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FSF Launches "BadVista" Campaign

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the restricted-computing dept.

GNU is Not Unix 607

FrankNFurter writes to note the launch yesterday of the FSF's BadVista campaign against Microsoft's new operating system. BadVista's aim is to inform users about the alleged harms inflicted by Vista on the user and about free software alternatives. Quoting program administrator John Sullivan: "Vista is an upsell masquerading as an upgrade. It is an overall regression when you look at the most important aspect of owning and using a computer: your control over what it does. Obviously MS Windows is already proprietary and very restrictive, and well worth rejecting. But the new 'features' in Vista are a Trojan Horse to smuggle in even more restrictions. We'll be focusing attention on detailing how they work, how to resist them, and why people should care."

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607 comments

Would've been nice if... (5, Insightful)

thre5her (223254) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273038)

...they included some of these shortcomings. I was expecting a good read, which RMS is usually keen to offer.

Re:Would've been nice if... (4, Funny)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273050)

Looks like they did:

- Vista is a Microsoft product
- Vista is bad

Re:Would've been nice if... (5, Funny)

tonycheese (921278) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273052)

Well, they just launched the site yesterday, so I guess it's a work in progress. I guess they'll be posting things as they think of them.

Re:Would've been nice if... (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273438)

> Well, they just launched the site yesterday, so I guess it's a work in progress.

No, if it was launched yesterday then it should have been finished some time before then. You know, like cars, tvs, books, music etc...

Re:Would've been nice if... (5, Informative)

Rhabarber (1020311) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273286)

How about the third link on the right side: 25 Shortcomings Of Vista [crn.com]

"Treacherous Computing" "Genuine upgrade promlems" (5, Interesting)

GodWasAnAlien (206300) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273292)

According to the article, They mention the Treacherous Computing nature of the OS and that the Genuine checks cause problems with upgrades. Though more details would be helpful.

Eventually MS and others pushing [Un]Trusted Computing and Digital Restrictions Management will find out that the strangle grip is not the best way to hold and attract costumers.

Re:"Treacherous Computing" "Genuine upgrade promle (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273536)

That's right. The best way to attract costumers is with fun costume parties around the end of October and during Mardi Gras.

Re:Would've been nice if... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273370)

I have to kind of laugh at the entire situation. This is much like going up to an individual standing in a town that has three stores - only one of which has apples, and the other two having hardware. Imagine going up to the individual,

"You know, that store charges too much for apples and has a stranglehold on the competition."

"Uh-huh."

"And it takes away your freedom."

"Uh-huh. How so?"

"Well, it taxes you horribly for those apples."

"That may well be true. But it's the only store that sells apples."

The point is - bash Vista and MS Microsoft all you want. Until another operating system gives me everything I want and more from Microsoft - and I'm talking usability, utility, compatability with entertainment, and all of the other stuff that people have been unable to convince me Linux or any of those other fringe (and they are fringe) programs have, I'm sticking with Microsoft.

"But it's taking away your freedom!"

This is charged. Do I see the stuff they have in Vista as taking away my freedom? Nope, not a bit. Why, you may ask? Because I don't see it as a domain for "freedom." I see freedom as Right to Religion, Right to Free Speech as relating to a government and the sole domain of the individual. Of course, it sounds a whole lot more sexy to say, "They're taking away your freedom!" than, "They're going to make your life annoying." Or whatnot. You have the freedom not to buy it, and people have chosen to exercise that right. I have the right not to buy it, but I don't choose to - according to me, Microsoft puts out a far better product in wide-range than these other ones, even through I'll admit that these other OS's work far smoother.

Another comparison.

It's like me getting a swiss knife that has 12 different tools that work. And my friend getting one that just has three, but he can get out those tools a whole lot faster than I can. That's nice that he can do that, but I can do a whole lot more stuff with mine.

Until someone can prove to me that these are going to give me everything Microsoft has and more, don't bash it. And until someone can prove to me that these other OS's will make my life easier, don't bother telling me Microsoft is bad.

Moral of the story: Don't complain unless you can tell me how to fix the thing.

Vista is Bad. Use Linux. Use GPL software. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273040)

Vista is Bad. Use Linux. Use GPL software.

Re:Vista is Bad. Use Linux. Use GPL software. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273048)

Duh...

Re:Vista is Bad. USE COCAINE !!!!!!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273192)

see topic

Re:Vista is Bad. Use Linux. Use GPL software. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273280)

What is Linux without GNU! It's GNU/Linux/GNU, you insensitive clod!

  - St. Ignucious (aka RMS)

Re:Vista is Bad. Use Linux. Use GPL software. (4, Insightful)

shadowmas (697397) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273294)

I like linux and prefer it over windows. And i'm not a microsoft fan either. but i must say that i don't like the sound of this particular FSF project. if you have a product (Linux) you should spend your time promoting it and enhancing it. not trying to degrade you'r competitors product (no matter how truthful it might be).

Re:Vista is Bad. Use Linux. Use GPL software. (5, Funny)

pchan- (118053) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273600)

Vista is Bad. Use Linux. Use GPL software.

