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With Vista in sight, people are finally waking up

Something about certain comments to CNET's recent "Week in review: Vista Furore" overview almost gets me chills. It is as if people are finally waking up, possibly without even being aware of what all of what they are hearing and experiencing now means on the bigger scale. For so long people who support Free Software have been saying, among other related things, that "stealing" is not a way to portray acts of unauthorized copying, also known under the industry-dubbed nickname "piracy", because it is your principal right to share and certainly make backups of software or transfer it to a new machine you may have bought. Many people who may have opposed this view before now seem to be saying essentially the same thing in response to the news that you wont be allowed to transfer your Vista to a new computer more than once. Here's an excerpt from discussion that has taken place on CNET's commenting area:

anonymous wrote:

The one license transfer is completely unfair. I will not be upgrading to vista, and if i'm forsed to, i'll be stealing it.

To this john55440 replied:

john55440 wrote:

>and if i'm forsed to, i'll be stealing it.

Yup, if you go into a store and don't like their prices, in the name of "fairness", you are "forced" to become a criminal and steal their goods.

Yours is a pathetic rationalization for being a petty thief.

That particular post does have a point, to an extent. If you do not like the way Microsoft treats you and your rights, why not just cut it with them for good and switch to something provided by people who do care for your rights? It would definitely be a better option than breaking MS's license, considering that you do have an alternative option and you probably even know it's name: GNU/Linux.

In any case, this comment was followed by an enlightening one from Artie.H:

Artie.H wrote:

If I purchased in good faith 200 dollars worth of mechandise and the store took it away from me just because I had used it more than twice, I wouldn't call taking back what they stole from me thievery. I would call it my right.

In this case the store is telling us upfront what they are going to do. I have no problem with their prices, I do have a problem with their business practices and ethics. I would be crazy to buy their product under these new terms. If I'm forced to buy, due to their monopoly, then there is another term --- blackmail.

Of course, thanks to GNU/Linux we are not forced to buy, and so if we do not agree to unfair terms under which this piece of software is being sold, we don't have to buy it. However the point of this is even bigger than that. What the previous commentator called criminal stealing, this commentator recognized as an exercise of a moral right, even if against the law, and Microsoft's act as in fact a moral theft. What makes this particular comment so especially interesting is how well it seems to fit in with the way an overwhealming amount of people are reacting to this new licensing policy by Microsoft. This commentator is indeed not alone in realizing that this policy is a theft of their rights, and not just another justifiable capitalist practice. I am lately seeing more people than ever calling foul over Microsoft's restrictive licensing, DRM and their enforcements.

It is, ironically, as if one of the most significant effects of "Vista" (meaning sight) may end up being the "awakening" of the masses rather than whatever the MS marketing team wanted the name to represent. I wouldn't wonder if someone asks MS if they even want us to buy Vista at all? The restrictions are becoming so ridiculous that they might as well just say you can't have it and period, as much silly as that sounds.

In effect, people are being literally chased away from Microsoft to alternative Free Software options such as GNU/Linux.

Indeed, to get back to our CNET commentators, they are saying it themselves, although they include Mac among alternative options as well.

zenodaddy wrote:

I believe that Microsoft is pushing everyone towards the Linux environments unwittingly. Consumers have far more options today in the Linux OS than they ever had before... Ubuntu Linux or a Mac is the way to go...

gary85739 wrote:

MSFT is the big dog...but many computer users will go to Linux or Mac

Of course, Mac is also a superior option to Microsoft if you are only considering technical measures and the user experience. However, unfortunately, it is not an OS that offers alot more freedom than Microsoft does. If you want to truly cut the chase with unfair restrictions and DRM, your only choice is Free Software and GNU/Linux. Funny (but cool) thing though, under that name there is a whole sea of choices, because that is what freedom makes, diversity, innovation and user control rather than monopoly, stagnation and top down central control.

Maybe the recent moves by Microsoft will motivate you as well to finally make the leap to freedom, and take control!

The community is waiting to welcome you with open arms.

Thank you.
Danijel Orsolic

Note: CNET comment quotes were not meant to be seen as a statistical evidence, but rather a sample of public opinion. It can hardly be denied that the overwhelming amounts of people who know what these latest Vista restrictions mean do see them as wrongful denying of their rights. The author feels there is an increase in number of people now willing to voice their concerns and that there is an unusual amount of disapproval for Vista based on issues of "rights" alone (due to DRM, new licensing etc.)




Mac OS


None of the Mac OSes have any built in DRM or copy protection. You do not even require a software key to install it.

Nor is that going to change anytime soon, Apple is a hardware company.

An author looses a lot of


An author looses a lot of credibiltity when he uses the word alot.



You lose a lot of credibility yourself when you can't tell the difference between "loose" and "lose."



I love it when people try to correct someone on their grammar/spelling and then they screw up... I LOVE IT!!!

