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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Mac OS X refund

From: Andrew Savory
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Mac OS X refund
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2008 16:04:21 +0100


On 1/25/08, MJ Ray <address@hidden> wrote:

> A related Q: is starting a new enterprise with 100% free software much
> easier than switching an existing one away from proprietary software?
> Does that suggest barriers to entry are raised by proprietary software
> producers?  Are such barriers fair or in keeping with a free market?

It's definitely easier to "start as you mean to go on" than switch at
a later date. Just some of the problems of switching:
- vendor lock-in through binary formats without sufficent import/export
- cost of implementing (installing, configuring, converting legacy
files) new software
- procedures (paper and software) that get written to specific software
- (re)training of staff to use new software

Aside from bug fix "upgrades", I suspect most companies are reluctant
to change. If it ain't broke... (yes, I know, proprietary software is
broken by design etc etc).

I don't think it's an issue of whether the barriers are fair or not
(the non-fair barriers are in the minority), the biggest problem is
simply corporate inertia.


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