Free Software Foundation launches campaign against Microsoft "Windows 7"

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radiorahim radiorahim's picture
Free Software Foundation launches campaign against Microsoft "Windows 7"

Following up on their "Bad Vista" campaign, the Free Software Foundation has launched a new website dedicated toopposing  Micro$oft's newest attack on computer user's freedoms..."Windows 7".

You'll find their website "Windows 7 Sins" at

http://windows7sins.org/

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

There's been alot of hoopla in the press the last couple of weeks about the release of Microsoft's "Windows 7" operating system.   Thought this deserved a "bump".

Quote:

"The new version of Microsoft's Windows operating system, Windows 7, has the same problem that Vista, XP, and all previous versions have had -- it's proprietary software. Users are not permitted to share or modify the Windows software, or examine how it works inside.

The fact that Windows 7 is proprietary means that Microsoft asserts legal control over its users through a combination of copyrights, contracts, and patents. Microsoft uses this power to abuse computer users. At windows7sins.org, the Free Software Foundation lists seven examples of abuse committed by Microsoft.

1. Poisoning education: Today, most children whose education involves computers are being taught to use one company's product: Microsoft's. Microsoft spends large sums on lobbyists and marketing to corrupt educational departments. An education using the power of computers should be a means to freedom and empowerment, not an avenue for one corporation to instill its monopoly.

2. Invading privacy: Microsoft uses software with backward names like Windows Genuine Advantage to inspect the contents of users' hard drives. The licensing agreement users are required to accept before using Windows warns that Microsoft claims the right to do this without warning.

3. Monopoly behavior: Nearly every computer purchased has Windows pre-installed -- but not by choice. Microsoft dictates requirements to hardware vendors, who will not offer PCs without Windows installed on them, despite many people asking for them. Even computers available with other operating systems like GNU/Linux pre-installed often had Windows on them first.

4. Lock-in: Microsoft regularly attempts to force updates on its users, by removing support for older versions of Windows and Office, and by inflating hardware requirements. For many people, this means having to throw away working computers just because they don't meet the unnecessary requirements for the new Windows versions.

5. Abusing standards: Microsoft has attempted to block free standardization of document formats, because standards like OpenDocument Format would threaten the control they have now over users via proprietary Word formats. They have engaged in underhanded behavior, including bribing officials, in an attempt to stop such efforts.

6. Enforcing Digital Restrictions Management (DRM): With Windows Media Player, Microsoft works in collusion with the big media companies to build restrictions on copying and playing media into their operating system. For example, at the request of NBC, Microsoft was able to prevent Windows users from recording television shows that they have the legal right to record.

7. Threatening user security: Windows has a long history of security vulnerabilities, enabling the spread of viruses and allowing remote users to take over people's computers for use in spam-sending botnets. Because the software is secret, all users are dependent on Microsoft to fix these problems -- but Microsoft has its own security interests at heart, not those of its users."

Windows 7 Sins

 

Even keel

Does Apple have any sins? Isn't it proprietary and have its operating system already installed on the machine?

Unionist

Yes, Apple is just as bad - it just isn't as powerful.

 

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

Microsoft is pretty good at shooting their own foot. We shoot let them do it on their own terms.

Window's 7 whopper!

Quote:

"They look good, but I don't know if I could keep that down"

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

I think it's a rather obvious admission of failure (and abject surrender) when Microsoft, and/or the vendors of laptops and PCs that sell the Windows "Whopper" and other Operating Systems, provides with a new machine a copy of the previous OS just in case the customer wants to downgrade the system. This was true with Windows Vista, when it was bundled with Windows XP, and I foresee more of the same. Coke never had it so bad when that company admitted its mistake and went back to Coca-Cola Classic.

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

I think the "Windows 7 whopper" is entirely appropriate as to the "bloatware" that is the Windows operating system.

You need to "feed" Windows Vista at least 4 GB of RAM just to get any kind of reasonable performance out of it.    None of my machines have that much RAM!   The most...maybe 1 GB.   Might be wrong but I understand Windows 7  eats the same computer resources as Vista.

As to MacOSX, it's based on Free BSD Unix which is "free software"...although Mac doesn't like to advertise this.

The difference between the Free BSD license and the GNU General Public License is that the Free BSD license allows someone to take software code that is free, modify it and turn it into proprietary software.   That's what Apple has done to create MacOSX.

Under the GNU General Public License, software code that is modified and re-distributed must be made publicly available.   That way you can not take "free software" and turn it into "non-free" or "proprietary" software.   Freedom becomes "viral".   The GNU/Linux operating system is licensed under the GNU GPL.

