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There IS an incentive to switch

There IS an incentive to switch

Posted Dec 16, 2004 10:13 UTC (Thu) by erwbgy (subscriber, #4104)
Parent article: Porting free software to Windows

If Windows users can switch to an operating system that has a familiar
environment and the applications that they are used to, then many of them
will do so to get away from viruses, worms and spyware. This is a huge
problem in the Windows world, and I know many users who are fed up
getting infected while trying to install the latest Windows patches, or
spending lots of money on anti-virus, ant-spyware, anti-etc.

I know it is possible to have similar problems on Linux/BSD, but the
design of the operating system and the fact that developers care about
the problem mean that the impact is much less.

Get them used to the applications, make them confortable with the
environment and they will come. Just don't ask me to use Windows :-)


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There IS an incentive to switch

Posted Dec 16, 2004 21:46 UTC (Thu) by jabby (guest, #2648) [Link]

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.

Jason


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