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Common values – Finding FOSS

Hey, someone who has selected 4DOS and OS/2 and then found FOSS is right up with me! Bruse Byfield describes Why FOSS Matters to Me (But Maybe Not to You).

IBM’s abandonment of OS/2 under pressure from Microsoft taught me the even more important lesson that I couldn’t count on corporations to protect my interests as a consumer. When I discovered free software, I realized immediately that my interests as a computer user were more likely to be protected by a community. At the very least, the availability of the source code made it less likely that my interests would be abandoned.

The sad saga of DeScribe provides another case to examine. It was not able to compete despite having many attributes that made it competitive. It does follow Bruce’s comment about the imbedded solution that is how Microsoft managed to take over from Lotus or WordPerfect and squash DeScribe. But then, the entrepreneurial shenanigan’s of DeScribe’s business didn’t help either. Star Office, now ended up FOSS thanks to SUN and it is now a ‘safer’ option for an office suite that is community supported and without license encumberances. But I, and some of my clients, still pine for DeScribe. Thank goodness it runs well in Wine so we can at least recover our ancient documents.

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