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How to easily make Windows free: Idea?

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  • User profile image
    gmiley

    Most linux distros offer free downloads, if you want CDs you can burn them yourself or purchase the install package.

    Redhat offers users the ability to have access to all of the newest patches and updates in the style of how windows performs it. Fedora is anotehr version of Redhat, it is the development/beta version. Everything is free on it. Redhat offers a support program for business version of their OS.

    The point, however you look at it though, is that no matter what, linux itself is free. Free as in Free speech as well as free as in free beer. Distro companies may charge for their contributions to the software and the support they offer, but the linux kernel is up for use by anyone. The source is out there for you to download and modify to suit your own needs. Royalty free.

  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    gmiley wrote:
    Most linux distros offer free downloads, if you want CDs you can burn them yourself or purchase the install package.

    Redhat offers users the ability to have access to all of the newest patches and updates in the style of how windows performs it. Fedora is anotehr version of Redhat, it is the development/beta version. Everything is free on it. Redhat offers a support program for business version of their OS.

    The point, however you look at it though, is that no matter what, linux itself is free. Free as in Free speech as well as free as in free beer. Distro companies may charge for their contributions to the software and the support they offer, but the linux kernel is up for use by anyone. The source is out there for you to download and modify to suit your own needs. Royalty free.


    From what I understand, IBM contributed Unix System V to Linux Kernal 2.4 (some might be in 2.6) so now virtually anyone running Linux has to pay SCO licensing fees or risk being sued.

  • User profile image
    prog_dotnet

    Clemens Vaters point of view...
    -----------------------------

    Dear Aiden,

    I think you remember the conversation we had recently at this software conference in Dublin. You came up to me and told me how the stuff I was talking about was mostly useless, because it is closed-source, people need to pay for it and that companies charging for software are evil anyways – especially Microsoft. Unfortunately I don’t have your email, but I am sure this will reach you.

    First, I would like to thank you for the interesting conversation that developed and to make sure that none of what was said just fades away, I’ll tell you here once again what I am thinking about what you do, what you think and – most importantly about your future.

    When I was 21 – like you now – I was also at university and was pursing a computer science master degree. Back then, I was very enthusiastic about programming and creating stuff that mattered. And thought that I was the best programmer the field has ever seen and everyone else was mostly worthless. And I did indeed write some programs that mattered and made a difference. The program I spent some 3 years writing in Turbo Pascal from when I was 18 was for my father’s business. Because the business he’s in requires a lot of bureaucracy, he and my mother spent about 2-3 daily hours on average doing all of this stuff by hand. When I was done with my program and he started using it, that time went from 3 hours to about 15 minutes a day. That was software that absolutely improved the quality of life for the entire family! And his friends and colleagues loved it, too. I didn’t sell many licenses at that time (I think I had 3 customers), but each one was worth 1500 German Marks and that was a huge heap of money for me. I mean – I was living at my parent’s house, getting a monthly allowance of 120 German Marks and worked as a cable grip for a couple of TV stations every once in a while – maybe 2-3 times a month. And if I ever had 400 Marks per month I could really consider myself massively rich at the time and for my age, because I had very minimal additional expenses. So 4500 Marks on top of that? Fantastic. Where did the money go? I can’t really remember where it all went, but I guess “lot of partying” or “Girls, Drugs and Rock’n’Roll” would be a reasonably good explanation. Hey, I was 21 and that’s what one is supposed to do at that age, right?

    That was in 1990 – let’s fast forward to 2004 and you. All software that you and your father could possibly be interested in has already been written. That’s probably not true, but it’s hard to think of something, right? Ok, the software may not run on your favorite operation system and may cost money, but what you can immediately think of is likely there. So where do you put all your energy? Into this absolutely amazing open-source project you co-coordinate. I mean, really, the stuff that you and your buddies are doing there is truly impressive. There are a couple of things I’d probably do differently in terms of design and architecture, but it works well and that’s mostly what matters. And you do make an impact as well. I know that hundreds of people and dozens of companies use your stuff. That’s great.

    However, I start to wonder where your benefit is. You are – out of principle – not making any money out of this, because it is open-source and you and your buddies insist that it must be absolutely free. So you are putting all of that time and energy into this project for what? Fame? To found a career? Come on.

    If someone installs your work from disc 3 of some Linux distro, they couldn’t care less who you are. The whole fame thing you are telling me only works amongst geeks. The good looking, intelligent girl over there at the bar that you’d really like to talk to doesn’t care much whether you are famous amongst a group of geeks and neither does she even remotely fathom why you’d be famous for that stuff in the first place. I mean – get real here.

    So once you get your degree from school, what’s the plan?

    Right now, your university education is free like in many places in Europe and you have plenty of time to work on your degree without too much financial pressure. Over here in Germany things are a bit extreme in that it is not uncommon that folks spend 6, 8 or even 10 years (!) in school until they finally get their masters degree. So you may not have to think about this much now and you probably don’t. But let’s talk about it anyways.

