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Re: Merits of why biz switches - was Re: [Fsfe-uk] Mac OS X refund

From: Ian Lynch
Subject: Re: Merits of why biz switches - was Re: [Fsfe-uk] Mac OS X refund
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 09:28:35 +0000

On Sun, 2008-01-27 at 19:41 +0100, Dave Crossland wrote:
> On 27/01/2008, Jon Grant <address@hidden> wrote:
> >
> >  > If a business is using proprietary software, they can't switch in one
> >  > day, or one year, even one decade.
> >
> >  Good point.
> This means startups have no reason not to use free software;

Apart from most not even knowing what free software is, not knowing how
to get support for it and being told that they are out on a limb by most
people around them giving them start up advice. How many business link
advisers would promote an open source start up for a non-technical

> substantial intimately-computer related business have done fresh
> starts with free software for at least a decade, and I think we'll see
> more 'regular' businesses switching as soon as accounting/payroll and
> stock control (ie, webcart webapps) get popularised.

And all the early adopters are in place to give confidence to the middle
of the bell-curve of knowledge and expertise. This is why education is
important in accelerating change. Probably more so now than technical

> >  > Whats important is that they are switching because they recognise the
> >  > social problem of proprietary software and value their freedom, and
> >  > are _sincere_ about switching.
> >
> >  Do they really siwtch on those merits? Most businesses I talk to switch
> >  to Firefox for security reasons. OpenOffice because it is no-charge and
> >  GNU+Linux for servers because it is no-charge and more reliable than
> >  MS-Windows.
> Security, reliability and zero acquisition costs are caused by
> software freedom.

perhaps but again most people have no idea that this is so and unless
there is a way of changing that they will not learn about it in large
numbers any time soon.

> Never mind the legitimisation of using insecure, unreliable and
> overpriced software that tramples our whole society's freedom, which
> inevitably led to the so-called "open source" activities that don't
> meet the OSD at all.
> The trickiest damage to undo that 'open source as marketing effort for
> software freedom' did to the software freedom movement is influencing
> people not to see the wood for the trees.

Without mass education it's only going to be a tiny minority that ever
see the wood for the trees no matter what terminology is used.

> Changing this is a matter of perception; and what agitates me about
> people promoting software freedom with computers running Mac OS X.

Apple is in many ways worse than MS, just not as successful mainly
because the hardware *and* the software was entirely locked into one

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