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I Run Linux, and I Don't Hate Microsoft

Date/Time Permalink: 08/18/07 08:12:16 am
Category: General

Yes, you read the title correctly. I only run FOSS systems, including GNU/Linux, BSD, Open Solaris, Minix, GNU/HURD, and Plan Nine From Bell Labs. I'll even give a favorable nod to Apple hardware if I see it running FOSS software. But I am adamantly opposed to running a single byte of Microsoft code under my roof or associated with my business.*

Yet, I don't hate them.

In fact, I'd be more than happy to download, burn to CD, and install a Microsoft system, and perhaps even give it a favorable review on this website. Unfortunately, this site is about Free and Open Source Software. So I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I can't do that.

Because that would blow away all of the recent hogwash in the news lately about how Microsoft really loves open source and has been sending us flowers and chocolate boxes and leaving us messages and how we're supposedly being such meanies for not loving them back. First Novell, Xandross, and Linspire, and now, after those sloppy advances, we have Jim Zemlin of the Linux Foundation, no less, saying we penguins need to quit being such teasing tarts and give up some respect already.

It would blow all of this hogwash back into the manure pile it came from, to ask that question that no one in this debate dares to utter:

"Why don't they just make their own open-source system and be done with it, then?"

Oh, why, what's wrong, Microsoft apologists? Cat got your tongue? What, is the GPL license encrypted so they can't read it? Are there not corporations selling FOSS systems as we speak? With all the resources Microsoft has, could it not squeak out its own smaller alternative open source Windows on the side? After all, they're so hand-wringingly concerned about that gosh-darned interoperability with other systems. They want their document formats to become standard. They want to produce a better product. They'd be able to shove all that patch-work off onto the community. They'd gain instant loyalty from so many - perhaps for the first time, you'd be able to ask somebody why they run Microsoft and hear an answer besides "I hate it, but I have to; everybody else uses it, so we're stuck with it."

What's the excuse this time? Remember, after the daily postings of FUD by the asstroturf division about how "Linux will never make it on the desktop" because it's so HAA-AARR-RRD to use, I don't suppose the free source code to Windows would munch very deeply into the profits from the compiled binary? Source code doesn't "just work" - you need to know how to use it. 98% of Microsoft's customer base wouldn't know source code if they were eating it. They'd crawl across printouts of the source code to pay for the disks and pre-installed systems.

Instead, Microsoft has to keep all their code, and now suddenly run around snapping up everybody else's code and figuring out how to charge people money for not using Windows. And then ask, "Why don't you respect us?"

I don't hate them a bit. I'm right where I've always been, patiently waiting for them to treat me as good as Richard Stallman does.

Fifteen years of war. That's what I've seen so far from Microsoft. A one-way war, where Microsoft has all the missiles, all the press, all the government, and most of the money, and Linux just has the target painted on it. If they love Linux, this is the damnedest dysfunctional relationship I've ever seen. I've seen lovers like Microsoft before - on the Cops TV show. That's the guy living in the trailer and wearing the white sleeveless T-shirt, with a wife sporting a black eye and bawling in the background.

Fifteen years of continuous war, as they fight to dominate the entire human race through the people's computers. As they do everything they can to stomp everybody but them into the dirt. Even people who had nothing to do with Microsoft. It doesn't matter what your motive is: you want to be free, Microsoft wants you to be their slave, and so war they will wage. Until every living thing lives under their digital dictatorship forever.

Microsoft is seeking to own every note of music, pixel of image, word of speech, frame of video, and byte of code.

Microsoft will eventually patent all technology, from the time machine going backward to the wheel and fire.

Microsoft is looking forward to putting the DRM in your grandchildren's DNA.

Microsoft is planning on attaching their EULA to every birth, marriage, and death certificate.

Microsoft wants to be there when you colonize Mars, selling you your oxygen permits.

Microsoft aspires to be running on the chips that we'll eventually be implanting in our brains.

Microsoft would like to be the government. Judging by how many senators and congressmen they have in their pockets, I'd say they're mostly there. They sure contribute to the campaign funds a lot. Two governments have tried to prosecute them for anti-trust; Microsoft brushed them aside with some more cash without missing a step. If the United States, a global super-power, cannot make Microsoft answer to it, then what does that make Microsoft?

The world has never seen a dictator such as Microsoft. Their market share is estimated at 90%. world-wide. Has there ever been a dictator in history who controlled 90% of the world? Bill Gates has done it.

George Orwell said, "He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future." Well, the past exists only as a record, and so it is data. When you go to look up some data about the past, what do you use? More and more, you use a computer. When all information is digital, you will have no choice but to use a computer. Microsoft will control it. It will control you.

I don't hate Microsoft.
I just love freedom.
Microsoft hates freedom.
So we are enemies.

a simple sig

* UPDATE: Since the time of this post, I have relented. When somebody gave me a computer they were throwing out that had XP on it, I have allowed it to stay... dual-booted with FreeBSD. Thus, after seven years of being Microsoft-free, I've decided to tolerate a Windows computer under my roof again, as long as it doesn't make trouble. It's the fourth computer in the house, so it's not crucial anyway.

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