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On 11/29/2013 07:20 PM, Virgil Arrington wrote:
James wrote in response to John:

I didn't know we considered trialware "cunning".

They let people create & edit documents for a while and then hold them
hostage, until the users coughs up for MS Office.

I wouldn't consider it either cunning or holding people hostage to provide them with a free trial of software that is otherwise only available for a price. That, indeed, has been the essence of shareware -- try before you buy. Anybody obtaining a trial version of MS-Office is clearly told that it is a trial version; no cunning, no deception.

If you don't like it, don't buy it.

The creators of the shareware concept (I recall Bob Wallace of the PC-Write days) realized that buying software is often a crap-shoot. You don't know until after you've bought the program whether it will do what you need, or whether you will appreciate the manner in which it does it. This is especially important in the case of an office suite as users will tend to use them on a daily basis, eventually becoming married to their program. MS allows some users to try their program before making such a commitment.

For my part, on my last computer purchase, I received a free "starter" version of MS-Office, with some limitations on features, but without any limitation on time. I can use the starter version forever.

I'm no fan of MS, and I'm sure I don't fully understand all of its business practices, but I truly hope that disdain for Redmond is not the primary motivation for LO and other forms of FOSS. And, yet, it's a theme that recurs on nearly every FOSS related forum I read.

IMHO, it's better to focus on what's good about LO than what's evil about MS.



Hi Virgil,

About 13 years ago I started doing some website work. I used Microsoft Frontpage. I had no feelings about Microsoft one way or another. I figured if I was doing some website work, I should get some tech e-mails. That is where I started learning about Microsoft. Some of the things they've done are listed here, in a report to the European Commission:

Think about the number of companies they have put out of business, not because of superior Microsoft products, but because of greed and unethical practices. Think of the employees of those companies who lost their jobs. Look at the companies Microsoft has partnered with through the years. Most of them have gone broke. Look at their promise to have their formats be open standards. How many years ago was that promise? Are they trying to make it happen? Look at the way they were bribing people to get the ISO approval. I could go on all night.

I didn't wake up one morning and decide I'm not going to like Microsoft. My feelings towards them developed over a period of years. The tactics they used in the past they are still trying to use today. I try to be an honest, ethical person. I prefer to do business with honest, ethical companies, and support honest, ethical folks like The Document Foundation.



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