wikilegal at inbox.org
Mon Jan 1 17:04:34 UTC 2007
On 12/31/06, Ray Saintonge <saintonge at telus.net> wrote:
> Anthony wrote:
> >Interesting... They're donating computers pre-loaded with Windows and
> >providing technical support and training. Would they still donate the
> >computers if the library told them they intended to install Linux on
> >them? Maybe. But would they still provide the free technical support
> >and training for those libraries? Somehow I doubt it (although it
> >would be really cool if they did).
> Why would those libraries _want_ to install Linux? The primary reason
> for free software evaporates when they are spared the costs of
> proprietary licences.
I'm sure entire books have been written on why one should use free
software rather than no-cost software. If you really have trouble
finding information on this let me know and I'll do a better search
for some resources. Or maybe someone else can provide us with some?
But for the purposes of this discussion, it's enough for me to merely
point out that the software license being given to the libraries does
not entitle that library to free upgrades. That alone should be
enough reason to prefer Linux, if all other things were equal. the
clear strategy here of Microsoft, if not the Gates Foundation, is to
give it away for free, get 'em hooked, and then start charging.
Of course, all other things aren't equal. If the library gets free
support from the Gates Foundation with Windows, and doesn't get free
support with Linux (which tends to be more costly to support in the
first place), then it's going to be really hard for them to choose
If the Gates Foundation really wants to help the libraries, then they
should help the libraries free themselves from relying on the
continued charity of Microsoft.
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