Forget Linux, I'm waiting for GNU/HURD. Any day now...

FUD??!! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273042)

Wouldn't this campaign fall under the definition of Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt??!! After all, the FSF already hates Microsoft with a passion, and this is just another axe to grind here. I doubt they actually have even seen Vista or used it to know what exactly it is.

Slashdot and its minions seems to hate Microsoft FUD, but shouldn't you people have a problem with FUD on the other side? This site has gone full throttle on the anti-Vista campaign already and it isn't even on store shelves yet. Sheesh.

Re:FUD??!! (2, Informative)

RiotXIX (230569) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273106)

True. I think the campaign shoots itself by hyping it's own cause (although I expected that).

If they see flaws in MS-OSs (as I do), point Joe Shmoe to Apple - it's the best alternative.

My linux desktop is more customised and intelligent than an Apple Desktop will be (as far as I'm concerned) because I've been configuring my bashrc & enlightenment config files for over a year - and always adding/evolving. Everything is automatic and on cron or timeout (from closing a open eterms to switching virtual desktops from the multimedia screen or browser screen to the blank default one automatically at 6am). I don't expect people to spend as much time as I have. Apple's a good gateway into the joys of a configurable / automatable system (it's how Joe's going to discover the console).

Re:FUD??!! (-1, Flamebait)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273224)

Kind of reminds me of the jews that ran to the USSR in WWII... why can't they just be told to use Mandrake or Ubuntu? Better then getting them locked into someone else, who is actualy worse as far as DRM goes then MS. At least MS doens't have hardware control.

Re:FUD??!! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273310)

Kind of reminds me of the jews that ran to the USSR in WWII... why can't they just be told to use Mandrake or Ubuntu? Better then getting them locked into someone else, who is actualy worse as far as DRM goes then MS. At least MS doens't have hardware control.

Wow, your analogy is as inappropriate as screwing a puppy in church.

Re:FUD??!! (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273610)

Thank you, I try.

Re:FUD??!! (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273426)

But you forget, this campaign has two agendas:
1. Discredit Microsoft Windows Vista
2. Promote gNewSense

Therefore, I'd be surprised if we see much of other operating systems or even other Linux distributions mentioned.

And so much misunderstanding from /. posters. (2, Insightful)

jbn-o (555068) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273568)

Actually, the campaign's agenda is to promote software freedom. Microsoft Windows doesn't do that, regardless of version. That OS is nothing but non-free software. gNewSense GNU/Linux does that because that OS is nothing but free software.

Also they wouldn't call "Linux" an OS when it's a kernel, denying themselves credit for their own OS project called GNU.

Re:FUD??!! (3, Insightful)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273430)

If they see flaws in MS-OSs (as I do), point Joe Shmoe to Apple - it's the best alternative.

No it isn't. Not by a longshot if you go by the FSF's beliefs. Their core principle is that people should be free to use their computers without any artificial software-induced restrictions. OSX may be partially free and open source "under the hood" but the top layers are every bit as proprietary as Windows.

I'd certainly say that Apple/OSX is better than Windows for "Joe Schmoe" and I would recommend that over Windows or Linux for someone who wants an elegant "just works" new computer. For myself, I prefer to build my own boxes and run Linux (though I have no qualms about using non-free software and drivers on my box)--but I recognize that in the present world, that just isn't right for everybody. "To each their own," "Choice is good," and all that jazz.

Re:FUD??!! (3, Insightful)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273228)

I wouldn't say it's FUD because there is no uncertainty. If you agree to that EULA you lose certain rights which they think are important that you wouldn't use if you were on Free Software...
There is also no doubt - you click "I agree" and the rights are gone...
And dare I say there is not even any fear in the end user - and that is something we should be really worried about

Re:FUD??!! (2, Interesting)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273330)

Well, then they should have an article citing examples from the EULA. The FSF tends to beat around the bush far too much; People will take your evidence more willingly if you don't make them read a 10-page manifesto without facts before you get to the meat. I like what the FSF has done, but often their evangelizing is often terrible. Linux sugar has caught more new users than FSF vinegar.

Re:FUD??!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273552)

Well, there ARE valid reasons to speak out against Vista.. lots. But, this article literally is FUD 8-). It mentions "Treacherous Computing" once, and otherwise doesn't actually say anything specific about Microsoft except they're generally evil.. There's plenty of specific problems with Vista, DRM alone does cover plenty.

          I'd be pissed if (in Vista-land, but really most any DRM..) if I had a motherboard croak.. Now, I swap the motherboard (or hard drive if I'm doing a full machine switch instead) and (if the video card is a different brand too) change a line in xorg.conf. With a DRM'ed setup, I'd have to redownload lots of files, update keys or something on some others, and others I'd have "lost" if the specific DRM vendor completely machine-locks content. Oh, after seeing if Vista's going to make you get on the phone to reactivate your key.

          This article doesn't mention that 8-).

Only if their claims are fuzzy or untrue (2, Insightful)

Geof (153857) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273278)

Wouldn't this campaign fall under the definition of Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt??!!

I think that depends on whether or not the claims the FSF is making are true. FUD is caused by the unknown. So if the arguments presented by the FSF are unsubstantiated or nebulous, then I would agree with you.

