Time Expired Software!

Tim Cutts tjrc1 at mole.bio.cam.ac.uk
Mon Jan 20 04:51:46 EST 1997

In article <Pine.LNX.3.91.970118181615.3227A-100000-100000 at house.med.und.ac.za>,
Dr. Rob Miller <rmiller at house.med.und.ac.za> wrote:
>It's also wrong for microsoft to be the de facto standard for pc 
>software, and for them to engage in anti-competitive practices.  There's
>not much the average user can do to fight that except pirate, but 
>we were talking about *scientific* software.  I think we need to remember
>the contribution that academics make to the scientific software 
>industry, both directly and indirectly.

Er, what's morally wrong with being a de facto standard?  I agree as
regards their anti-competitive practices though.  How does pirating
attack their position as the market leader though?  Pirating their
software deprives them of sales, but actually makes their position as
the de facto standard worse.  Pirating the competitor's software just
helps drive the competitor out of business.  Please expain how you
think software piracy can possibly help.

>I very rarely buy software, and work almost exclusively under unix
>(linux) where there is a great deal of freely available software.

I agree.  My personal machine spends its time roughly equally between
Windows NT and Linux.  There is a great deal of good free software
around, but most of it just doesn't have the polish of commercial
software (I have only seen one non-commercial piece of X-Windows
software which I thought was as good as the commercial equivalent, and
that's xv).  Plus, from the bioinformatics standpoint, support for the
free operating systems is non existent.  I was informed by GCG that
they will not port it to Linux, or even to one of the commercial PC
UNIX operating systems.

For run-of-the-mill software like word-processing, there really is no
free competitor to the likes of MS Word and Lotus WordPro.  And if
anyone says 'TeX' they should think again...


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