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Upgrade from Windows

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Jul 29, 2015 05:16 PM

Read this article in Spanish.

Microsoft uses draconian law to put Windows, the world's most-used operating system, completely outside the control of its users. Neither Windows users nor independent experts can view the system's source code, make modifications or fixes, or copy the system. This puts Microsoft in a dominant position over its customers, which it takes advantage of to treat them as a product.

By contrast, free software like the GNU/Linux operating system is developed by professional and volunteer communities working transparently, freely sharing their work with each other and the world. Users have meaningful influence over the software development process and complete choice over what code they run. This means the software usually treats them with respect. Even if a free software developer took a page from Microsoft's book and began abusing its users, it would have no way to keep them locked in -- when this happens, independent experts copy the source code, remove the offending bits and help people switch to the user-respecting version.

Pledge to switch to GNU/Linux or help a friend switch

Read about the campaign to upcycle Windows 7


Try a free OS and programs

The FSF maintains a list of endorsed GNU/Linux distributions, and there are myriad resources online for getting started. If you want to try free software but you can't be persuaded to leave Windows quite yet, try these free programs that work on Windows.

Spread the word

We can't hope to match Microsoft's huge advertising budget, but if you're on social media you can help us show there's another way: use the #FreeFromWindows hashtag and encourage your followers to steer clear of Windows.


Examples of Windows' abuses

Watch a short video about the free software movement

Materials specific to each recent version of Windows


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Close Windows, Open Doors

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