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Is Microsoft the Newest Free Software Advocate?

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(khess)
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What the heck is happening in Redmond? Is Microsoft really giving away antivirus software? Yes, friends, it appears that they are. Come on Microsoft, we really want to hate you. I've carried this Microsoft voodoo doll* around with me for years--stabbing it every time I have to pay money for one of your products on a new laptop or desktop computer. I cringe when I see "Vista Ready." And, I almost hurl penguin when I have to activate my software. So, somebody please pinch me, wake me up, take the needle out of my arm and tell me it's all been a bad trip.

Microsoft giving away software is like Donald Trump giving away real estate. First, they come up with that dastardly excuse for an open source lab they cleverly named, Port25. Next, they have the nerve to donate money to The Apache Foundation. A couple of months ago, they made their new flagship virtualization platform, Hyper-V, available free of charge. Then they founded The CodePlex Organization headed by Sam Ramji. Now, they're giving away antivirus software.

My head hurts.

What's next for Microsoft? Are they going to join the Free Software Foundation?

My head really hurts.

It must be global warming that's causing Steve Ballmer's hair and brains to fail him. Steve, are you sure about all this? Microsoft is the most hated company in all the world. Stop this madness. You're giving your legacy a bad name.

My head hurts so bad that I'm now banging it on my pile of Microsoft original product CDs.

Is there no end to their audacity? Oh, there I said it: Audacity. Now they'll go buy that or donate money to it or somehow make it better...I mean worse, don't I? This is all very confusing.

My head is numb from the holographic impressions made into it by the legal copies of my Microsoft software.

I'm starting not to hate Windows and Redmond and Ballmer and even the blue screen of death is looking pretty to me now.

Oh, what's happening to me?

The lines between free software, open source software and commercial software are blurry as is everything else in my room.
Wait, I feel funny. Linus, is that you?

Abort, Retry, Fail?
<blink blink blink...>

* It's actually a purple Teletubby but I call it my Microsoft voodoo doll (It's called artistic license--read about it).

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admoore
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14 posts since Sep 2008
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As much as you write about FOSS, Ken, surely you understand the difference between the phrase "Free software" and "freeware"? Surely you realize that giving away freeware with strings attached is a zillion miles away from anything the Free Software Foundation stands for?

As for Microsoft's behavior, is it really so unfathomable to you? They compete against FOSS. They don't have the luxury to be ignorant about Linux/BSD/etc (Hence port 25); they don't have the luxury of charging for functionality when as-good-or-better functionality exists in FOSS (hence the freeware); and they cannot allow people to leave the Windows ecosystem just to run popular open source applications (hence their assistance to Apache -- to help it run better on Windows).

Are you really stumped here?

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khess
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798 posts since Apr 2008
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Nah, not me, not stumped at all. ;-)

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