    When you leave school, your parents will – honestly – be keen to get you out of their house. They’ve spent 25 years of their life being parents and now that they are in their early 50s, they want to enjoy their life and I am sure that your dad is keen to play with grandchildren – but just every once in a while. So you’ll have to take care of yourself. 

    How so? Well, you need to get a job that pays. And you’ll probably want to have your own car, your own apartment and if you really want to have a family you will have to be able to support it. All of that only works with money. Where does it come from? If you believe that the result of your own work must be free for everyone – who’s going to pay for it? 

    No –  in the end you are going to settle for a job that pays for your house, your car and your wife and children. You’ll be a developer and, eventually, architect or project manager who produces software for money. That’s your core skill and that’s what you invested 6 years and more of your life into. That money will either come from some internal budget of the company that you work for as a “corporate developer” or it will come from the clients that license the software that your company produces. In the end, there’s got to be money in your pocket. I know that’s not very romantic and has very little to do with the “free software is love” sort of thing, but it’s inevitable. Romantic is what you can get out of that money and that’s a decent life with a house, a car and a family.

    Yes, I know the argument. Software is supposed to be free and the money is made out of supporting it. Look around you. Read some industry magazines. Who exactly is making money out of “free”? IBM does, HP does and the large consulting companies do. They rake in the big bucks. But do they make the money on open-source software? No, they make that money on outsourcing deals, running data centers and selling hardware. That’s not the side of the IT business that is at all concerned about creating software that you want to be in. That is the side of the IT business that runs software. 

    Where money is made from creating software, software isn’t free. Either the software is paid for directly or it is cross-subsidized from budgets elsewhere in a company that also sells hardware or consulting services. 

    The whole thing about “free software” is a lie. It’s a dream created and made popular by people who have a keen interest in having cheap software so that they can drive down their own cost and profit more or by people who can easily demand it, because they make their money out of speaking at conferences or write books about how nice it is to have free software. At the bottom of the food chain are people like you, who are easily fooled by the “let’s make the world a better place” rhetoric and who are so enthusiastic about technology that writing open-source – or any source for that matter – is the absolutely best imaginable way to spend their time. It doesn’t matter whether you love what you are doing and consider this the hobby you want to spend 110% of your time on: It’s exploitation by companies who are not at all interested in creating stuff. They want to use your stuff for free. That’s why they trick you into doing it.

    And I sure understand the whole altruistic aspect of this and the idea of helping people to have better lives through free software. There’s a saying that goes: “If you are 20 and you aren’t a communist you have no heart.”, but it continues “if you are 30 and you still are a communist, you lack rationality”. 

    In the end, Aiden, it’s your choice. Do you want to have a car, a house and a family when you are 30? Do you love being a software engineer at the same time? If so, you literally need to get a life. Forget the dream about stuff being free and stop advocating it. It’s idiocy. It’s bigotry. If you want to put your skills to work and you need to support a family, your work and work results can’t be free. Software is the immediate result and the manifestation of what your learned and what you know. How much is that worth? Nothing? Think again.

    With best wishes for your future

    Clemens

    SOURCE: http://staff.newtelligence.net/clemensv/PermaLink.aspx?guid=8fe41294-a988-4c73-948a-1bfab622fcce

  • User profile image
    gmiley

    Shining Arcanine wrote:
    gmiley wrote: Most linux distros offer free downloads, if you want CDs you can burn them yourself or purchase the install package.

    Redhat offers users the ability to have access to all of the newest patches and updates in the style of how windows performs it. Fedora is anotehr version of Redhat, it is the development/beta version. Everything is free on it. Redhat offers a support program for business version of their OS.

    The point, however you look at it though, is that no matter what, linux itself is free. Free as in Free speech as well as free as in free beer. Distro companies may charge for their contributions to the software and the support they offer, but the linux kernel is up for use by anyone. The source is out there for you to download and modify to suit your own needs. Royalty free.


    From what I understand, IBM contributed Unix System V to Linux Kernal 2.4 (some might be in 2.6) so now virtually anyone running Linux has to pay SCO licensing fees or risk being sued.


    Actually as far as I know, no proof has even surfaced involving the SCO claims. What has surfaced however are MS/SCO memos whereby large sums of money have been diverted from MS to SCO for different things. Call it a conspiracy theory or whathave you. So far there has been no judgement on the SCO v. IBM case.

    One IP infringement SCO has claimed was shot down. This was stdio.h, Linus refuted that saying that he hand wrote that himself.

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    There's no proof of the SCO claims, but there is proof of MS funding SCO? Wow. Dude, you better tell the press because they'd love to know this.