On the other hand, if they present a clear description of what Vista does and does not do, it seems to me they are only providing people with the information they need to make an informed choice. Given the benefits of a new upgrade cycle to Microsoft and much of the computer industry, negative information is hardly likely to be broadcast widely.

Re:Only if their claims are fuzzy or untrue (2)

Cl1mh4224rd (265427) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273380)

On the other hand, if they present a clear description of what Vista does and does not do, it seems to me they are only providing people with the information they need to make an informed choice.
John Sullivan:
Obviously MS Windows is already proprietary and very restrictive, and well worth rejecting.
I know this [hopefully] isn't part of their campaign, but they don't seem to off to a very good start, in my opinion...

It's not FUD if it's factual. (1)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273378)

It's not FUD if it's factual.

Now, whether the FSF can hold to the facts, I have more faith in them in that regard than Microsoft.

Re:FUD??!! (1)

mmurphy000 (556983) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273450)

I doubt they actually have even seen Vista or used it to know what exactly it is.

Would this be the Vista that's been available in beta form for months? That was reviewed five [techworld.com] and six [pcmag.com] months ago?

Why would FSF launch this program without having reviewed the beta?

The wisdom of crowds (0, Troll)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273046)

This is probably going to be a massive "M$ IS TEH SUX" and "Windoze crashes every five minutes, use Linux instead" religious FUD campaign, except that now it will be officially sanctioned by the FSF. I'm guessing they figure what worked for the browser (GET FIREFOX OR YOU WILL DIE!!!) will work for the operating system as well.

Be careful what you wish for, Moglen, Stallman et.al. You just might get it.

Re:The wisdom of crowds (1, Interesting)

Kopl (1027670) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273146)

Are you shill?

Re:The wisdom of crowds (3, Insightful)

mjeffers (61490) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273252)

Are you shill?

This is not specifically directed at you as I've seen this many times before but I'm tired of people being so narrow-minded as to think that anyone who disagrees with them must be a paid shill or astroturfer. As hard as it may be to believe some people just honestly don't agree with you on everything.

Re:The wisdom of crowds (-1, Troll)

Kopl (1027670) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273332)

Please follow the rules I linked you to and asked you to follow in responses to me.

Re:The wisdom of crowds (2, Insightful)

mjeffers (61490) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273390)

I read them and I believe that I followed them in my response. I did find it especially ironic that had the balls to link to rules requiring respondents to:

  • Not choose extreme examples of something and pretending it's the norm and
  • Don't exaggerate stuff. Period.
when you were accussing somone who held an opinion different from your own of being a paid shill. Do you think that it's the norm for people who support Microsoft to be astroturfers. Me, I think it's an astroturfer would be a rather extreme example of a Microsoft supporter and hardly the norm.

Re:The wisdom of crowds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273504)

Aren't you quite the prize.

Re:The wisdom of crowds (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273510)

I most typically see "Shill!" directed at people who disagree with the shill-caller, BUT who also make ridiculous, over the top, or off-topic arguments. Ridiculous arguments would include citing issues that have been addressed long ago, for one. Over the top arguments are ones that just go way farther than is necessary (kind of like answering a yes/no question with a full page essay). Off-topic arguments are ones like the OP here, who claimed that this would be an "M$ SUX, LINUX ROX!" shouting fest, rather than (as indicated in the summary) dealing with more specific issues such as DRM.

Personally, in these cases, I don't think that "Shill!" is an indicator of narrow-mindedness. It may not be an appropriate designation, but it most typically (in my experience) is a reaction to a poor argument rather than to an opposing argument. "Fanboy!" or "Troll!" would in most cases probably be the more appropriate designation, but when talking about Microsoft, "Shill!" is a popular alternative.

OTOH, poster's "rules" and snippy "you must abide by my rules or I won't even really acknowledge your response" kind of makes him an ass, as far as I can see.

Re:The wisdom of crowds (1)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273350)

No, I'm Jack. Seen my hill?

Re:The wisdom of crowds (-1, Troll)

Kopl (1027670) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273532)

Thanks for the answer, but it isn't convincing. Based on the comment that you posted earlier, I think that you are a shill. I want to be convinced otherwise, or at least have a doubt cased on that opinion. Unfortunately, giving me a name I cannot verify does not do that.

Re:The wisdom of crowds (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273206)

"This is probably going to be a massive "M$ IS TEH SUX" and "Windoze crashes every five minutes, use Linux instead" religious FUD campaign, except that now it will be officially sanctioned by the FSF."

You should look at the link before posting. The site is based on criticism of DRM-type restrictions.

"Be careful what you wish for, Moglen, Stallman et.al. You just might get it."

The right to freely use the computer I own? Oh, what a horrible, horrible possibility!

Re:The wisdom of crowds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273566)

"...massive "M$ IS TEH SUX" and "Windoze crashes every five minutes, use Linux instead" religious FUD campaign,"

Massive FUD campaign? 1 little ol' website from the FSF constitutues a massive FUD campaign?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

[crying] sniff! that's a good one!

