Kill Microsoft with Ubuntu, not BitTorrent

Techdirt: How Pursuing Software Piracy Hurts Proprietary Software Firms

After all, as Microsoft and others have long admitted, you’re much better off if someone is using an unauthorized version of your software, than if they’re using the competition (especially if that competition is free). If they’re using an unauthorized version of your software, then at least there’s a chance that they’ll either buy it at a later date or convince others to buy it. However, by putting such a big effort into cracking down on software piracy, all the industry has done is highlight why people are better off going with free alternatives.

This is a big reason why I’m using Ubuntu as my only operating system.  I dislike Microsoft, and have no interest in Vista.  But I’m not going to pirate it.  I dislike stealing, as well.  I won’t say that I’ve never pirated software or music or movies.  But when there is a free, open-source equivalent that fits my needs and I can live with the drawbacks (Ubuntu is obviously rougher than Windows.  But nothing deal-breaking for me.  YMMV.), I’m going to go with that, even though I know I could get a cracked copy of Vista or Photoshop or whatever expensive software I wanted.

Of course, I kind of shot myself in the foot with my last computer – I paid for the computer with Vista because I couldn’t get it without, and then overwrote it with Ubuntu.  But I remain hopeful that my next computer won’t have the “Microsoft Tax” on it.  I’d love to see Dell or someone start shipping all their computers with full hardware warranties and then some stripped down version of Linux.  When you boot up, it tells you, “This operating system is not supported by us.  It’s up to you to put whatever OS you want on there.  We promise the hardware will work, and we’ll replace it if it doesn’t.  Otherwise, you’re on your own.”  Or something to that effect.

Anyway, it’s great to see that the use of open source is expanding.  Maybe soon we’ll also be able to convince people that jumping to Apple because you hate Microsoft is like running from the hyena and getting eaten by the tiger.  Sure, the tiger is prettier and impresses your friends, but you’re still dead.

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