Boycott Vista and Office
Over at CNN Money, Business 2.0 Magazine writer Owen Thomas discusses the hype concerning Vista and the excessive amount of time and money spent on its development. The conclusion?
So here's a modest proposal: Boycott Vista. Keep your old Windows XP PC around. Don't buy a new one. That's the only way we have to let Microsoft know Vista is an overhyped, late, and pointless update to XP - a perfectly fine operating system.
I think this suggestion is knowingly unrealistic, but it does raise another issue. Isn't it about time writing teachers boycott MS Office?
Don't be a lemming. Consider the consequences of spending your own or your institution's money just to have those one or two "must have" features that you did fine without 5 or 10 years ago. Don't contribute to and perpetuate the millions of dollars spent on MS Office each year. After all, are there any difference between MS Office and OpenOffice really worth the Microsoft tax most of our society pays when it comes to word processing?
And let's not forget the significant principles regarding knowledge sharing and strategies for collaboration behind open source development. It always amazes me that predominantly liberal higher education privileges capitalistic proprietary development of software and knowledge over open source. Think about the values you endorse when purchasing Microsoft Office instead of using OpenOffice. Microsoft may no longer regularly be described as Evil as it once was during antitrust legislation only a few years back, but that doesn't mean that writing teachers shouldn't join the good guys :-)