I'm no great fan of MS... (3, Insightful)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273056)

but this is emotional propaganda at its worse. And there's nothing that bothers me more than having my intelligence insulted by trite propaganda.


-b.

Re:I'm no great fan of MS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273076)

Having your intelligence insulted by M$ is better?

Re:I'm no great fan of MS... (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273132)

Having your intelligence insulted by M$ is better?

Hell, no. But those who purport to take the moral high ground shouldn't resort to a same tactics...

-b.

Re:I'm no great fan of MS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273346)

Same Tactics? I doubt the FSF guys will spread lies. That's what Microsoft does/has done with each of their "campaigns". How is this propaganda if they'll list actual shortcomings (ethical/technical) on Vista to educate Windows users? Do you really think they'll make stuff up like Microsoft does? The worst that can happen is that the Microsoft marketing machine labels this FUD and people believe them.
The thing that sucks about this is the badly chosen name. "BadVista".. come on...

Re:I'm no great fan of MS... (0, Flamebait)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273250)

They're aiming at the vast majority of Windows users, for whom emotional propaganda is what works, sadly.

Re:I'm no great fan of MS... (1)

Wavicle (181176) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273466)

there's nothing that bothers me more than having my intelligence insulted by trite propaganda

You must be new here! Welcome!

All I have to say is... (3, Interesting)

Zebra_X (13249) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273060)

Wow...

No really, this might be a new low for the FSF. I mean, really people, does this tactic ever work? Far from becoming an effective bad PR campaign it is going to further elevate consumer and user awareness of Vista.

While were at it, why aren't we bashing the hell out of Apple and it's release of Shaguar? After all, Jaguar runs on fully DRM'd, TCP'd hardware. The same cannot be said for Windows users.

Re:All I have to say is... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273182)

why aren't we bashing the hell out of Apple and it's release of Shaguar? After all, Jaguar runs on fully DRM'd, TCP'd hardware.

The only thing more pathetic than a PC user is a PC user trying to be a Mac user. We have a name for you people: switcheurs.

There's a good reason for your vexation at the release history of OS X and Apple's record of antipathy towards Trusted Computing: You don't speak its language. Remember that the Mac was designed by artists [atspace.com] , for artists [atspace.com] , be they poets [atspace.com] , musicians [atspace.com] , or avant-garde mathematicians [atspace.com] . A shiny new Mac can introduce your frathouse hovel to a modicum of good taste, but it can't make Mac users out of dweebs [atspace.com] and squares [atspace.com] like you.

So don't force what doesn't come naturally. You'll be much happier if you stick to an OS that suits your personality. And you'll be doing the rest of us a favor, too; you leave Macs to Mac users, and we'll leave beige to you.

Re:All I have to say is... (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273270)

Yet I am sure you jump at every chance you get to flame Microsoft (not that I don't) and Linux. Heck you just DID! How mighty white of you to show that it's OK to flame one group of users while defending another.

Beige? (1)

Petersko (564140) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273422)

So don't force what doesn't come naturally. You'll be much happier if you stick to an OS that suits your personality. And you'll be doing the rest of us a favor, too; you leave Macs to Mac users, and we'll leave beige to you

Good Lord... the history of Apple is painted in beige.

As for the rest of your pointless post, well... you're clearly one of those guys that actually believes those Apple/Mac guys represent the current state of technology. It's probably not even possible to educate you out of your opinion.

Re:All I have to say is... (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273486)

Here's the catch: Apple is actively trying to convert people to the Mac religion. Did you forget that it was Apple that runs the Switch (now Get A Mac [apple.com] ) campaigns?

Re:All I have to say is... (1)

PSGInfinity (607839) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273282)

I want to call a shenanigans on the whole DRM thing. DRM is a reflected, second order 'right' which citizenry can reject, given sufficient provocation. The tipping point will come, I promise you. I don't know when, where, or what the trigger is. But it will happen, and when it does, the resulting battle will be quite entertaining...

Re:All I have to say is... (4, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273304)

You are aware that the FSF is behind the Defective By Design campaign, which is specifically targetting Apple at this point, right?

Re:All I have to say is... (1)

Zebra_X (13249) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273342)

Thanks, I didn't know that. Ha, they just don't care do they LOL.

Re:All I have to say is... (1)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273348)

Outstanding post. Microsoft gains and FSF looks like they're blinded by their bias.

Why do this at all. (1)

rastilin (752802) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273414)

I can't shake the feeling that it's not appropriate for a political organization to make web pages about the failings of it's opponents. It's lame when candidates for Prime Minister take out TV ad campaigns against the opposition and it's equally lame when the FSF does things like this. Besides, it's not like anyone except linux users will ever know it exists.

this is total bullshit (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273068)

why the fuck cant you open source faggots keep your nerdy mouths shut?

ms is the standard, you guys are the minority. stop calling their shit proprietary when its used by 90%+ of the world.

delusional faggots.

Re:this is total bullshit (2, Informative)

displaced80 (660282) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273154)

"Proprietary" does not mean what you seem to think it means...

So.... (3, Interesting)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273072)

Where's the "here is how you do that in Linux" part of the movement?

