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You are here: Home Bulletins 2013 spring Friends don't let friends use Windows 8

Friends don't let friends use Windows 8

by libby Contributions Published on Aug 16, 2013 05:02 PM
As FSF members, you know that there are a million reasons to use GNU/Linux. There are the ethical reasons along with the practical ones, and of course there's the vibrant community of free software users around the world. So why isn't GNU/Linux the #1 operating system out there? Mainly because of a lack of knowledge and a lack of experience. There are probably hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people who are interested in GNU/Linux but have never tried it and don't know where to start when it comes to changing operating systems. The good news is that we can change these curious bystanders into die-hard free software users; all we need is your help.

Windows 8 was released last fall. Right now, a lot of people who've been using Windows 7 are wondering if they should switch to its expensive new replacement. To many, it seems like the only option. What's worse, Microsoft is leading the way in implementing Secure Boot, which makes it harder to upgrade Windows 8 machines to free operating systems. And that's nothing compared to Restricted Boot, which makes certain machines--like tablets--completely impossible to upgrade. Restricted boot is not good for software freedom, but it gives us a good opportunity to highlight the problems with nonfree operating systems and get people excited about switching to GNU/Linux.

More than 8,500 people receive this Bulletin and tens of thousands more will read this article on URL:{}. If each of you were to help one person install GNU/Linux for the first time, it would transform the free software movement. So this summer, talk to that friend who seems fascinated by all the mysterious stuff you're typing into your terminal. Help a friend who can't afford a new computer rejuvenate their current, virus-laden one. Rescue someone with a Windows 7 computer who is distraught at the prospect of switching to Windows 8. Better yet, find five of these people and host an install party. Make sure to show these friends our infographic at It's is a great tool to help get people excited about ditching Windows and upgrading to GNU/Linux.

As free software advocates, we can write FAQs and pamphlets til the cows come home, but when it comes to installing GNU/Linux for the first time, there is no substitute for in-person assistance from a friend.

Friends don't let friends use Windows 8! Sign our pledge to help someone upgrade to GNU/Linux at Then, write to and tell us how it went. We'll choose a success story to include in the next Bulletin.

Software freedom for all is just an install party away. Happy hacking.

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