[Linux-aus] [luv-talk] Should I feel sorry for Queenslanders?!

Paul Wayper paulway at mabula.net
Sun Nov 24 18:00:13 EST 2013

Hash: SHA1

On 23/11/13 12:00, Russell Coker wrote:
> Kickbacks should be unacceptable and a sufficient criteria for excluding
> the organisation in question.
> If MS wanted to give Windows and MS-Office source licenses to schools
> along with a complete build environment to allow students to produce and
> use modified versions then that would be a good case for using MS
> software.  But such licenses must not have anti-competitive terms, no
> claiming that software students later wrote was derived from MS
> software.

An excellent point.  One of the huge advantages FOSS has over Microsoft and
other proprietary products is the license.  It's hard to even fit in one's
brain the idea of Microsoft giving away a perpetual free license to use
Microsoft Office, to give copies to all your friends and relatives, and for
them to be able to use it and distribute it the same way.  We take it for
granted.  To people used to proprietary software this seems like illegal
copying, but to us its a way of life.

I agree with Steve Walsh: that some of these people are going to pop out the
other end thinking they've got a chance in the world of Business IT, and be
sadly disappointed when they find their lack of real-world experience lets
them down.  But let's not kid ourselves - the market for Microsoft technical
support is huge, and they're always wanting juniors.  To me Microsoft is
simply wanting to distract more people away from the cool toys - Arduinos,
Raspberry Pis, Android phones, etc. - when they're starting to make a
decision about what technology they'll invest their time in.

*shrugs*  My brother did Cisco training as part of his degree.  That doesn't
seem to have locked him into only working on Cisco equipment.  Learning
Modula II (or Eiffel, COBOL, Haskell, Intel 8086 Assembler and C) didn't
lock me into using them in my work.  Up until 2004 I used Microsoft Windows
at home and worked on Solaris at work - having used some form of Unix at Uni
was more value there.  People take different paths, and learn many things.

But in my opinion Microsoft should be footing the bill here.  The Education
department shouldn't be paying Microsoft to run courses that promote its own
materials.  (And I also agree that private schools that can afford to
advertise shouldn't get any government funding, but that's beside this
particular point).

After all, we're giving away our software for free.  It already does
everything their expensive proprietary software does and a thousand things
more.  Until Microsoft gives their software away for free and lets everyone
copy it for free, they don't compare to FOSS for the good done to society.

Have fun,


P.S. It still amazes me that Microsoft charges for Windows.  I mean, why not
just give it away for free?  It's the perfect lock in to using the Microsoft
Store, Microsoft Office, Microsoft whatever and all the programs that rely
on it.  It must cost them a non-trivial sum to run the licensing programme.
 And if they gave it away for free, one of the chief advantages of FOSS
(free as in beer) is gone.  It might reduce the price of computers too, but
mostly that's a non-issue IMO.  I can only assume it's a combination of
pride and blind faith in the proprietary software religion that keeps them
insulting people by charging money for it.
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