It's all well and good to say that Vista is a "don't upgrade" for the next twelve months -- but there are improvements in it, some of which rise to the level of intuition, and right now there's no Free way to get those improvements.

Re:So.... (3, Informative)

rjdegraaf (712353) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273470)

It's all well and good to say that Vista is a "don't upgrade" for the next twelve months -- but there are improvements in it, some of which rise to the level of intuition, and right now there's no Free way to get those improvements.


Locking the users into proprietary software and DRM are not improvements for users.

Here is a video of Richard Stallman [google.com] on the Free Software Movement and the reasons why it is so important that things like GNU/Linux exist.

Oh dear (1, Redundant)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273078)

Joe Vista user reading that explanation is going to quit half way through wondering wtf this lunatic is babbling about and probably thinking the author must have sadly neglected as a child to be so angry about something that works fine for Joe at home.

Re:Oh dear (1)

Meatloaf Surprise (1017210) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273118)

Actually, I would like to know how Joe Vista-User will navigate to this site to begin with--let alone read it, understand it, and take a stand against it.

Re:Oh dear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273268)

I agree.. this is a very ill concieved campaign.

I hate all the new activation junk that Vista has (even though I like the security features.. especially for the 64bit version), but this campaign sounds like it is written by a 16 year old.

Bad Vista, starring Billy Bob Thornton? (5, Insightful)

hattig (47930) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273108)

I hate negative marketing.

All the effort should be spent on advocating your advantages in a positive manner - and then you can compare yourself to the competition, you have a solution to the problem, you're not merely pointing out the bad stuff.

Negative marketing has been shown time and time again to annoy the people that catch the brunt of it - political campaigns through to Apple adverts. Maybe it will stop a few people upgrading, but it won't make them think of switching another solution unless you present that alternative solution in a wondrous halo of wonder fixing all of their issues.

How about a GoodLinux or something campaign as well?

(I didn't read the article)

FSF needs to do PR research (2, Insightful)

Geof (153857) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273598)

I am sympathetic to the FSF's objectives here, but judging by the reaction here on Slashdot this isn't the way to go about it. It's pretty clear what the benefits of a well-funded PR machine are. If they'd done a couple of focus groups or surveys, this might have been shut down pretty quickly, or modified so it didn't irritate people so much. But I doubt they can afford to do that.

On the other hand, maybe the Slashdot crowd is a special case. We have advocates of free software, for whom software freedom is a political issue. We also have technical pragmatists who argue that software should be chosen solely on its technical merit and politics has no place (which is, of course, a political position). We see this campaign in political terms. Joe consumer, on the other hand, with no attachment one way or the other, may simple see this as new and potentially useful information.

Regardless, it seems to me that alienating your natural supporters is not a good approach unless there's the potential for significant gains. I guess have to see what happens.

I can already see... (3, Informative)

c0l0 (826165) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273112)

...plenty of ignorant MSFT-aplogists' bitching about how the "zealots" are going "mad" about "Windows being teh suxx" and all after this campaign has been announced, but, please, care to tell me where the FSF fails to tell the truth with such nifty things as "signed drivers only [osnews.com] ", "protected audio path [wikipedia.org] " an the like coming after consumers, which are being promised an overall richer and safer experience in casual computing, but are being entirely stripped of their fair use rights by these "added features" instead?

Vista - it's a trap thing, really. Break out as long as you can.

Re:I can already see... (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273394)

The other side of the coin is that 'signed drivers only' for all that is bad about it is one of the few practical ways to do 'security' in a binary world, and 'protected audio path' is something that media companies are clamoring for (maybe to take away fair use, but they see it as protecting their interests...) before they will release media in some formats.

Call me when a law requiring me to turn in my old equipment passes, until then, it is just a business decision that may or may not turn out to be right. If they are right, people will buy all the nifty new stuff that protected audio supposedly enables; if they are wrong, people will scoff and keep their money.

Re:I can already see... (1, Insightful)

wwahammy (765566) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273400)

Okay protected audio path is bullshit but signed drivers was a well intentioned idea. The biggest cause of severe crashes in Windows are due to bad drivers. Microsoft wanted to get tougher on hardware developers who make half assed drivers with no support, in part because it degrades the user experience immensely and Microsoft was probably pretty sick of getting blamed for things they had no control over. The BIG issue that Microsoft ignored was open source drivers since its not realistic to sign those and get them tested by Microsoft on a regular basis. I don't care what people say but requiring signed drivers in x64 Vista was nothing more than a way to increase reliability (something that Slashdotters claim that Windows has an issue with) No I'm not a Microsoftie (they do plenty of incredibly dumb things) but god the hatred of Microsoft is almost religious at this point. If Microsoft abandoned Windows and signed an unbreakable, perpetual contract with Linus to base their new OSes on Linux and to make them open source some of you people (not saying specifically the parent) still wouldn't be happy.

Re:I can already see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273452)

So... presumably, a bullet proof audio driver that allows saving to a file would be approved by Microsoft for all content? No? Then shut the fuck up, because Microsoft's enforced driver signing has fuck all to do with stability.

