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Windows7sins: FSF launches campaign against Windows 7 and proprietary software

by peterb Contributions Published on Aug 26, 2009 02:34 AM Free Software Foundation launches public awareness campaign against Microsoft and proprietary software
BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 -- The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today launched its "Windows 7 Sins" campaign at, making the case against Microsoft and proprietary software. Preceding the upcoming release of Microsoft Windows 7, the campaign's first public action will also be today -- a freedom rally at 12:00pm on the historic Boston Common.

The campaign outlines seven major areas where proprietary software in general and Microsoft Windows in particular hurt all computer users: invading privacy, poisoning education, locking users in, abusing standards, leveraging monopolistic behavior, enforcing Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), and threatening user security.

These points are outlined in the text of a letter the campaign mailed to the leaders of the Fortune 500 companies, now published on its Web site. The letter warns "Windows 7 decision makers" about the "lack of privacy, freedom, and security" they will suffer should they adopt Windows 7, and makes the case that they should instead adopt free software such as the GNU/Linux operating system and the office productivity suite

FSF executive director Peter Brown said, "Free software is about freedom, not price. Our growing dependence on computers and software requires our society to reevaluate its obsession with proprietary software that spies on citizens' activities and limits their freedom to be in control of their computing. There is free software available right now for any activity you or your business needs, and it is better in the most important aspect -- it respects your freedom."

The FSF is asking concerned citizens to help get this message out by nominating other organizational leaders who are also "Windows 7 decision makers" to receive a version of the letter. Brown continued, "Many people are frustrated by the organizations they interact with and their support for a software industry that works against the freedom of citizens. Our national and local governments, NGOs, and our universities and schools that use proprietary software are undertaking bad public policy, often through ignorance or misplaced values. We hope to alert these decision makers to the positive contribution they can make to society by switching their organizations to free software."

FSF campaigns manager Matt Lee added, "With, we hope to make businesses and computer users aware of the growing dangers of proprietary software from both Microsoft and other companies such as Apple and Adobe. With the release of Microsoft's updated operating system, business leaders have the opportunity to escape to freedom and join a growing list of leaders who understand that sinking money and time into proprietary software is a dead-end inconsistent with their best interests."

More information about the campaign, including the text of the Fortune 500 letter and a mailing list that will provide subscribers with information updates and action alerts, is online at

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at and, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

About Free Software and Open Source

The free software movement's goal is freedom for computer users. Some, especially corporations, advocate a different viewpoint, known as "open source," which cites only practical goals such as making software powerful and reliable, focuses on development models, and avoids discussion of ethics and freedom. These two viewpoints are different at the deepest level. For more explanation, see

      Media Contacts

Matt Lee
Campaigns Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942 x24 <>

Peter Brown
Executive Director
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942 <>   
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