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Presentation on Windows7sins for NIPS School of Management's FOSS seminar

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  1. 1. Windows 7 Sins The case against Microsoft and proprietary software Presented by : Aloke Majumder [email_address]
  2. 2. FSF launches campaign against Windows 7 The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today launched its "Windows 7 Sins" campaign The campaign outlines seven major areas where proprietary software in general and Microsoft Windows in particular hurt all computer users These points are outlined in the text of a letter the campaign mailed to the leaders of the Fortune 500 companies and makes the case that they should instead adopt free software such as the GNU/Linux operating system and the office productivity suite
  3. 3. The 7 Sins 1. Poisoning education 2. Invading privacy 3. Monopoly behavior 4. Lock-in 5. Abusing standards 6. Enforcing Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) 7. Threatening user security seven major areas where proprietary software in general and Microsoft Windows in particular hurt all computer users
  4. 4. The Case against Microsoft <ul>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. </ul>
  5. 5. 1. Poisoning education <ul>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. Free software, on the other hand, gives children a route to empowerment, by encouraging them to explore and learn. </ul>
  6. 6. 2. Invading Privacy <ul>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. WGA has caused a number privacy related problems, including deletion of software. WGA gets automatically updated as part of Microsoft's critical update procedures, giving users little choice but to accept changes to the systems Microsoft can monitor. For Windows 7 they are changing the name of the product to Windows 7 Activation Technologies (WAT), but the functionality remains the same. Microsoft's version of a &quot;Trusted Computing&quot; scheme is called &quot;Palladium&quot;. Proprietary programs have included malicious features before, but Palladium would make it universal. </ul>
  7. 7. 3. Monopoly behavior <ul>Microsoft has been found guilty of monopolistic behavior all over the world. With Windows Vista, Microsoft worked with PC manufacturers to significantly increase the hardware specifications for the standard user-experience, causing people to require new computers to run the updated OS. most PC manufacturers still do not offer you the opportunity to buy a machine without Windows. 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 </ul>
  8. 8. 4. Lock-in <ul>Embrace, extend and extinguish -- that's how Microsoft described its strategy for locking its users into proprietary extensions to standards. Microsoft regularly attempts to force upgrades on its customers, by removing support for older versions of Windows and Office By removing support from operating systems and other software, such as Microsoft Office, Microsoft leaves companies with no choice but to upgrade to later versions of its software. 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 </ul>
  9. 9. 5. Abusing standards <ul>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. Unlike OpenDocument, which is well-supported and cross-platform, Microsoft's format is only supported by proprietary software from one vendor. In Europe, Microsoft has been forced to offer a 'ballot screen' of alternative web browsers to the user upon installation of Windows 7 to force Microsoft's browser monopoly to end. </ul>
  10. 10. 6. Enforcing Digital Restrictions Management <ul>Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) are technology measures that restrict what people can do with their computers. DRM is built into the heart of Windows 7, and many Microsoft services push DRM on users. Vista and Windows 7 monitor all the applications currently running whenever a media file with DRM is playing. If Vista or Windows 7 detects an unapproved application running in the background, your song or video will simply stop playing. Microsoft is not the only company guilty of this. Apple, via its iTunes software, and its Macintosh, iPod, iPhone and Apple TV devices also imposes DRM on users. Adobe and Sony also impose DRM on users. But Microsoft is a particularly aggressive user of DRM, and the integration of DRM at the deepest levels of Windows 7 is a key reason not to buy it. </ul>
  11. 11. 7. Threatening user security <ul>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 In 2005, a vulnerability was discovered that affects all versions of Windows from Windows 3.0, released in 1990 until Windows Server 2003 R2 from December 2005, with XP and later versions most severely affected If you're using proprietary software, you don't have security! With free software, even if you don't have the skills to evaluate the software, you can be certain that someone else can. </ul>
  12. 12. How we got there <ul>Two years ago, Microsoft released Windows Vista, to little fanfare and much disappointment, both from users, facing a battle of broken software, drivers and heavy restrictions, and from developers, scrambling to bring software up-to-date to work with the new system. Two years later, Microsoft itself admits Vista failed. Users were not ready to accept the huge downgrade that Vista offered, and Microsoft has attempted to rectify this with the announcement of Windows 7. Windows 7, like Windows XP in 2001, has a more modest requirement footprint, making it ideal for low-powered netbook computers. However, unlike Windows XP, Microsoft have deliberately crippled Windows 7, leaving netbook users at the mercy of Microsoft to control which applications they can use, as well as the number of applications that can be run simultaneously. Microsoft is up to their usual tricks again -- only this time, they're also inserting artificial restrictions into the operating system itself. While not the first time they've done this, this is the first release of Windows that can magically remove limitations instantly upon purchasing a more expensive version from Microsoft. </ul>
  13. 13. Not to become the victime of these sins <ul>Free software operating systems like GNU/Linux can do the same jobs as Windows. They encourage users to share, modify, and study the software as much as they want. This makes using a free software operating system the best way for users to escape Microsoft and avoid becoming victims of these seven sins. Software and computers will always have problems, but by using free software, users and their communities are empowered to fix problems for themselves and each other. </ul>
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