Re:I can already see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273474)

What's wrong with signed drivers? You can still bypass them if you REALLY want to, you know. But Vista makes it not-so-simple to do (on purpose).

Means that the drivers have gone through some modicum of processing before being released...and lessens the chance of some Rambo driver borking your system.

Please. Like *nix or BSD is any better off at it....cept while open source is a good thing for some things, it can be just as bad as others.

Re:I can already see... (4, Informative)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273506)

Driver signing isn't required for 32bit vista, only 64bit. It can also be bypassed.

Good luck. (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273148)

While we all may know and accept this, i wish the luck getting this data to the masses. I am not saying they shouldnt try, but i do feel that its a lost cause and you really cant stop the train.

At least we can still jump off at the next stop.

FSF burning the last of its legitimacy (3, Insightful)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273166)

This kind of overhyped FUD campaign just makes the FSF look like a bunch of nutty hippies. People don't give a shit about losing a little bit of control over their PC. The care about features. So unless someone can offer a competitive OS that offers the features (not just technical features) that users want and on top of that offer more control over one's PC they're not going to care.

Region encoding on DVDs sucks... but does that keep people from buying DVDs... NO NO NO!

Re:FSF burning the last of its legitimacy (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273336)

The FSF has never been worried about appearing as "nutty hippies". Quite the opposite.

Region encoding on DVDs sucks... but does that keep people from buying DVDs... NO NO NO!
The fact that no-one can service a new Ford except a registered Ford dealer, who has prices for his services set by Ford, doesn't stop people from buying new Fords either. This is why we need the government to step in and enforce anti-trust laws, but they're so paid off that they people can't rely on them to do anything anymore. This is why we need political action, and that is exactly what the FSF is doing.

Re:FSF burning the last of its legitimacy (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273364)

CxO's will care about their mission critical software running on an OS that cannot be trusted

Re:FSF burning the last of its legitimacy (1)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273482)

CxOs will like Vista. It's more secure then XP and trusted computing works just fine for a CxO. They want to control documents internally, DRM can help provide that. They want to make sure they're running licensed copies of software. DRM can provide that. They want to make sure their employees aren't using their equipment to pirate content... DRM can help with that.

Re:FSF burning the last of its legitimacy (1)

AdamKG (1004604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273490)

Region encoding on DVDs sucks... but does that keep people from buying DVDs... NO NO NO!
Funny, it's stopped me.

The site has bad design... (3, Interesting)

kosmosik (654958) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273180)

Really. :) I think the message that the site wish to send is good - don't use Vista since it limits your freedoms. OK for me. I can take care of my freedoms on my own no problem.

But the point I am making is the site is crappy. The site is ugly. It consists of bunch of long TEXTS (like anybody likes to read long texts). It should communicate better with some pictorials and clear picture of what Vista will not allow you to do.

Re:The site has bad design... (4, Interesting)

Virtual_Raider (52165) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273396)

I was thinking the same. The design sucks, it has NO SUBSTANCE whatsoever. It is sad that they are so incredibly lame at communicating their idea.

I went in wanting to be convinced, but instead it comes across as a Fanboi site like many others pointed out. The main page should have the juice straight away. You get in and you read the bulletpoints: Windoze is teh sux because a) It will take away your freedom to copy your legally owned music (insert link)

b) It will spy on you, reporting your every move back to the corporations (insert link)

And so on. They really don't have a clue how to present the information, they are overly verbose for the intended audience which it is very clear they don't understand, the design is so ugly that it takes away much credibility, their claims are not backed up by concise facts, they constantly appeal to emotion, and they don't offer clear-cut instrucions for the alternative.

Also their choice of gNewSense as an alternative OS is weak because it lacks in the same departments: null communication skills, poor design, ZERO instructions. They could at least have picked Ubuntu, which looks much more professional and at least would make an unexperienced user that the thing may actually work.

Why the FSF and other antimicrosofites can't get it through their heads that the average windows user is not stupid but they are also utterly unconcerned with the technical side. From the few distros that I've seen, only Red Hat and Ubuntu seem to have picked up on this fact. If it looks ugly it breeds distrust, and if it is complicated it's deemed not worth it. Free as in Gratis is not enough. In fact, it's no different from a cheap knockoff in their minds. Don't take my word for it. Talk about it to people around you that are not tech fans and you will see, they are not idiots, they simply have different interest and this is a very, very bad attempt at interesting them and it will backfire.

Unless they completely revamp the site and make it look as serious and well presented as the marketing sites for Vista are/will be, offer sensible, to-the-point arguments, and a clear and easy guide to upgrade they would appear to the uninformed like a National Enquirer next to a Wall Street Journal.

I'm registering at the site to tell them this now, if many of us do the same maybe they will listen.

More crap from RMS (3, Insightful)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273186)

I cringe every time RMS steps out into the scene. It's like trying to tell someone to stop beating his dog, and having PETA step out; or having one of your friends jokingly call you a fag, and having half of Gay Pride suddenly show up behind him; or groping your girlfriend, and having three women from NOW jump up from the next table and tell you how much of an asshole you are and start yelling out into the whole restaurant how guys are all pigs.

