lunes, 28 de marzo de 2011
Too Bad, Mr. Ballmer! Your Flock Is Decreasing...
"Fast is now Beautiful," preach Internet Explorer promoters. The interesting detail is that with Firefox and Chrome, Fast and Beautiful had been around for some time already. "No!" they will probably say, "Firefox 4 slowed down on Windows!" That's interesting, especially considering that Linux users report how Firefox 4 flies.
Then, all the boasting about the number of downloads of IE9 became a whisper when Firefox 4 was downloaded at least twice as much. "But that's not fair! IE9 can be downloaded only for Windows Vista and Windows 7 while Firefox 4 is available for all platforms!" they complain.
EXACTLY!!! Don't they realize?? How come a company on purpose leaves out the biggest number of its customers? (I mean XP users, of course!) Wasn't it that XP support was "extended" for about 3 more years? Does that mean that something similar will happen to Vista and Vista/7 users when Windows 8 is released? Better keep an eye open, Windows users!
All this, plus former ways of bullying customers (Windows 7 Starter) has opened the eyes of several Windows users. One by one, they are starting to look for alternatives.
Last Wednesday, I installed Pardus Linux 2011 on the laptop of one of my students. She sent me an e-mail on Friday telling me she had already discovered hidden malware in her removable hard drive. You see? Linux does not bite...even if it is a big cat like the Turkish distro!
Last Friday, Mechatotoro and I were in charge of a workshop to teach professors how to install Linux and how to use its basic features. Nice, but if none of them installed Linux? It doesn't really matter because something more important took place at the workshop: all of them realized that the generalized idea of "installing and using Linux is really hard" is nothing but a myth. Not a single one of them had problems to install it and use its basic features. Also, there is another important aspect to consider: Mechatotoro and I were asked if we could do the workshop; we didn't advertise anything or asked to do it ourselves. What does that actually say? Right! People are looking for alternatives!
On Saturday, there was a massive fair at the university. I went to take a walk around and see what was there after my class and ended up in the stand of Free Software. I thought I'd see there some familiar faces from the Free Software promoters at the university, but to my surprise I recognized no one. Actually, the ones in charge were a lot of young kids...some of them quite young, especially the girl who explained to me everything a person may want to know about Blender. They showed off a transparent, pyramidal computer they had built themselves (which runs Ubuntu) and explained visitors how they used it to burn batches of 4 CDs at a time. The CDs they burned contained free software for Windows, free movies, free songs from Jamendo, and of course Ubuntu copies, too. Needless to say, visitors were encouraged to take home as many CDs as they wanted. They gave me a free music CD as a souvenir.
At that place, something caught my eye. An elegant man who was right next to me asked one of the kids if they made visits to schools. It turned out that he was the principal of a high school and wanted them to visit his institution to teach both students and teachers there about Free Software.
Then, yesterday, I helped Mechatotoro install Linux on a laptop. The owner chose Linux Mint Julia. Even if she didn't prefer my favorite distro, I just love it when people exercise their freedom. Besides, she didn't choose Mint over Mepis, Ubuntu or Mandriva; she chose Mint over Windows 7 Home Premium.
Too bad, Mr. Ballmer! Your flock is decreasing...maybe one at a time, but it seems more and more of your sheep are slowly opening their eyes and find the pasture you offer them too insipid and the fence surrounding it too unfairly restrictive and insecure for the price you demand.