Then you win

First they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. – Mahatma Gandhi

That is what is happening in the Microsoft open source wars. Just yesterday I read that Bill Gates is giving a bundle of Microsoft products to low income children in China and other developing countries. There are more hidden costs involved in owning Microsoft software than can be overcome with the $3 giveaway. The recipients will need more expensive hardware, they’ll need anti-virus protection and some spyware protection. Microsoft has spent millions of dollars marketing software in China and so far less than two-hundred-fifty licenses of Vista have been sold. I think this is a crass attempt to kill open source software at its roots. It is doomed to failure and it shows how desperate Microsoft has become. Microsoft isn’t a bad company per se, I’ve used their software for years and much of that experience has been very positive, but in the past six years I’ve seen a tremendous improvement in open source software. Products like Ubuntu’s new Feisty Fawn and Open Office are more than adequate replacements for Microsoft products.

2 Replies to “Then you win”

  1. Amen to the open source improvements – in my own field, Audacity, if you include the Nyquist and LADSPA plugins, is the equal of just about any soft studio out there. I couldn’t do the work I do without it, and if I had unlimited funds, I don’t think I’d change it for commercial software. In just the same way, I once I’d tried 2 I uninstalled MS Office 2000!

    I am really excited by what is happening with open source and Creative Commons – it’s paralleled in the arts, especially music, by things like The Internet Archive and

    Ironically enough, commercial software publishers, just like commercial music publishers, have yet to fully wake up to the tremendous creative revolution that the Internet has brought about.

  2. Amen to Audacity. I’ve used it at home and at work. We’ve been using the Windows version to develop podcasts at the K12 where I work. I’m not familiar with the plugins you mention. I’ll have to explore them. Amen to Open Office. It’s really improved and I wrote our recently submitted technology plan entirely with Open Office. My neighbor used a OpenOffice on Ubuntu to complete his thesis. Thank you for the links to Internet Archive. I’m familiar with Thanks for taking the time to write and share what you know.

    That sharing spirit that pervades the open source community is reminiscent of early Christianity and it is very refreshing. I’ve recommended open source software to many churches and non-profit groups that I’ve consulted for.

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