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'Evil' Windows 7 campaign goes global

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The Free Software Foundation's Windows 7 sins campaign goes global next week, with letters to 500 of the world's charities and non-governmental organizations.

Letters will encourage organizations to use the introduction of Windows 7 by Microsoft in October as an opportunity to review their use of Windows and evaluate open-source software instead.

Peter Brown, executive director of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), told The Reg this phase targets those outside the technology community. The group will also be targeting press that cover NGOs.

Brown noted it's "very easy" to reach developers, but almost impossible to make the connection outside of that.

"It's a civil liberties movement. It's not about fan boys - Apple versus Linux. It's about a freedom movement in the technology era," Brown said.

The letters follow last month's inaugural mail shot sent to 499 US companies listed in the Fortune 500 also encouraging them to use the introduction of Windows 7 to check out open source.

In addition to lobbying against Windows 7, the FSF used the first round of letters to raise funds that it said would help pay for subsequent letters. After NGOs, the FSF will target leaders in education.

Brown said it's important that tools used in education should be open and under the users' control. Pointing to Sugar Labs, whose project provides an interactive learning environment used by one million children and is used by the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program, Brown said: "Children who are interested in becoming programmers… should be encouraged into that literacy of interacting with their computers."

Brown said sufficient donations came in after the first letters to enable this and further letter drops - the goal is to keep the campaign running until the end of the year, targeting different groups. Brown calculated the group can send out about three letters per dollar of money raised. ®

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