RMS is the definition of a modern politician. His campaigns are "XXX IS TRASH BECAUSE IT RAPES YOU OF YOUR FREEDOMS AND KICKS YOUR DOG AND TOUCHES YOUR TEENAGE DAUGHTER DON'T EVER TOUCH XXX BECAUSE IT WILL CHAIN YOU TO YOUR CHAIR AND GLUE YOUR EYES OPEN AND MAKE YOU GIVE YOUR SOUL TO THE BIG GIANT HEAD!!!!!!!111111111" I'm sick and tired of him, and his GPL (LGPL is a great general purpose license), and his bullshit. The only time he says something nice is when XXX becomes GPL XXX; if you want free marketing, start your new product closed source and get RMS to shriek at you, then open source it so he gives you tons of free positive press for 5 weeks.

Why can't we have someone out to show how great Open Source Software is? Talk about what Ubuntu Linux offers, what RedHat and Novel can do for you, what people like about Debian and Gentoo enough to make them use those over more sophisticated derivatives (like Ubuntu), and the various applications. Don't come out here spewing about how everything else is crap, because ONLY the fanatics care; anyone else either wishes you weren't representing them, doesn't care because they're already using OSS and never actually listen to you talk, or uses something else and doesn't quite get why you're such a nutball over this "DRM" and "proprietary freedom restrictions" crap.

Re:More crap from RMS (2, Insightful)

radarjd (931774) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273358)

Why can't we have someone out to show how great Open Source Software is? Talk about what Ubuntu Linux offers, what RedHat and Novel can do for you, what people like about Debian and Gentoo enough to make them use those over more sophisticated derivatives (like Ubuntu), and the various applications.

I agree with you entirely. I don't see any problem with informing people exactly what DRM / trusted computing requirements Vista may contain, but let them draw their own conclusions about it. The emotional campaigns claiming the end of the computing will simply will not succeed, because it's not the end of the computing world for most people. Most people just want to operate their computer, and when they actually see the restrictions for themselves or when they see what the alternative can do -- that's when they'll get upset.

Re:More crap from RMS (1)

SiliconEntity (448450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273392)

Mod parent up. Best RMS related post ever.

Re:More crap from RMS (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273458)

I agree.

Soul collection is down 15% since RMS started banging on about Vista.
Someone shut him up please (I can make it worth your while).

Yours etc

The Big Giant Head

I miss DOS (4, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273190)

I'm not a dedicated MicroSoft hater, but I do miss the days when I gave my computer "commands" not "suggestions". Nothing is quite so aggrivating as hidden directories and being told that I cannot delete something.

Re:I miss DOS (1)

Pink Tinkletini (978889) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273272)

As a lifelong Mac user, never have I been so aggravated as I've been in the past week at my new job, where I'm forced to use Windows XP. My workstation never does what I tell it to do, constantly condescending to me when I attempt to delete files or go into system folders (oops, directories). It second-guesses my every action and forces me to click through endless confirmation dialogs. And it throws too many fucking options in your face--which would be better configured, by the way, from whatever the Windows equivalent is of property list files--only to fucking forget them the next time you open the application.

And this fucking "multiple document interface" is a piece of fucking shit, and what boggles me, with the endless screens of unnecessary configurability, there's no way to turn the fucking thing OFF. What happens when I want my tool palette on my second display? I'm fucking out of luck. And if I want different desktop pictures across my screens, well, shit, I have to fire up MS Paint and push the fucking pixels myself. That's just fucking retarded.

So if you want to be in the driver's seat, the Mac is for you. If you want to be treated like a child, go with Microsoft. Sorry for this rant.

Re:I miss DOS (1)

GFree (853379) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273284)

Nothing is quite so aggravating as hidden directories and being told that I cannot delete something.

(a) The former: you can show hidden directories in all versions of Windows. A few clicks in the Folder Options menu and that's it. How is that aggravating? Because they're not shown by default? Come on.
(b) The latter: yes it can get annoying, though there are free programs that can force delete a file
(eg. http://www.softpedia.com/get/Security/Secure-clean ing/Pocket-Killbox.shtml [softpedia.com] )
At least you didn't type Microsoft with a dollar sign.

Re:I miss DOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273526)

Using ls -a and rm -f is a lot easier than casting about for alternatives.

I love Vista (1, Funny)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273246)

Its so bad.

gNuisance (2, Insightful)

John Nowak (872479) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273266)

Is the FSF seriously backing a "distro" that's just Ubuntu with the logos and useful software taken out and calling it gNewSense (which sounds a /lot/ like gNuisance)? One that requires 35GB of HD space to create and install? Yes, this is a great way to get people to avoid Vista!

I'm not trolling... It is seriously unfortunate that they do not make more realistic recommendations that people might actually consider.

Re:gNuisance (1)

NorbrookC (674063) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273596)

Is the FSF seriously backing a "distro" that's just Ubuntu with the logos and useful software taken out and calling it gNewSense (which sounds a /lot/ like gNuisance)?

