The devil, often times, is in the details. And when it comes to details, the Free Software Foundation, the nonprofit organization that supports the free software movement, is taking no prisoners.
They have just deemed all Microsoft software as malware — good thing that Redmond is branching into the hardware side of things, then, eh? Now, admittedly, the definition of malware is all encompassing here, but it makes for a very interesting ready, nevertheless.
Here is what this philosophical looking page on the gnu.org website reads:
“Malware means software designed to function in ways that mistreat or harm the user. (This does not include accidental errors.) This page explains how Microsoft software is malware. Malware and nonfree software are two different issues. The difference between free software and nonfree software is in whether the users have control of the program or vice versa.
It’s not directly a question of what the program does when it runs. However, in practice nonfree software is often malware, because the developer’s awareness that the users would be powerless to fix any malicious functionalities tempts the developer to impose some.”
You be the judge here, friends and foes!
Anyway, the fine folks over at the foundation have also made a bullet point list of stuff that they consider malware. And technically, it goes after all proprietary software makers, not just Microsoft, but you get the drift.
The FSF also accuses Microsoft of maintaining a backdoor in Windows, which is used to provide security agencies with access to user computers.
Overall this is very powerful stuff from the nonprofit organization. Then again, quite in line with what we have come to expect from them in recent times. Playing on the front foot, as they say.
Thoughts on this, people? I’m all for open source software, but is proprietary and commercial software all bad? Would the world of computing be what it is now if things were completely open source? The comment box below is itching for action!