FSF Says "Life Is Better When You Avoid Windows 11" It Warns It Is Depriving Users Of Their Freedom

One of the hottest debates in the community in the last five months has been the Windows 11 hardware requirements, but the Free Software Foundation (FSF) I had not been involved until then. Instead, waited for the official system launch date operating to give your opinion on the matter, The fact is that the FSF sees Windows 11 as an "important step in the wrong direction for user freedom."

The organization alleges that Windows 11 was doing nothing to alleviate "Windows's long history of depriving users of digital freedom and autonomy."

The new avatar of Microsoft's desktop operating system has attracted significant criticism from both users and organizations. Even though Windows 11 is a major revision of Windows, with new features to improve productivity, security, and the gaming experience, Microsoft has frustrated quite a few users by setting the bar too high for game quality.

The company bases its business case on the fact that it seeks to ensure user safety, but the requirements eliminate millions of PCs, sometimes new ones.

In a blog post (on the official release date of Windows 11) by Greg Farough, FSF campaign manager, The organization claims that Windows 11 is a setback when it comes to digital freedoms.

“On October 5, Windows 11, a system that has long denied users digital freedom and autonomy, was released, and this new version does nothing to fix it. While Microsoft has launched a series of vague and inspiring slogans about community and solidarity, Windows 11 is a big step in the wrong direction when it comes to user freedom, ”wrote Farough.

As a reminder, the FSF was created by Richard M. Stallman, a former MIT employee (resigned in September 2019 in the middle of a sexual assault case), to try to develop an operating system and other public services that would not infringe on freedom of expression. 

The word "free" does not refer to price, but to the ability to modify and share the software as desired. Farough said Microsoft had "intentionally chosen to create an unfair power structure, in which a developer deliberately keeps users powerless and dependent by withholding information."

"It is no longer appropriate to call it a personal computer when it is more subject to Microsoft than to the user," he said. Farough said that the fact that Windows 11 now requires the user to create a Microsoft account will give the Redmond giant "the ability to correlate user behavior with their personal identity." "Even those who think they have nothing to hide should be careful about potentially sharing all of their IT activity with any company, let alone a company based in another country," said the FSF framework.

Farough described Microsoft's decision not to allow older PCs to run Windows 11 as an attempt to force everyone the users to use the Trusted Platform Module (TPM).

And is that We should note that Microsoft has admitted since the Windows 11 announcement in June that the TPM 2.0 requirement is essential to fully benefit from the enhanced security that the new operating system provides to users. "This [TPM] is a bit misleading, because when implemented by a proprietary software company, their relationship with the user is not based on trust, but on betrayal," Farough said in his post.

"When fully controlled by the user, TPM can be a useful way to strengthen encryption and user privacy, but when it is in Microsoft's hands, we are not optimistic," he continued. According to the FSF campaign manager, the organization expects Microsoft to use its stricter cryptographic control in Windows 11 to enforce stricter DRM (digital rights management) on media and applications to ensure that no application can function without approval from Microsoft.

Instead of DRM, he said, the FSF is talking about "digital restriction management" in this case. To illustrate this point, Farough makes the following observation about proprietary Microsoft applications built into Windows: Windows users generally opt for a more popular (albeit deeply problematic) alternative like Zoom, in a central and irritating location and tightly integrated it as well. in the way that Windows manages personal contacts ”.

Referring to all the claims about Microsoft's love for Linux, Farough said it doesn't extend to Windows.

“In recent years, Microsoft has attempted to undermine the way open source software enhances' life together 'by making the core Microsoft GitHub features based on non-free JavaScript and directing users to' Service as a Replacement for "platform-like software," Farough said.

"By attacking user freedom through Windows and the free software community directly through non-free JavaScript, Microsoft is demonstrating that it does not intend to loosen its grip on users," he concluded.

Source: https://www.fsf.org


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  1.   jscantero said

    I think the words of the FSF Campaign Manager highlighted here are very accurate. However the editor brings up the name of Richard Stallman to make a false claim. That RMS "resigned in September 2019 in the middle of a sexual assault case." As far as I am aware, he did so because of the pressure exerted on him for his “free opinion” on the aforementioned case (that is, RMS did not participate in the sexual assault case).