Rant Mode Equals One: Let's Re-License Redmond
A recent post by Ed Bott highlights once again another aspect of freedom that is granted to users of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). The freedom is to use the software on as many machines as you wish, without restriction. In this case, Microsoft has added yet another new "feature" -- the product is only transferable one time. That means you get to move it once -- after that, it's time to purchase the software you already own, yet again.
It's almost comical to me just how many things related to intellectual property Microsoft has tightened over the years -- they make it so you don't even "own" the product you "purchased" in enterprise situation -- they want you to rent it instead. Over the years they've gotten even more restrictive -- for example, Windows XP users have had to come to terms with the fact that if too many aspects of their system change, may have to re-license the product they already have purchased and installed.
It's crazy stuff. Those of you who rarely have to deal with these limitations are likely thinking to yourself thoughts like "what the heck is he talking about?". Those Windows users that have been tuned to this channel might be saying something like "I don't see what all the big fuss is about."
It's really simple -- you give up your freedom when the "vendor" in question forces you to click through
an End User License Agreement (EULA). EULAs typically limit your freedom. Some EULAs in the past have
even prevented you from discussing how well the product performed with members of the press. Talk about
audacious -- Microsoft is supposedly selling their products in a Free market, and will complain often
about being able to freely compete (usually when they've been nailed by the Department of Justice).
But do they have your rights in mind while they're doing all this lobbying?
Lemme answer that one -- No, your Freedom is going to be in the ability to shell out cash. Here's a thought; You're free -- especially with the roll-out of something inane like Vista -- to go somewhere else, and that's exactly where I'm going to point you.
If you're one of these people, please ask yourself -- Isn't it time you gave up the yoke of EULA limitations? Wouldn't it be nice to add hardware with impunity, switch hardware with impunity, install with impunity? With FOSS products, it's a snap -- you simply have to learn a different OS.
While this may sound like an uncomfortable experience -- I gotta ask: Aren't you going to have to do that anyway when Vista rolls into town? Lord knows when that is, but I've heard it might be last year, or this year, or ... maybe next year. I can hardly wait. Rather, I gave up waiting in 1994. You don't have to wait either, is the point I'm trying to make.
Why not take that time and learn Linux instead? There are many Linux distributions to choose from. (Just in case you're in the mood, some are listed at the end of this article.) Most of these are totally free, down-loadable off the Internet, easily (and legally) burned to as many CDs as you wish -- and best of all -- easily installed over crappy old Windows XP. Heck, you may want to do this anyway if you've been spending any time recently re-installing to fix virus or other malware-related problems. If you have to reinstall the OS, it's probably a good time to try something new on the ole' PC anyway. Yeah, that's right, you can even use your old hardware -- most of the time it'll scream under Linux, by the way -- and then you too can experience true Freedom.
Speaking of which, let me take this moment to share some of my past 11 plus years of experience using Linux as a desktop solution for myself and my family.
I know this may come as a stretch, but trust me, it's all true -- my personal experience.
I've never, on my computer at home, running Linux,
At the end of the day though, It's a really nice feeling knowing
that the people that created your software had your rights in mind.
Ed Bott's Post on ZDNET:
Microsoft and Corporate Software Rental:
Microsoft Windows XP and hardware changes:
Easy to Use and Install Free Linux Distributions:
Paul (FeriCyde) Ferris is a Linux professional and community member. He has been using Unix and Linux for a combined total of over 17 years. His articles have graced LXer.com, Linux Journal, LinuxToday, LinuxPlanet, NewsForge and various other Linux news and technical information sites. His recent expertise with enterprise-class implementations of Linux have lead to the creation of the the batchlogin project, his first large-scale Free Software project. A husband, father and more, yet his technical passion is Linux and has remained so for the past 13 years.
|Subject||Topic Starter||Replies||Views||Last Post|
|Hey, Windows gives you two freedoms!||hkwint||27||1,815||Oct 24, 2006 11:08 PM|
|PCLinuxOS||exwintech||2||1,811||Oct 23, 2006 4:55 AM|
|Paul - You sadistic b*st*rd!!||dinotrac||10||1,811||Oct 17, 2006 6:35 PM|
|Exellent! Excellent! Excellent! article.||jsusanka||1||1,597||Oct 16, 2006 7:34 AM|
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