Yes, unfortunately, yes. To quote: take all the binary blobs out ..., which I read as "removing all the drivers everyone else has been begging the hardware manufacturers to provide for Linux," along with any software that might have been released to run under Linux, but isn't "free" or (gasp) open source!

"Microsoft is evil! Vista is the spawn of the devil, it's awful, terrible and will rob you of your freedom! Oh, please, please use this crippled Linux distribution instead!" This whole campaign looks almost like Microsoft designed it for them. I'm sure there's a lot of snickering going on in Redmond.

Misplaced energy? (2, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273320)

I wonder whether this is a classic case of misplaced energy and effort on the part of the FSF. Why don't they (the FSF) direct their energy to improving "end user" software on free operating systems like Linux with GUIs like KDE, GNOME, XFCE etc?

I find the user experience on all these platforms to be greatly wanting! In addition, all user software I have seen on these platforms still sucks big time!

Frog in boling water (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273322)

With each new update, M$ is going to continue to release more and more restrictions in their OS,
to the point that before users know it, they end up wrapped in a virtual straightjacket.

  Of course, if they tried to do it all at once there would be a huge outcry, but add it in
S__L__O__W__L__Y.........

Vista isn't bad. (1)

Black Copter Control (464012) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273356)

It just doesn't always do what you want it to do. For us, this is a good thing(tm).

The kettle and so.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273404)

Although I don't like the Microsoft company for the way they do business I think the FSF is portraying itself like a dumbass here. Sure, you can now gloat about how Windows has several new exploits. I seem to recall the Linux kernel, as well as several other open source projects, to suffer from just the same thing.

But most of all... Please, please, please, don't start dissing other products when you can't do much better yourself. I can still run my old Doom DOS executable in Windows Vista. I can't run SquidGuard (MUCH newer than Doom) on a current Linux distribution because certain components changed in such a way that they're not backwards compatible. Yes, I can hear people shout now: I can download the components and install them besides the current ones so that it will run after all.

Now care to sum up all the software which CAN'T be run this way?

FSF has its place and so does Vista. Its really showing a bad taste if one of them starts cricizing the other as if it is so much better. It isn't. And yes, for the record: I can also come up with plenty of reasons why Vista sucks when compared to FSF "products", but thats not the topic here.

Site wants to use MSXML 5.0 add-in... (1)

ndykman (659315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273436)

Okay, actually visiting the site on Vista (RTM release), and the site wants to run MSXML 5.0? Why? I mean, if you are doing a site on how MS stuff sucks, maybe you should have a webpage that doesn't use any of it? Just an idea.

hating microsoft is so 90s (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17273494)

Doesn't this joker realize that hating microsoft is such a 90s thing to do?

Here in the 00s we hate on google instead.

Not an upgrade? (4, Interesting)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273496)

Has he used the RC? I'm finding it a huge upgrade on just about every front. A welcome improvement that will increase my productivity. Of course I'm going to need to upgrade my system to get the most out of it, but I was planning on doing that in February anyway.

This is nothing more than a giant pile of FUD. Accountability in drivers is a huge upgrade, not some soul sucking attempt to steal your humanity. Besides... since when did 'freedom' apply to our computers and operating systems. What's next? My office chair needs the freedom to vote? If I double click on it, it does the job I want it to do, I don't care if Stalin programmed it and titled it "3D Studio Max for the advancement of the Social Utopia and down fall of Democracy." It works it works. Vista works very well. Windows XP hasn't let me down yet, and I'm looking forward to some new glitz and sparkle.

My cameras are black boxes, my lights are black boxes, my chroma paint is top secret, I eat proprietary cereal, my car's design is patented, my apartment design is owned by another company, I can't even paint my walls without permission. but wait... my Operating System... THAT's a holy grail of democracy and freedom. I use almost 0 Open Source software day in and day out, because in my field, it's all worthless except for linux. Gimp? Pfff... yeah why don't I just use MS Paint?

If the author drives an open source car, lives in an open source house, uses only open source hardware, only eats food from freely available recipes and sleeps on a mattress with a freely available design I'll give a shit.

Most important aspect? (2, Interesting)

Secret Rabbit (914973) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273512)

"""
the most important aspect of owning and using a computer: your control over what it does
"""

So, who's opinion is this? B/c I know that my parents and any "normal" person that I've run into couldn't care less about ultimate control over there computer aside from being able to install M$ Word, etc and run a few games on it like MahJong. Since I do believe that Vista will allow this, I really don't think that any other freedom that might be limited will even be noticed.

So, how important is this to the average user?

On the flip side, those that need and/or want to have total control over what there computer does are probably already running a Linux/BSD/etc. That or they know how to bend windows to meet there needs.

All this campaign will do is further confuse an already very confusing issue for the average user.

Re:Most important aspect? (0, Troll)

flyneye (84093) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273558)

So you might as well run Win98 then,eh?

it doesnt matter (1)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17273588)

honestly it doesnt matter how good or bad vista is. you HAVE to buy it with a new PC there is no alternative unless you switch to a Mac. You could buy a new laptop and install linux and MS doesnt care because you paid for and bought vista.

In a nutshell we all know vista is monkey poo. We all also know it will be on every desktop in 2 years.
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