    As far as anyone's aware one exec at MS talked to one exec at Baystar saying SCO would be a good investment. That's not ... What'd you say? Oh, diverting funds from Microsoft to SCO.

    As far as 'shot down', nothing's 'shot down' until the courts say it is.

  • User profile image
    gmiley

    Jeremy W. wrote:
    There's no proof of the SCO claims, but there is proof of MS funding SCO? Wow. Dude, you better tell the press because they'd love to know this.

    As far as anyone's aware one exec at MS talked to one exec at Baystar saying SCO would be a good investment. That's not ... What'd you say? Oh, diverting funds from Microsoft to SCO.

    As far as 'shot down', nothing's 'shot down' until the courts say it is.


    http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/mar2004/tc20040311_8915_tc119.htm

    http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1542915,00.asp

    and the original memo:
    http://www.opensource.org/halloween/halloween10.html

    P.S. The press already knows.

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    Did you read the first 2 articles? They made the claim, said MS denied it, and then said it was basically an 'introduction'. Nothing more.

    The third? He's been lambasted for dozens of inaccuracies in his assessment... From /.

    Sorry, but I said proof. I didn't think I needed a capital P in there Smiley

  • User profile image
    gmiley

    This is getting off track and you clearly took my original posting the wrong way. I never said it was fact. These are things I have heard/read/seen. Notice how I said that it could be called a conspiracy theory if thats what you want to call it.

    Even before the allegid memo, rumors had been flying about such deals. And as a note, Open Source !== slashdot.

    And as I stated before, there have been no valid entries of proof that linux is in violation of SCO IP. When/If there is, then so be it, those portions can be removed/altered and again linux is (F/f)ree.

    Now to actually get this thread back on its original track; I do think MS offering their older versions of their different OS's would be a good idea. Windows95? They aren't making any more money off of that. Windows 98? Nope, maybe remnants here and there. NT, probably not. Their cash cows are their newest products.

  • User profile image
    Manip

    Thing to remember is /. is VERY bias anyway. They will not run most stories that are even slightly negative towards open-source. They have only just starting letting the 'not user friendly' stories though and only because it is such a big problem. Go try and question the GPL and or Open source doctrine and see how much free speech you get then. Basically /. is one point of view and that one point of view isn't as simple as just Microsoft bad, Linux good but more complex, they have particular projects they support and others that they dislike not to mention supporting licences. /. is also very business driven, instead of talking about open source from the view  of individuals or the community they discuss it from the view of companies particularly those views which benefit the OSDN and its shops.

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    gmiley, my point was that you were not willing to believe the SCO thing (which is a rumour with no proof) but that you were willing to believe the MS thing (which is a rumour with no proof).

    As far as OS's, they can't release the source to Windows 95 free, so they'd have to just release the OS free... Would that not require supporting it (since nobody else would)?

    I'm sure if a reasonable way of supporting it were found there would be people at MS willing to listen to the suggestion. Key being reasonable Smiley

  • User profile image
    lars

    Disregarding the obvious economical aspect: just consider the security nightmare with all the old obsolete windows installations connected to the net. Yikes!

    More off-topic:

    I tried reading Newsforge for a while, and after that I view Slashdot as a relatively sane source of geek related news. Atleast as long as one stays away from the messageboards.


  • User profile image
    Shawn

    lars wrote:
    Disregarding the obvious economical aspect: just consider the security nightmare with all the old obsolete windows installations connected to the net. Yikes!



    Good thinking. Disregarding all other extremely viable reasons, this one is enough alone for them to keep it under wraps.

  • User profile image
    sbc

    Sabot wrote:

    I paid £446 for Redhat Linux recently, so what have I paid for if it's 'free'? That covers one processor whether development or production. £76 for a desktop version.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000E2Y81/onthewebcom-21/026-9521030-8063644

    The £446 is for the server version. Not sure which Windows version you can compare it with (Small Business edition) - so may be more expensive, but does not have the licensing problem AFAIK - i.e. no limit to how many clients can connect. Redhat Enterprise Linux ES (which is the one you are referring to) actually supports 2 cpu's and 8GB of RAM - http://www.redhat.com/software/rhel/es/.
    Redhat Linux Pro Workstation costs £67.99 and so is much cheaper than XP Pro. AFAIK, you can also use it on as many PC's as you like, unlike Windows.

    The free bit is that you are not tied to the vendor - if you decide to use another Linux distro, you can just replace Redhat and your existing apps should still work with the new system.

    If you decide you don't want Windows any more it is a lot more difficult (i.e. you may have Windows apps that don't work on other OS's).

