Feeds

FSF launches Windows 7 anti-upgrade letter campaign

Less is more "sins"

Boost IT visibility and business value

The Free Software Foundation is mobilizing against Windows 7 with a campaign to dissuade IT decision makers from installing the operating system.

The group has sent letters to 499 of the top Fortune 500 organizations, warning that a move to Windows 7 will increase their dependence on Microsoft and encouraging the use of GNU/Linux on PCs instead. The missing letter recipient was Microsoft.

The FSF is asking for donations to fund a further round of letters and has created a website - Windows7sins.org - that states its case against using the proprietary Windows 7.

A donation of $25 will support 50 letters, and $100 will mean 200 letters get sent to decision makers. The group has also asked people to submit details of potential recipients.

The Windows7sins site mentions a number of familiar arguments against Microsoft and Windows (its monopoly status breeds lack of choice so Windows is pre-installed on most PCs), and it also mentions weakness on security and privacy violations from Windows Genuine Advantage as it inspects users' hard drives.

WGA actually validates the Windows license on a PC at log-on and during updates through a component installed on the hard drive.

Businesses typically parlay such concerns in the interests of continuity of IT and practicality, so while these issues will matter to the FSF and free and open-source advocates in general, recipients of the FSF's letters will likely overlook these points as esoteric and idealistic.

However, the FSF has hit two nerves that could cause organizations to think twice and either re-assess what PCs should go to Linux or even OS X instead of Windows 7, or - at the very least - cause organizations to bargain hard with Microsoft to cut a special price deal.

The first nerve is Microsoft's product upgrade and support cycles.

The FSF has raised the issue that support for older versions of Windows begins to come to an end as newer versions of the operating system are released. Over time, end users are either forced to upgrade, pay for additional support, or fix things themselves.

According to the FSF, Linux doesn't tie you into the Microsoft treadmill because the raw code is openly available so that you or third parties can keep systems going and not rely on one company.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.