Most people wont give a damn


I'm willing to bet M-Soft has made a calculated decision here, and I expect they have the figures to back it up - most people don't reconfigure their system enough to require more than one activation on a "different" system. For the vast majority of people buying Windows Vista with a manufacturers pre-configured system this will never be a problem. And Microsoft can rig the activation code to ignore trivial changes like new hard drive or network card. As for a new motherboard, I'm willing to guess only a tiny percentage of consumers ever change motherboard without help from the original manufacturer who can give them a BIOS locked volume license at the same time.

As for the rest - that "tiny percentage" (to eat my own words) - well a large number of them will be reading Digg, Slashdot and other places hackers and PC DIY-ers hang out. Its a step down for them, but I expect Microsoft calculated it will save them a bundle of cash in illegal multiple machine deployments, that is the ones that the Genuine Advantage program is supposed to eradicate. And I'm not saying people who move their license around between machines, or new incarnations of the same machine are illegal - I'm just saying that by turning the thumbscrews on that previously legal license use they make it easier to deploy technology that will prevent illegal install on multiple machines simultaneously and pretend you didn't behavior.

By the way, I happen to believe your rights evaporate when you open that Vista envelope or click-thru the license restrictions and click "OK". After that you get what you pay and agree to click for. If you don't like it you SHOULD move to something else and basically lump it. That's market forces. If Microsoft has miscalculated they will do something about it because it will mean a flood of new Linux and Mac users and a lot of lost revenue, otherwise they basically wont give a damn, because even if it inconveniences or pisses-off a million users that's a fly speck to them.

A commenter loses a lot of


A commenter loses a lot of credibility when he uses the word "looses".

I sometimes lose my pants because they are too loose.

DRM? What about iTunes?


While not an owner of an iPod, afaik iTunes promotes DRM so I would hardly say Apple is an alternative to MS. Quite frankly, Apple is no better than MS; the only difference is they lost. Linux (and FreeBSD) are the only true alternatives in my opinion. Linux has the variety that can't be beat and with so many flavours, there's a distro out there that meets anyone's needs. Now that's real freedom.

Linux's User Interface isn't ready


I see fans of Linux pushing it everywhere in what seems like a desperate attempt to take market share from Microsoft, the problem is, I (and evidently the other Windows users) don't believe Linux is ready to dethrone Microsoft yet. The main problem as I see it is the user experience, you're forced to use the command line at some point using long commands that the average user does NOT want to remember. Installing things like drivers is a complete hassle, having to recompile the Kernel in some cases to make nVidia drivers work is not the easiest thing in the world unless you know exactly what you're doing - you can't just fluke it.

Linux lacks professional user interface designers, and until it gets some it will lag behind Microsoft in terms of market share. Sure, it's free and people are sacrificing their time to make it, but that doesn't make it better. Most people aren't looking for complexity, they want simplicity from their computer. You could argue that Windows does not provide complete simplicity, but Linux is worse when it comes to many things (installing drivers again, is a hassle.) In Windows, you double click an install file and everything is done by the reboot in most cases, if a reboot is required at all (it's required in less and less installations these days.)

Linux really needs to become more user friendly before the large majority of people I know would consider moving to it. At the moment there's little benefit other than not having to pay for a license, and most people will buy Windows preinstalled on a machine and never want to transfer it to a new one, as the next machine would likely have it preinstalled also. On that side though, I don't think they'd buy a machine with Linux preinstalled - it's just too complex at the moment. Linux was made for people who're technically minded, by people who're technically minded. Until it changes that philosophy for the general user distributions, it won't gain any significant market share, no matter how much you try and push it's fancy technologies Smiling

Figure I'll throw this out there too: It's not really provided anything worthy of dethroning DirectX 10, period. If it doesn't, no serious gamer will convert completely when the next generation of games arrives.

Quote:By the way, I happen


By the way, I happen to believe your rights evaporate when you open that Vista envelope or click-thru the license restrictions and click "OK". After that you get what you pay and agree to click for. If you don't like it you SHOULD move to something else and basically lump it. That's market forces.

The point is in getting people to consider alternatives to agreeing to such restrictive terms and in a way give push to the shift in these market forces towards options you can opt for without agreeing to sign off your rights.

In the end, isn't it better to be in control over your own computer and software running on it, than having to depend on a single rather greedy corporation for all of it? I not only believe it is better, I think it is the right thing to support.


If Microsoft has miscalculated they will do something about it because it will mean a flood of new Linux and Mac users and a lot of lost revenue,

I am sure they will. However I think the big part in what made Microsoft push DRM (another major digital rights issue) into Windows Vista is pressure from the entertainment industry. And as another constraint to rights of the Vista user, this ought to be included in Microsoft's calculation. What if their calculation shown that this is a bit of a stretch, but they couldn't just opt the DRM out because they need to please the powers that the entertainment industry represents? We shall see, but there is hopefully (and I say hopefully because I really do anticipate the world where a dominant OS is something user-controlled and not monopoly-controlled) a possibility that Microsoft's was a slight miscalculation. Even before Vista is released, we're seen a lot of people switching or considering a switch to an alternative platform which do keep getting better and better rapidly.

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