 

 

lombar

Windows 7 installed easy, found all my drivers, and ran with 2G of ram no problem. Since I moved to a 64 bit version, i upped the ram to 4G. When linux works as easy, it will have more hope of penetrating the home market. Most people want their computers to be like their toaster, they just want to turn it on and use it, not spend 18 hrs searching google to make their software work. Normally I would be bashin the crap outta windows too but this version works fine so far, superior to XP. There... ms got some money from me.. first time since windows 3.1.

 

abnormal

From PC Pro

Windows 7 upgrades "crippling" PCs

Posted on 28 Oct 2009 at 08:45

Microsoft is struggling to find answers for people whose attempt to upgrade to Windows 7 has sent their machine into an endless reboot cycle.

Reports of the problem first began appearing on Microsoft's support forum on Friday, the day after the operating system was first released. According to the complaints, Windows 7 claims the upgrade has failed and that Vista will be restored.

However, when the machine reboots it offers the same error and reboots again in an endless circle. Despite numerous reports of the problem, it seems Microsoft is still no closer to an answer and tempers are becoming frayed.

etc ....

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

I installed Linux Mint 7 on the laptop that I'm using now and it setup and installed in about 20 minutes and found all my drivers.

I'm only running with 1 GB of RAM and absolutely no problem....I could have gotten away with 512 MB.  I'm running on a somewhat aging IBM Thinkpad T40.   Vista and Windows 7 would probably barely run on this machine.

Not only that, but it installed all kinds of application software.    I did not have to install Firefox and Open Office for instance.  It was already installed.   So...from the "get go" I had a machine that I could do some real work with...I could "out of the box" do word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and databases....and...surf the web with the best web browser on the planet.

When it comes to updating, I don't have to do my updates "one at a time" often with reboots...I can do all of my updates in one go using my package management software...which updates not only my operating system, but also all of my software applications.

I also don't have to weigh down my machine with security software.

Oh yeah...I could also "test" how well Linux Mint 7 would work with my hardware before installing it by running it as a "Live CD".   There's no such thing as a "Live CD/DVD" in the world of proprietary operating systems.  

But the most important reasons I run GNU/Linux aren't technical...their political.    I want to use software owned and controlled by a community instead of by a monopoly corporation.

I want to as much as humanly possible use software that respects my freedoms as a computer user.    Microsoft and Apple may be able to argue that this or that software is "technically" better...but they will never  be able to argue that they give me more freedom.

 

 

 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Actually, given how Microsoft cooperates with the US state in regard to "security" matters, it should probably be added that the genuine security of citizens, when it comes to computing and using the www, is improved by using free software rather than the proprietary bloatware (nice metaphor!) of Microsoft. It's harder for Big Brother to install spyware on a computer with source code that can be looked at by the user.

I recently set up my laptop to run both Windows Vista and Ubuntu 9.04 It's my intention to make any transition difficulties as painless as possible. Let freedom reign!

Unionist

Radiorahim, over the years, I have tired various Linux installations, and never once did it recognize everything (mainly DSL modems... no clue). Can you recommend something which doesn't require obsessive attention?

 

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Unionist, I never bother with doing "direct" connections to DSL modems.   I connect a router to the DSL modem and plug my computer(s) into the router...it's totally painless.. The router gives me a bit more security (firewalling) and also I can easily connect multiple computers to the router.

These days routers are dirt cheap.

 

Unionist

Ok, thanks - will try that.

 

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

By the way Unionist, if you do pick up a router, I find it easiest not to bother using the bundled software they give you (if any) to set it up.

You can get into the settings through a web browser based interface.   Most routers are setup by default to use one of several "standard" IP addresses i.e.

192.168.0.1

192.168.1.1

192.168.2.1

Your router manual will tell you which one of these three it is (haven't seen any others)...just enter the IP address into the browser and you'll be "in".

 

Unionist

What about wireless network cards (3com, D-Link, etc.)? Will Linux recognize them? Not being a religious person, I've never been a fan of plug-and-pray...

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

The branding on them is not quite so important.   What's important is the chipset used on the card.

Cards based on the "Atheros" chipset should work well as documentation has been provided to the community so that free software drivers could be developed.   If you're using a Linux distro that uses any kernel version after 2.6.28, they should work "out of the box"...so that means just about every distro that's been released over the last year.   

I'm running Linux Mint 7 on my laptop and when I did the install, my wifi card (based on the Atheros chipset) worked out of the box.

Cards based on the "Broadcom" chipset can be a bit of a pain in the ass...just because the chipset manufacturer hasn't been cooperative with the free software community.   Having said that, there is a tool called "ndiswrapper" which basically "fools" the card into thinking that it's running on Windows.

If a hardware manufacturer doesn't support me, then I don't support them by buying their stuff.

 

Brian White

What is the deal on laptops right now? And netbooks.  I got my netbook a year ago BECAUSE it was linux. And it had issues. The webcam was supposed to take video with sound but it didn't. It took ogg video with no sound.  Updates fixed this (without telling me) and now it takes mpg video with sound..

