08.26.09

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“Windows 7 Sins” Campaign a Great Success So Far

Posted in FSF, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 8:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bad Vista 7

Summary: Public is taught about Microsoft’s offenses while reactionary dissent comes only from the usual suspects and Microsoft remains speechless

THE Windows 7 Sins campaign was launched earlier today. As expected, the Microsoft crowd went on to bashing the FSF in retaliation. But it’s easy to ignore that because it’s predictable and fidelity based, as opposed to truly rational or ethical.

“As expected, the Microsoft crowd went on to bashing the FSF in retaliation.”The FSF’s key points about Vista 7 look very effective and successful so far. The points are being parroted in the press, which was exactly the goal of this awareness campaign. There is actually a lot to be criticised in Vista 7, but the FSF was broader and more general than that, escaping the confinement of this one product.

Here is some coverage we found to be informative:

i. Free Software Foundation trashes Windows 7

Matt Lee, manager of the new FSF campaign, hopes to make businesses and computer users more aware of what he perceives as the growing dangers of proprietary software from Microsoft and companies such as Apple and Adobe.

“With the release of Microsoft’s updated operating system, business leaders have the opportunity to escape to freedom and join a growing list of leaders who understand that sinking money and time into proprietary software is a dead-end inconsistent with their best interests,” he said.

ii. Free software group attacks Windows 7 ‘sins’

They include: Poisoning education, locking in users, abusing standards such as OpenDocument Format (ODF), leveraging monopolistic behavior, threatening user security, enforcing Digital Rights Management (DRM) at the request of entertainment companies concerned about movie and music piracy, and invading your privacy.

iii. Free Software Foundation launches campaign against Windows 7

The site lists seven sins, saying that Microsoft is “poisoning education” by investing money on lobbying educational departments, “invading privacy”, behaving as a monopoly, forcing updates on users to lock them in, abusing standards, enforcing Digital Rights Management (DRM, or as the FSF calls it Digital Restriction Management) and threatening user security by distributing vulnerable software.

That point about education is a very important one because of EDGI. Even at this moment in the news we have found Australian schools committing the offence of giving children to Adobe and Microsoft, which leas to very angry comments. We wrote about NSW’s fiasco in [1, 2] as schools are being used to train children to become customers of offending companies. Taxpayers are taking the bill. Later on, teachers are educated to treat Free software on a CD like it’s a crime.

The angle taken by SoftPedia makes use of the observation that Vista 7 is technically just Windows 6.1.

Despite Microsoft going for the Windows 7 moniker as the official brand for its latest Windows client release, the actual version of the operating system is 6.1, while Windows Vista, the previous version of the platform, was 6.0. The build string of Windows 7 RTM is in fact 6.1.7600.16385. But it is not only Microsoft that’s insisting on the intimate connection between Windows 7 and Vista. The Free Software Foundation is also introducing its latest anti-Windows push, dubbed Windows 7 Sins, nothing more than a Bad Vista version 6.1. It was the FSF that launched the Bad Vista website in 2006, efforts that have evolved into the Windows7Sins.org.

The Microsoft-sympathetic crowd did its usual thing criticising the FSF for ‘daring’ to criticise their beloved Microsoft, which is only breaking the law on a regular basis in attempt to put competitors out of business. Examples includes the CNET PR drone, TG Daily (which collaborates with Microsoft), SD Times (which Microsoft sponsors through many advertisements) and even Nick Farrell, who loves aggravating GNU/Linux and Mac users.

OPEN SOURCERERS at the Free Software Foundation are staging a demo in Boston in a bid to encourage businesses to throw away Microsoft Windows in favour of free alternatives.

Scott Fulton actually gave it some decent coverage, to his credit. He is not shy to condemn Microsoft where it's deserved.

In summary, this round of publicity seems to have been handled better than “Bad Vista”. Judging by market conditions and the state of the product, this is going to be another Vista. Don’t believe it? Just wait.

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2 Comments

  1. Jose_X said,

    August 27, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Gravatar

    The FSF has always been for the welfare of end users, and they walk the walk. When it comes to whom they represent, no amount of trying to link them with crazy people will change this fact. Those that hear the message may not agree on every point nor to the same degree, but they recognize its accuracy in many ways.

    I agree with the points presented. I wonder when Microsoft will reply and how. I hope they realize their response will be highly scrutinized. Their failure to go public (or a significant delay) will hurt their case as we grow the volume of the public conversation.

    twitter Reply:

    There has already been a reply of sorts. Steven Wildstrom of Business Week, has a typical write up. The facts the FSF presents are irrefutable, so the M$ fanbase ignores them and resorts to ridicule of the project. “A truly silly idea” that’s “[not] going to convince many businesses,” from people carried away by “evangelism and … hatred of Microsoft” is how Wildstrom describes things. No attempt is made to examine the business implications of spyware, insecurity, licensing problems and all the other baggage of non free software. There are about a dozen other articles out there like this one. Each and every M$ “insider” will have these talking points on their smirking lips.

    Publishers must feel the insulted twice. The FSF is pointing out flaws in both M$ and their own business models. M$ is one of their main advertisers. Worse than that loss is that the FSF did not do as Mozilla and other software houses have. Instead of paying Business Week for a few emotional images or product placement within their hostile and mostly vapid pages, the FSF is sending well reasoned letters directly to decision makers. M$ is a kind of publisher themselves and they know how effective direct contact is. They must be irked that the FSF is able to leapfrog their perception management and “comp hot” efforts so cheaply.

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