In recent years, I’ve bought three copies of a useful piece of software as part of package deals on computers. The software licences include free on-line upgrades, and hardly a week goes by without an offer of some tweak or patch to improve the workings of things. I gratefully partake.
I’ve been a loyal customer of this software company for almost 20 years. But when I heard what the newest version of their product is like, I began considering alternatives. And in the past few days, I have received offensive messages from them that made up my mind real quick.
Dear Reader, have you heard of Microsoft Windows Genuine Advantage? It’s offered to users of Windows XP as a free upgrade. This “genuinely advantageous” little program’s sole purpose is to check if the machine it’s installed on is running pirated Microsoft programs. Yet it is offered to me as if it were something I might find useful. This is exactly like if you have shopped at the same grocery store for decades, and then one day the proprietor starts frisking you for stolen goods every time you leave the store — “for your own safety’s sake”.
Linux, baby, here I come! I know there’s going to be a learning hurdle, but it’ll be worth it to get an operating system that puts my computing power to work for me, not for various large American corporations including the music and movie industry. And not getting called a thief every time I start a machine of mine will be a genuine advantage.