Now none of my linux can open facebook video (flash download necessary and the download never works).   But they work fine with all other flash sites.

Recently microsoft took over yahoo and suddenly my email refuses to open in opera. (Other yahoo services still work in opera)

But even now, my girlfriend gets mad because my netbook jumps on the internet as much as 5 minutes before her xp machine gets on. (Mostly due to antivirus).  All the new netbooks that I see have xp or 7 on them. What happened to linux on netbooks?

Is it killed off?   It is a huge bonus not to have to put the os on a laptop or on a computer.

Who still sells either linux machines or dual boot machines?

Brian

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

I don't know if this helps but with my most recent upgrade of Ubuntu Linux (not to the most recent but only to 9.04) many of my problems disappeared. Have you done all the upgrades you need to do?

If I've misunderstood, sorry about that. Your remarks were kind of all over the place.

Brian White

Does your version open facebook videos? I think it is a facebook issue not a linux issue.   My personal view is that linux is getting easier all the time.  It has the super bonus of no nag screens for antivirus upgrades.  It briefly got easy to buy a linux netbook but just as suddenly that choice was taken away.

I just cannot imagine how windows could fit on my netbook. The total space is about 8 gigs and it has 500 megs of ram.  

Anyway, sorry that my post was all over the place.  Brian

Bacchus

N.Beltov wrote:

 Coke never had it so bad when that company admitted its mistake and went back to Coca-Cola Classic.

 

As an aside, Coke actually grabbed a greater share of the market as a result of the New Coke fiasco.

Stargazer

I'm running Windblows 7 now and I find it a lot less resource intensive than previous windows versions.

My plan is to set up a dual boot with Ubuntu and Winblows 7 and if I can master Ubuntu then I'd prefer to stick with that.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Brian White wrote:
Does your version open facebook videos?

Yes.

 

 

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Stargazer wrote:

I'm running Windblows 7 now and I find it a lot less resource intensive than previous windows versions.

As I understand it, the code is much cleaner and more compact, occupying about half the hard disk space that Vista required. That said, it is more memory intensive, loading about 50% more on start-up. 

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Brian White wrote:

What is the deal on laptops right now? And netbooks.  I got my netbook a year ago BECAUSE it was linux. And it had issues. The webcam was supposed to take video with sound but it didn't. It took ogg video with no sound.  Updates fixed this (without telling me) and now it takes mpg video with sound..

Now none of my linux can open facebook video (flash download necessary and the download never works).   But they work fine with all other flash sites.

Recently microsoft took over yahoo and suddenly my email refuses to open in opera. (Other yahoo services still work in opera)

But even now, my girlfriend gets mad because my netbook jumps on the internet as much as 5 minutes before her xp machine gets on. (Mostly due to antivirus).  All the new netbooks that I see have xp or 7 on them. What happened to linux on netbooks?

Is it killed off?   It is a huge bonus not to have to put the os on a laptop or on a computer.

Who still sells either linux machines or dual boot machines?

Brian

Microsoft got caught with its pants down when the "netbook" phenomenon happened.   Their current operating system at the time...Vista wouldn't run on a netbook, so they had to bring an obsolete operating system...Windows XP Home (not pro) out of retirement for this class of machine.    They launched a multi million dollar "It's Better With Windows" advertising campaign, leaned heavily on netbook manufacturers and offered XP Home at $25 per copy.  They "dictated" to hardware manufacturers what hardware specs they would allow this "retired" WinXP Home to be installed on.

Most of the netbook manufacturers caved in.    At first you started seeing WinXP Home as an "option" for a slightly higher price...i.e. most netbook makers offered both a GNU/Linux and a WinXP Home version of their netbooks.   GNU/Linux based netbooks started disappearing from the "big box" retailers at first...and now they've disappeared for the most part from the "computer geek" shops in places like Toronto's College Street "computer alley".

I understand they're still available in the U.S. and the UK to some degree...but there seems to have been an almost complete "purge" here in Canada.

The one exception seems to be Dell.   You can get Dell netbooks here in Canada with pre-installed Ubuntu 8.04 LTS.   In fact, I've got one on order (to replace a an Asus EeePC that was stolen).

Down the road we'll likely start seeing netbooks come out with the GNU/Linux based "Google Chrome OS"...that's a little more oriented towards "cloud computing" using Google Apps. It's a little harder for Microsoft to push Google around.  The other thing that's in the pipe are netbooks built around "Moblin" a mobile GNU/Linux distro designed for both netbooks and mobile phones.

The GNU/Linux based netbooks weren't having a problem in the marketplace...they were literally flying off the store shelves.   It's been monopoly corporate power that's allowed Microsoft to push it's way back into the netbook market.   They've also learned that "bloated is better" isn't necessarily true...and they've made Windows 7 a little more lightweight so that it can run on netbooks.

