Someone at the Free Software Foundation seems to think that an effective means of promoting free software is to actively campaign against Microsoft’s new Vista operating system, and created the Bad Vista website.  I personally think this is somewhat like negative campaigns in policital races – attack the opposition rather than promote your own strengths.

As a user of free software such as Linux and BSD on my servers,  I’m a little disappointed to see this website.  I’m even more disappointed to see them encouraging what is effectively online graffiti.

This sort of action does more harm than good to the image of free software advocacy.  I’m all for promoting the free, open-source software I use, and will do so here on the site as appropriate.  But undertaking a negative campaign (some of it based on misinformation) and encouraging ridiculous stunts like Amazon tagging just makes the free software community look like a bunch of mouth foaming zealots.

Stick to the positives, compete on features, usability, and support.  Thats how to win users over.

About the Author

Paul Cunningham

Paul is a former Microsoft MVP for Office Apps and Services. He works as a consultant, writer, and trainer specializing in Office 365 and Exchange Server. Paul no longer writes for

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