Freedom is the Next Step

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New technologies cast the old into obsolescence. Stone and bronze are weak and brittle next to steel. 16-bit and 32-bit computing are slow and limited next to 64. Over time we improve technology and the same goes for software. Since the first software was developed, code's capacity to serve us has grown with our dependence upon it. We have reached a point, now, where only free software can take us to the next step.

We have been impeded from progress in software in recent years. Proprietary software like DOS, Windows and Microsoft Office is locking most people out of the improvement process. Due to restrictive licensing and secret code, the only people that can improve that software are Microsoft employees. This disconnect between user and developer has even taken us backwards at times. When, for example, was the first time you "activated" software? A couple years ago, ten years ago? And how long has software been made? You also have to ask yourself, how does product activation benefit me?

In the free software movement, we believe you deserve freedom. Freedom from activation, freedom to improve the software you use, and the basic freedom to use the best software available. Activation and restrictive licensing do not contribute to those freedoms.

What does contribute to your freedom and to your abilities is to remove obstacles and improve product quality. There are thousands of free software projects that remove obstacles and improve their quality every day. And their products are applications that you'll never need to activate. If you are using Firefox or a GNU/Linux system, you are probably starting to realize that free software can make your life easier and less frustrating. Viruses are a non-issue, upgrades are free, and there's no limit to what you can do with or to this software.

Free software might even help you get a job. Some might say if all software were free, who'd have a job but free software creates jobs. There is and always will be more software to be written. But more generally, if you're looking for a job, knowing these applications can only increase the number of opportunities available to you.

If you can demonstrate experience and proficiency with Firefox and OpenOffice, you show that you seek out solutions. You will respect not only your organization's budget, but their independent standing in the world. So if you are one of the unfortunates who has been laid off or seen your job outsourced, take some time to download and learn some free software. There's really no limit to the knowledge you can gain if you really want it.

Free software is providing the next step for many people. It's the next step in software innovation, and in software quality. It can also provide a fertile training ground for the unemployed who want to get a jump start on their still-working peers.

All this begins with freedom. If you start with freedom as the first requirement of your software, everything else follows. More efficiency, more time, and more opportunities. If you'd like to get started, we're here to help because we believe in freedom. And ours depends on yours.

----=== Events and Links ===----

http://fsf.org/events

http://fsfeurope.org/events

http://fosdem.org

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