Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Open source software, WS

Open source software is created by its users in a Bazaar environment, as Raymond explains. Users have a well earned sense of ownership and pride in their software. This made me consider recent commercials for Windows 7 with the slogan “Windows 7 was my idea.” Microsoft seems to want their users to feel the same way about a product that users have no part in making and which cost a whole lot more than Linux. Why? Are Free Software starting to make a dent in their profits, or is the sense of power that comes from “controlling” the software simply a good marketing ploy. Another important question is why are Free Software not more widely used considering how much better they are than other choices? I would bet that it is the lack of advertising.
As we discussed earlier in the course, people are often overwhelmed by the endless options they have that they will often simply settle for the norm. Without advertising, Free Software is unknowable and intimidating to the mainstream consumer. Not to mention its attendant subculture of computer experts and programmers that makes the average person feel out of place using such an “elite” tool. Why isn’t their more effort going into changing this?

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