    If Open Source was so bad, why is 67% of webservers running Apache? If not for Open Source/Standards the internet would not be in the current state it is in now (think BIND, TCP/IP, HTML, HTTP)

  • User profile image
    Manip

    No.. I think your find the 'free bit' refers to the pure and simple fact that Linux / open source software costs $0. It is cost-less, free distribution and re-distribution. Nobody is calling RedHat a full version.. it is when you get it from other sources that don't charge you (eg http://sourceforge.net, http://www.kernel.org)


    Also:
    Windows XP Pro - £84 
    RedHat Workstation - £67.99

    Not that much difference.. especially considering you can download the non-pro version of RedHat desktop from their site for free.. Smiley

  • User profile image
    sbc

    The philosophy of Richard Stallman is a good read on Open Source and the benefits it brings - http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/philosophy.html

    If more people were like him the world would be a much better place, free exchange of information, people not motivated by money.

    Unfortunately people are protective of their 'intellectual property' - which is meant to cover patents, copyright etc (which are completely different things). IMHO patents are not needed for software (the Internet, HTML, GNU/Linux are proof of that) - you can innovate without patents.

    The fact that China/Korea/Japan are developing a Linux distribution are proof of that. The third world is now leaning heavily towards Open Source - they wish to keep control over software rather than depending on outside companies and sending money abroad rather than keeping it in the country.

    Also Europe seems to lean more towards Open Source - just look at the Linux kernel. Many Open Source developers come from Europe and other non-US countries (because of the DMCA and the US Patent office issuing lots of software patents that cover obvious things - i.e. think Eolas)

  • User profile image
    jamie

    So... to re-cap..  see what you are up against?

    Making Windows betas free ( even with a 6 month clock) with no subspription of any kind ( but also no source code) - would at least give developers a fast no hoops to jump through avenue to getting betas.

    I know i got my longhorn through winbeta.org - not some subscription thing... and i love windows!

    I also have 2 licenced versions of XP - but i run 2 cracked versions as i dont like the invation of privacy.

    Perhaps you may want to look back to Win95/98.

    They were 90 bucks canadian ( not 300 dollars canadain like XP) they had NO activation / snooping / monitoring and they were probably the most popular products youve ever released.

    Why cant longhorn go back to this.  Make it no-obtrusive and cheaper and people will upgrade in droves. Corp users dont want XP for all above reasons - despite your new ad campaign to convice them otherwise.

  • User profile image
    lars

    I think Jeremy put it best:

    "I'm sure if a reasonable way of supporting it were found there would be people at MS willing to listen to the suggestion. Key being reasonable Smiley"

    Then my troll alarm went off so I think I'll just leave it at that.

    Cheers,

    /Lars.

  • User profile image
    Akaina

    Dear Clemens,


       I'm sure everyone appreciates the fact that you want to make a living - however, there are more important things in life than standing in line to get a slim piece of pie delegated by some buerocratic ruling body. Complain all you like about 21-year-olds being impatient, here's the bottom line:

    The world needs a few good monks.

    Please allow me to explain. I can't say I know ANY of the names of the monk's who went blind transcribing scripture by candle light throughout the middle ages, however I can assure you that the impact on society was much greater than if any of them had had their 2.3 kids, 2 horses in every stable or what-have-you.

    I fear that you may have become so short sighted and so dulled and worn by re-inventing someone else's wheel that you've lost sight of the big picture. To an open source developer, the future is what matters. Open source developers are thinking asymtotically. The only refuge your thoughts console are your own - neglecting all but the immediate future. I mean this with no dis-respect.

    One day we will all be dead and there will be very little of us to be rememebred by. Some prefer to be remembered by being part of a free system that will liberate the world from life-wasting man-built beurocracies. Not unlike the mindset of others in the past who have dedicated their lives to higher callings.

    If you dedicated your 20's to a higher calling and spent the rest of your life serving yourself, at least you helped.

    You can start a family and roll the dice there, but chances are you're not going to do anything earth-shattering. If you have reduced yourself to a roll of supporting a family, why are you doing it by writing code? You may as well be fixing cars, or serving fast-food. Truly, those short-sighed many have stripped away the beauty of all that is good and noble in their profession - that is the expression of your internal desires - written philosophy. No one can help these people become great because they have doomed themselves to metiocrity - so it's only consistant that they distance themselves from other larger, noble goals. I don't mean this as a personal attack, but an analysis that much of the bell curve conforms to.

    I won't hear any cries about the importance of your children or wife, because quite honestly, there's another 1.5 billion families out there just like you preaching the same tattered story. Perhaps if you're lucky, one of your children will break that cycle and start a revolution. Otherwise you'll blend into the forescape of static; toward the center of the bell curve, doomed to breed normality.
    </philisophical_waxing>

    Regarding your quote:
    "The whole thing about 'free software' is a lie." You're flat out wrong. Apache beats the pants off of IIS, and mySQL is right on par with Transact SQL (I won't call it SQL Server, because Microsoft hija... ahem... "embraced" that term already). I can download them right now - for free as in freedom.




    Freedom is more than good, it's liberating.



    Yours,
    $USER

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