Microsoft's operating system and most of its software, with another proprietary software, are used in public computers (educational establishments, city halls, public buildings, etc.), what not only creates a great technological dependence, but also a great public expense, which we all pay with our own money. Depending on the country, that expense is around $ 50,000,000 (36,090,698 €) or even more.
The alternative to that expense and that dependence comes from free software generally, and GNU/Linux particularly. I quote some reasons, although there are more:
- It's available for free. It can be downloaded with no cost, and it can be obtained in CD/DVD with a very low cost. A copy can be used in as many computers as you want with no restrictions.
- Owing to the fact that it's free software, anyone has the right to modify even the source code anyhow.
- GNU/Linux has not difficult requirements to ensure that the licenses are upheld. In a firm with hundreds or thousands of computers, it will be necessary to have a great number of people only to ensure that every computer upholds the EULAs for Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office and other proprietary apps. With GNU/Linux there is not fear of audits by surprise with possible punishments for breaking licenses.
- GNU/Linux is much more secure with a very low rate of infection for viruses, trojans, worms, spy software and other bad codes.
- GNU/Linux uses open formats and standards. These are which comply with industrial regulations and which can be used by any software developer to create compatible apps. That's the case of text processors, spreadsheets and other kinds of files. The use of open formats allows the user to have a total control of his/her data.
- Ethic and morality are very high in GNU/Linux and in the other free software due to the great openness of its development process and to the availability of the source code. GNU/Linux has never condemned in a judge for breaking antitrust laws or other offenses, nor had to pay sanctions for the unauthorized copy of technology developed by other firms.
- GNU/Linux is a better choice to be used in the academic institutions for various reasons. Among them the fact that there aren't secrets, so students will have the opportunity to study how do the computers work, instead of learn only how to use them.
- For government organizations, GNU/Linux allows the data transparency, because it stores them with compatible formats to the whole industry. This transparency is important to keep an effective democracy. This allows any user to access to his/her data without having to buy expensive proprietary software. Anyway, it's more secure to keep the data with a standard format than using a proprietary format.
- With GNU/Linux there are very few reasons to be afraid of backdoors. It's partly because the whole source code is available to be inspected. A backdoor is a secret method to obtain remote access to a PC. There is a (very justifiable) worry from governments and corporations about such doors has been added in an undercover manner to the proprietary software, allowing developers and other governments to access to their confidential data.
If we want to save money for our things, to improve our countries and our public services, to increase salaries, to boost the development of free apps and their quality, to boost the development and competitiveness of our countries, support this petition.