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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.)




Whe was the last time you tried


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

That has changed already man. Smiling While there are still, of course, a number of "geek" distributions for techy types, there are a few distributions of which Ubuntu is the most successful one which fully target the average Joe User and work on creating a user friendly desktop experience.

I have a feeling that you haven't given it a try lately and that your experience is hence a bit outdated. If you'd just give it a spin you'll see that things like installing software and driver support issues are largely a thing of the past. To install a piece of software packaged for Ubuntu and Debian (and alike distributions) you just double click and install while everything else is available for easy browsing through a central repository of more than 15 000 packages of software. Installation is pretty much a few easy clicks away.

GNU/Linux has advanced tremendously even in terms of user experience and continues to make big leaps every year. And I didn't even mention the 3D desktop through AIGLX and Beryl (now also increasingly easy to install and use).


Well what if a person buying a notebook wishes for once to opt for GNU/Linux instead of preinstalled Windows.What one the refund (for returning Windows) from an OEM is easy? Not at all! From all the stories on the internet I felt that OEMs will still FORCE you to "buy" Windows along with the notebook.Now can anyone tell me is there any straight forward way to avoid this situation without entering into the fuss of a legal battle, not many are ready to take the pains.

Yes, there is a

Yes, there is a straightforward way of avoiding that situation. If they wont give you a Windows-less laptop, don't buy from them! Smiling

There are numerous vendors of laptops and PCs with GNU/Linux pre-installed or without an OS:

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