companies want to protect their property (music, video, etc). They ask Microsoft (and Apple, have you used iTunes on the Mac recently?) to help them do that.
I’m no fan of the restrictions we get when buying media online nowadays but your blaming the wrong people I think
Finally (I could go on but as I’ve ranted enough)
“In 1992, when the GNU operating system was completed by the kernel, Linux, you had to be a wizard to run it. Today GNU/Linux is user-friendly: in parts of Spain and India, it’s standard in schools. Tens of millions use it, around the world. You can use it too.”
and there is the problem
As you said in 1992 you had to be a wizard to run GNU/Linux. At that time you didn’t need to be a wizard to run Windows 3.11 not long after that Windows 95 arrived and you sure didn’t need to be a wizard to run that. My mom was able to use Windows 95!
If the user friendly version of GNU/Linux your talking about had been available back then maybe the Microsoft we know today wouldn’t exist. But that’s not what happened
I applaud the promotion of choice but not in attacking the way someone else has done it without a decent argument
Go make a better O/S and shout about why it’s better than the rest.
Your article gives no compelling to move to Linux (or any other O/S) other than “it’s free”
How many free cars, homes, computers are there in the world?
Tell me about features and benefits. How it will help my parents get the pictures from their digital camera?
I’m sure Linux has plenty to offer in that respect but your not talking about any of them
I’m not ranting about this purely because I’m a Microsoft fan
I’m all for a choice and freedom. I use open source software too (I used Notepad2 for the first time yesterday….why haven’t I used this before?! It’s great!) but it’s not the solution for every scenario. What got me riled here is the way your going about your argument
That is all