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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coolvibe
Member since:
2007-08-16

The OS choice is moot when the University uses open formats and protocols. That is what Thom is saying. Instead, they go for proprietary formats and put their heads collectively in the lock-in noose. This stifles innovation. It puts blinders on people.

Edited 2009-01-16 07:28 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

mightshade Member since:
2008-11-20

In a perfect world, yes. However, in reality, using open formats and protocols doesn't automatically mean that the tools for the different platforms are equal, so only the most fitting ones are usually supported/provided. Thom's stance seems just too black&white to me.

Reply Parent Score: 1

bibe Member since:
2005-07-09

I agree with Thom on this one, University should at least try to do something about vendor lock in by supporting open formats, which will not automatically mean support of all alternative OS's because that is just one side of the picture, the alternative OS's have to offer support for these open formats too, but there's almost no legal way for them to support closed up proprietary formats.

This reasoning is not universally applicable to every institution but it's very much compatible with the idea of university and what it should be, which this case is all about.

Edited 2009-01-16 16:27 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3