There IS an incentive to switch
Posted Dec 16, 2004 21:46 UTC (Thu) by jabby
In reply to: There IS an incentive to switch
Parent article: Porting free software to Windows
Except that if they're using Firefox (instead of IE) and Thunderbird (instead of Outlook) and OpenOffice.org (instead of MSOffice) on Windows, they are already avoiding most of the viruses and worms that come to them through IE and VBScript. All they're left with are the security holes in the automatic services in Windows itself (like RPC stuff). That's not nearly as much of an incentive to move, especially if they have automatic updates turned on.
There may still be those people who make the switch all at once, running scared from malware, but those who take the slower approach of adopting open applications will feel this threat gradually lessened without having to switch OSes. This really makes the argument *against* porting open source apps to Windows because it really does help MS. Even if the users don't understand why, it gives the impression that their operating system is more secure.
I actually think that we *should* port apps to Windows to help people make the switch. The best reason is the one that the author gave (not trying to deny choice), but my reasoning is that even those who stay comfortable with Windows are laying down fertile soil for a future transition. They might not make that decision themselves. They may be forced into it by a horribly botched Longhorn release a couple years down the road... eventually, they will do what suits their individual needs best.
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