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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Mac OS X refund

From: Richard Smedley
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Mac OS X refund
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2008 17:11:54 +0000

Hello Mark,

On Fri, 2008-01-25 at 14:35 +0000, MJ Ray wrote:
> I agree with the point about emote and practice being different - in
> practice, most of our travel is sustainable (cycles and trains) but
> we've not (yet?) taken the government money that I think was available
> to publish/emote a Green Travel Plan for our business.

Have you an URL?

> A related Q: is starting a new enterprise with 100% free software much
> easier than switching an existing one away from proprietary software?

Without doubt - but there are still many areas in my sector with
no Free Software. E.g. Credit Unions (we're working on it); Dial-a-ride
services (everyone gets small firms to write proprietary apps for
them with VBA); benefits advice (but at least the main software
runs well on WINE, so not a barrier to platform change); case 
management (seriously - lot's of apps available, few good
enough); even the right groupware is a problem - eg if the CEO
has a blackberry.

> Does that suggest barriers to entry are raised by proprietary software
> producers?  

Well, only in that they use VBA instead of real languages,
and Access instead of real databases (actually one major 
app is on the discontinued FoxPro).

> Are such barriers fair or in keeping with a free market?

What free market ;-P

Seriously, the inertia is as much with support organisations
and advisors. Follow the main lists for techies and web designers
in the third sector and you'll see a strong, automatic
preference for MS & other proprietary software from those
in charge. This is reflected in "Open Source" trials that
seem designed to fail, and all FOSS squeezed into minimal
"open source" conference tracks :-(

 - Richard
  (not bitter at all, no really ;)

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