But still, I refuse to pay Microsoft's "private tax on computing" and I refuse to submit to Microsoft's licensing terms.   I prefer using software that has license terms that respect my freedoms as a computer user.

 

Brian White

Good post, I am currently trying to fix my GF;s outlook express on xp. I do not know how. It has a 2 gig limit that nobody warned about and now it is constantly compressing her emails. Wastes a bunch of time.

Do you know why I cannot open facebook videos? I can open youtube videos that get posted to facebook but I cannot open videos I uploaded directly to facebook myself. It says upgrade my flash player  but I have a later version than the one they want me to "upgrade" to!

Anyway, thanks for the insight into how microsoft pushed into the netbook market. 

Has anyone done a speed test on the different types of netbooks?   If my piece of crap beats an xp notebook onto the net, surely it will be faster than a xp netbook too? Mine does not have a hard drive.

Brian

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Brian, I'm not exactly sure what GNU/Linux distro is on your netbook, but I found this article which explains the problem with Firefox on Ubuntu and so I suspect you're having a similar problem.

Basically when you're trying to play a flash video on youtube.com Firefox is looking for Flash in one spot and when you play the same video via Facebook (and apparently MySpace as well) it's looking in a different spot.

As for speed, I saw one site that did some benchmarks between Ubuntu and Windows Vista and Windows 7.    As I recall, Ubuntu was faster than Windows in most of the tests.

As well part of the speed increase with your netbook is hardware related...using a solid state hard drive instead of a standard notebook hard drive.

Not sure why your girlfriend is still using Outlook Express when Thunderbird is available (for Windows, MacOSX and GNU/Linux)...and it's far superior to OE...has adaptive spam filtering, support for RSS news feeds and now has a built-in calendar application.   It's very easy to import all of your Outlook Express mail, account settings etc. info to Thunderbird when you install it.   I can't think of any good reason to use Outlook Express.    Thunderbird even "looks" like OE...it's just way way better.

 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Brian, sometimes software - especially bloatware like Windows - doesn't install properly. Try uninstalling the offending software and re-installing it. That's worked for me more than once.

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

I'm typing this on my new Dell Inspiron Mini with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed!

This one has a "regular" laptop hard drive (160 GB) instead of a solid state hard drive, built-in webcam, wifi...that I haven't tested yet...on a wired connection riight now.

One irritating thing they did with Firefox was pre-install the Yahoo toolbar for Firefox (I disabled it immediately..I hate these cutesy toolbars)...I guess Dell picks up a few bucks from Yahoo! for this. 

They've pre-installed the Fluendo multimedia codecs...so that way they are legally licensed.

It is a little bit heavier than my EeePC was.    More later as I get used to my new toy :)

Nice not being forced to pay the "Microsoft tax on computing"

Brian White

My acer 1 worked with wifi from day 1!  Its webcam is a bit crappy, didn't have sound at first but now after an automatic  software update it works fine. It even has skype now but I do not know how to use it. I plan to skype with my brother once he gets time. (He has free skype on his cellphone in ireland).

I could do skype video messaging too aparently. Skype sound is pretty well perfect. There is a thing called ekiga  softphone on my desktop but I have never used it.  Have you tried any of this stuff? Ekiga is linux and windows now. Reason I ask is because the instant mesaging stuff like yahoo and hotmail does not have linux support for video. I need something very easy for my computer uselless sister in new zealand too. (It probably needs to be totally web based for her).  She is a very smart nurse but also one of the most computer illiterate people I have ever met.

I do have that strange issue with fbook videos but I think that if enough of us complain to ffox or fbook that will be fixed.  I am afraid to do the fix that you linked to because I use seamonkey too and flock on occasion and maybe they still use the folder that you change in the fix.

radiorahim wrote:

I'm typing this on my new Dell Inspiron Mini with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed!

This one has a "regular" laptop hard drive (160 GB) instead of a solid state hard drive, built-in webcam, wifi...that I haven't tested yet...on a wired connection riight now.

One irritating thing they did with Firefox was pre-install the Yahoo toolbar for Firefox (I disabled it immediately..I hate these cutesy toolbars)...I guess Dell picks up a few bucks from Yahoo! for this. 

They've pre-installed the Fluendo multimedia codecs...so that way they are legally licensed.

It is a little bit heavier than my EeePC was.    More later as I get used to my new toy :)

Nice not being forced to pay the "Microsoft tax on computing"

Stargazer

I'm going to download Ubuntu today and this weekend set up a dual boot with Windows 7. I just got a brand new 1.5TB STAT Hard drive and I'm itching to get this system clean and completely functional.

 

Can anyone recommend a good free firewall? I know Zone Alarm has been tossed around but they have been bought out by Checkpoint, which I refuse to buy from (great routers though).

I'm looking for something which leaves only a tiny footprint.