Free software group asks NGOs to boycott Windows 7

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Free software group asks NGOs to boycott Windows 7

Says organisations should choose the free software route.

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is to write to the leaders of 500 of the most influential non-governmental organisations (NGOs) worldwide to urge them to refuse Windows 7.

The letters will outline the seven areas where the FSF says Microsoft and the commercial software market is damaging: invading privacy, poisoning education, locking users in, abusing standards, leveraging monopolistic behaviour, enforcing Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), and threatening user security.

"The dependency of organisations working for social change and improvement on software owned and exclusively controlled by Microsoft is leading society into an era of digital restrictions, threatening and limiting our freedoms,” said FSF executive director Peter Brown .

“Free software on the other hand, is about freedom, not price, and it is designed to give you the ability to study and improve the software for your own needs. Today, we're asking leaders in the non-profit sector to switch to the free software GNU/Linux operating system for all their desktop and computer infrastructure needs."

The move is a stepping up of the FSF's campaign timed to coincide with the launch of Windows 7 and follows an earlier letter sent to 499 chief executives of Fortune 500 companies (the FSF decided not to send one to Microsoft.)

"Charities, NGOs, and other non-profit organisations that choose proprietary software are undertaking bad public policy, often through misinformation or a failure to see their technology choices as connected to their social missions,” said FSF campaigns manager Matt Lee.

“We hope to alert these decision makers to the positive contribution they can make to society by switching their organisations to free software. I hope these groups will make a public policy commitment to freedom and join a growing list of organizations who understand that sinking money and time into proprietary software is inconsistent with the core values of freedom and progress."

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