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More alternatives to Microsoft

A News.com reader writes that now might be a good time to help Microsoft lock itself into a corner by using free, better alternatives to its proprietary, half-baked solutions to old problems.

 

  
More alternatives to Microsoft

In response to the April 15 Perspectives column by Bruce Perens, "The Microsoft penalty that isn't":

Given that Microsoft tries all it can to stop others from producing software that can interoperate with theirs, perhaps now would be a good time to help Microsoft lock itself into a corner by using free, better alternatives to its proprietary, half-baked solutions to old problems.

Instead of Windows file sharing, why not use the advanced, fast and secure AFS file system? IBM Pittsburgh Lab (formerly the Transarc Corporation) has made a branch of the source code of its commercial version available under an open-source-style license. Compiled and ready-to-install versions for Windows, Linux and several other operating systems are available from OpenAFS.

Now would also be a good time for governments to stop spending tax money on overly expensive (and in many cases unnecessary) licenses for Microsoft Office, Microsoft Windows and others, as there are equally good, if not better, open, free and modern alternatives. At many organizations, administrators do their best to lock down their Windows workstations. In many cases, people can't even rearrange the icons on their desktops, even less install new software. Linux or a good Unix system would be an equally good and far less expensive--both purchase-wise and maintenance-wise--alternative here.

Another thing to consider is that Microsoft software is single-sourced, which would make it a risky choice in the minds of many large corporations and governments.

Robert Claeson
Stockholm, Sweden

 

 

    
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