Being an active member on tech forums, you come across some really interesting things and people. I have a lot of friends and readers due to these very forums. This article was in the making for quite a long time, but recent events on one of India’s biggest tech forums made me finally sit and write this.

Is Windows/Microsoft the biggest hindrance in FOSS adoption? Are FOSS supporters pro-FOSS or anti-MS?

The OS wars is a huge part of forum activity. I like these OS wars, they are a huge resource for learning about the history of an OS or some features not known about the OS. Then again, you come across some really dead head absolutely mindless fascists whose sole objective is to bash Microsoft & Apple (Microsoft more than Apple).

I find these guys to be like the great Osama Bin Laden. The guy who leads the group that caused havoc around the world.

Osama bin Laden, in the simplest terms, propagates anti-US feelings in the name of Islam. He uses Islam as a cover shield for propagating his agenda of generating anti-West feelings. What has he done in reality other than destroying the peace of the world? He has generated a huge amount of hatred against the religion of Islam in the eyes of the West and all others affected by terrorism.

A few forum members are no different. Their main objective to propagate anti-MS feelings and they do so using FOSS as a shield. I refer to these people as FOSS Fascists & hence the title. They will bash Microsoft for everything they do saying that it hampers FOSS. Are they actually promoting FOSS? No. As a matter of fact they are doing what Osama is doing, propagating anti-MS feelings in the name of promoting FOSS. This is detrimental to the development and adoption of FOSS by casual users. This move by some fascists actually is back firing very much like Osama’s. People want nothing to do with FOSS.

The biggest threat to FOSS adoption is not Microsoft, but these very people who abuse and try to show Windows users as bad and dumb. These so called FOSS supporters go around spamming in any and every post about Microsoft with links that show MS in bad, then in the same post say, support FOSS! I had sometime back made a post about the User Based Charity Initiatives by Microsoft on a forum and keeping in true Bin Laden style these anti-MS (FOSS Supporters) crapped that entire thread by calling MS a cheat and MS users low lives. The result, a lot of members felt that this move by the so called FOSS Supporters was absolutely cheap. A member on the forum went on to say that the self proclaimed FOSS supporter was someone in the modern world who is known as a thread crapper and not a FOSS supporter.

If that is not enough these FOSS Supporters publicly pledge their support for Piracy as an alternative to DRM! How cheap is that? Why? You have something against DRM, accepted, but saying that I pledge support to Piracy to keep DRM at bay, is really detrimental to the hard work put in by the huge community behind Linux.

Linux, from what I understand was supposed to be an open and free for all initiative, but now it has more become of an anti-MS initiative. Not really good for FOSS according to me. If you want to promote FOSS do it the right way, a method by which people will see the difference between FOSS and Windows and if they want they shall switch. Saying that I support Piracy or calling MS users as gays & morons does in no way help the FOSS cause.

I can take my personal example I was a neutral user, someone who wanted to try out FOSS but about 3 and a half years ago, this forum member & others constantly kept on hurling abuses and cursing Windows users, which turned me completely off FOSS and everything related to it. There are many like me.

Let me quote India’s first prime minister here, Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru said, “The biggest enemy lies within.”

Here is a quick guide that will ensure you become the biggest FOSS supporter and in turn it’s biggest vice:

  1. Spam every thread remotely related to MS with links showing MS in bad.
  2. Call MS users dumb, gays & morons.
  3. Pledge support to piracy to avoid DRM.
  4. Keep hurling abuses at Bill Gates in every thread.
  5. Bring Microsoft & abuse it in and every thread even if it has nothing to do with the same.

So, please think again, are you supporting FOSS or are you degrading the whole FOSS movement.