Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 15th Jan 2009 23:20 UTC, submitted by poundsmack
In the News There's a story making its rounds across the 'net about a woman who missed several online classes, and failed her semester, and she claims this happened because she bought a Dell laptop with Ubuntu on it - instead of Windows. She didn't know what Ubuntu was, and was surprised to see that her Windows software, such as Microsoft Office, didn't work. While this isolated case sounds a bit ridiculous, there is still a bigger problem here.
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This woman was obviously ripped off. She got a computer that does not do what she wants. Let's face it, she wants it to work with windows, and the software that comes with that. If you wanna play geek rebel that is all fine and dandy, but then you do so knowingly. It doesn't matter if you love or hate windows (I personally hate it), it is the standard today and so is the office package (which I hate all so very much more).

But open source is free! You scream. No it is not. There is no fee for the software, but it is not free, you still need to learn to use it, and for the online educators that is a cost that more than likely is higher than requiring windows. Pushing your agenda on them I feel is not in the spirit of free nor freedom. But to be honest, GPL has never ever been about freedom.

What is important here are two things. Don't push your agenda on others, and open standards are what is important. I can take a jpeg I take with my digital camera and use it with all major OSes today, and I can sit down and write a piece of jpeg reading software and display it myself if I wanted to, since I am a software engineer. The data isn't locked into a vendor. This is not true for documents, and that is a problem.

So to sum it up, open and royalty free standards for data is very important. Pushing your fascist agendas are not.

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