Microsoft is set to launch Office 2010 Starter -- a stripped down and ad-supported (but totally free [as in price]) version of Office 2010. Is this Microsoft's response to OpenOffice and Google Apps? Or is this an opportunity to get PC buyers to "try then buy" complete Office suites? Here are some thoughts.

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StayPuff's picture
Created by StayPuff 8 years 5 days ago
Category: Opposition   Tags:
aboutblank's picture


8 years 4 days 23 hours 52 min ago


Not free software

Microsoft Office 2010 Starter Edition is non-free software. What this means is that Microsoft Office 2010 fails to respect the users' essential freedoms. This fsdaily.com website is all about the promotion of freedom respecting software. I voted this down because I can't find anything either promotes free software or promotes society to consider and value their freedom.

Freedom respecting alternatives to this would include Abiword and Gnumeric

knowing-card's picture


8 years 3 days 23 hours 19 min ago


The Opposition section of FSDaily

This fsdaily.com website is all about the promotion of freedom respecting software. I voted this down because I can't find anything either promotes free software or promotes society to consider and value their freedom.

When you go to submit a story to FSDaily you see the definition of the Opposition section as this:

"Opposition - opposition to free software - fud, opponents in the media, negative reviews of free software, negative reviews of opponents, etc."

This news gives us another example of how Microsoft (free software's biggest single opponent) is struggling to find ways to: stay competitive; to fight unauthorized copying; to fight free software; and to spread FUD.

It shows that latest strategy of Microsoft's is to fight free (as in freedom) software (and unauthorized copying too) with a free (as in price), crippled, ad-riddled version of MS Office.

It shows that MS is again polluting the term "free" by giving the world an awful example of what you get when use software which is "free". They reinforce the idea that "free" means gratis and that, when you don't pay for software, you get a poor quality product with fewer features and you will be nagged by annoying ads and upgrade requests.

Now, while the post itself doesn't necessarily point these things out, I don't think that stops it from being of interest to the free software community.

All it needs is a little perspective. And that's what we can provide with our comments.

dave's picture


8 years 3 days 22 hours 51 min ago



I agree 100% with your last statement. The world needs more news written from a free software perspective. I don't mean that it should be free software biased. I just mean that so much of the news ignores the issues relating to software freedom.

I'd really like to see news roundups that put more focus on the issues that are important to us. If anyone in the community is interested in doing this regularly please let me know. We could use our blog section to host them.

aboutblank's picture


7 years 52 weeks 19 hours 35 min ago


My problem with this is the

My problem with this is the fact that readers are not invited to consider their freedom. I know that there are thousands of stories posted here that do not invite people to consider their freedom, but I accept those stories because they have a stronger link to promoting freedom than this particular story.

In this particular example, the only thing that readers are lead to understand is that Microsoft is starting a new web service. I really don't understand how this example shows that Microsoft is struggling to stay competitive, prevent unauthorised copying and so on. If there really is such a link, then make it explicit, and don't just rely on the reader to conclude an opinion because of any implied link or unstated opinion. I like what Roy Schestowitz of Boycott Novell does because he makes his points very explicit (despite his habit of treating speculation as fact or otherwise being fallacious).

The word 'free' has two legitimate general meanings: one is a reference to gratis and the other is a reference to liberty. As a result, it is legitimate for people to promote gratis software as 'free software'. What we have to do is make it clear that we are referring to freedom when we use the term 'free software'.

So once again, if this story is intended to show that Microsoft is actively fighting the free software community, then say how it relates! Don't just rely that the user will conclude such conclusion when none can be drawn from reading this story by itself.

knowing-card's picture


7 years 52 weeks 15 hours 51 min ago


Well that's what the comments section is for

You have solved your own problem here by making you comments known.