Giving Up On Vista
In Come On In, The Water's Fine, I mentioned the Linux (and Mac) conversion stories of some of the influencers out there. This continues that line of thought, except instead of influencers, it is just regular people.
A coworker got a new Toshiba notebook with Windows Vista preinstalled. Since I am 2700+ miles away from home and he is even further away, it is important that it work with the hotel’s WiFi network. The problem is, it works infrequently, and even when it works, it only works for a short period of time. Disabling the firewall for short periods of time will sometimes help, and the registry fix on the Microsoft site also seemed to help for about thirty minutes. However, at this point, nothing seems to work reliably or repeatably. At this point, he is ready to go back to XP.
In some of my recent calls home, I learned that one of MJ's friends (the one we know as "Game Boy"), the one who has been the most pro-Vista, has decided that he wants to get rid of some of the six computers his family has (all except one running Vista) and replace them with Macs. MJ has decided that one of his two WinXP computers is going Ubuntu or Mint in the next week or two. The other one will probably be converted soon after, now that he sees that the family administrator is less and less willing to spend his evenings and weekends fighting Windows to make it obey the wishes of the computer's owner instead of the wishes of the dark lord of Redmond and his apprentice.
Some may feel that this is harsh or anti-Microsoft. It isn't. Like anyone that has been very successful quickly, there is an arrogance and entitlement in the Vole that is at least as bad as the one coming from the Hilton residence in Los Angeles. Yet, most of us see Microsoft as an essential part of the software ecosystem, and therefore we wish nothing more than to have them humbled (by becoming "just one of the bunch" of leading software companies, rather than being dominant), so that they learn once again value and respect both consumers and competitors.
Since FLOSS and free culture help to spread the benefits of software and arts and information to all of society, the continuing attacks on FLOSS from Redmond are attacks on consumers, citizens, and individuals, not just attacks on perceived competitors. I call upon the Softies to begin to respect us all by ceasing the anti-FLOSS initiatives.