Friday, January 30, 2009

You Bought Windows. Do You Own It?

No.  You don't own Windows. It's that simple. You may think you own Windows, but in reality, you've only purchased a license to use it.

All you need do is read the EULA (End User License Agreement) that Microsoft  issues with each copy of Windows.

This site has a terrific breakdown of this EULA in plain English.  Just compare the legal language with the "Plain English" translation. It's an eye opener for sure.

One part of the MS EULA I recommend you read is section 1.1.  Section 1.1 states, "Installation and use. You may install, use, access, display and run one copy of the Software on a single computer, such as a workstation, terminal or other device ("Workstation Computer"). The Software may not be used by more than one processor at any one time on any single Workstation Computer." (emphasis is mine).

This section means you're allowed to install and use Windows on one computer.  If you install your licensed copy of Windows on a second or third computer,  you're in violation of the EULA.

Why have big Brother Microsoft looking over your shoulder restricting your use of their operating system?

Get Linux and get rid of the MS EULA!

Linux uses the GPL (Gnu General Public License). The GPL has four foundatonal priciples as stated on its web site:

"The Foundations of the GPL

Nobody should be restricted by the software they use. There are four freedoms that every user should have:
  • the freedom to use the software for any purpose,
  • the freedom to change the software to suit your needs,
  • the freedom to share the software with your friends and neighbors, and
  • the freedom to share the changes you make.
When a program offers users all of these freedoms, we call it free software."

In short, it gives you the freedom to own and use Linux and give (or sell) Linux to others.  There's no activation code to enter.  You won't have anyone looking over your shoulder.  Your copy of Linux won't be de-activated because you installed it on more than one computer system in your home or office. 

Linux and the GPL give you REAL freedom to use your computer.  This is why community centers, schools, churches and other organization around the globe are switching to Linux.  They can install Linux on as many systems as they own without breaking any laws or licensing agreements.

So can you.

Get Linux.

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