Friday, November 18, 2005

Free hardware software

Never heard of a Free Hardware Foundation similar to the FSF for software. I always believe anything tangible and manufactured is never free. Recently launched the iT free PCs. Is it latent advertising or purely munificence? And how is Windows part of a free product ?

I am asked to give an introduction on computers to people who have rarely worked with computers. What is interesting is Windows forms part of the curriculum. I have used Linux for a long time but lets face it - for someone who is not computer savvy, Linux is nowhere in the picture. Probably Macintosh comes close. But why should anyone invest in new hardware (till the x86 version is out).

Branding is higher for software than hardware. To a new user it does not matter whether the CPU is Intel or AMD or cdrom is from Sony or Samsung, he accepts a system as long as it can run MS Office. The reason being functionality must be same across similar products.

The usability factor dictates Windows. Naturally new learners expect Windows as the only software. Technology must be accessible to everyone through free hardware, software or both. Product promotion while legitimate cannot be separated unless the free stuff is channelised through governing organizations.