11.01.09

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Citigroup and Tesco: Banking Yes, GNU/Linux No

Posted in Europe, Finance, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 7:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Two giant companies continue to neglect or even reject progression, leading to irate customers

ONE MONTH ago we showed that Microsoft and Citigroup joined forces, leading back to stories about Citibank blocking GNU/Linux users. Banks should really be big advocates of GNU/Linux because it saves them money and makes customers safer. But not for Citibank. As the Consumerist shows, Citibank rejects business with GNU/Linux users. There is further, rather damning proof:

For some reason, Citibank won’t let customers using Linux computers log in to their online accounts. Adam argues that in 2009 this doesn’t make sense, especially when no other major corporate website blocks him like this.

Citibank is not the only “anti-Freedom software” company. Some months ago we showed — right from the horse’s mouth in fact — that Tesco was promoting Windows Vista (and excluding GNU/Linux from marketing) because of a form of Microsoft kickbacks. Our reader ThistleWeb has just commented and made some recommendations for Tesco, which is one of the largest chains here in the UK (products ranging from groceries to finance).

It’s worth reminding readers at this point that Linux is completely free. You can install it on as many PCs as you like, all free of charge. Microsoft charge “per PC”, they also now have “family packs” where they let you install Windows 7 on a whopping three PCs for only £150. Windows is NEVER free, even if the vendors choose not to tell you how much you’re paying for it. Not only is Linux free to install on as many PCs as you like, you can also distribute copies legally freely to anyone you like, who can in turn install on as many PCs as they like and redistribute if they want.

There are no conditions on the use of the software either, so if you use an office suite to do college homework on, and have a side income of being an ebay trader, Open Office does not care, where Microsoft Office will likely be installed as a “home and student” license. Does being a trader count as “commercial use”? If so, Microsoft want more money from you.

If being free of cost is not enough, Open Office also uses proper implementations of open standards like ODF which means any documents you create in Open Office you will open, edit etc perfectly in any other open standard office suite like KOffice. Microsoft pay lip service to ODF only because large government customers are demanding it. They reluctantly offer partial support which was never intended to work properly, as they tried to get their own OOXML approved as a replacement.Microsoft’s corruption of the ISO with ballot stuffing etc is a whole subject on it’s own, so feel free to explore that if it interests you.

In the year 2009 there is no reason to exclude GNU/Linux and Free software. Citibank and Tesco are either living in the past or inside Microsoft’s back pocket.

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