"I talked about Richard Stallman, the Free Software
Foundation, and the GPL. I explained how it was the one thing that
makes a dominant free software operating system inevitable by
guaranteeing that those shoulders will always be available. And
how, when the world's next ubergeek kernel hacking genius begins
her freshman year in high school, she will be able to start her
operating system odyssey not from the meek and mild Minix terminal
emulator from which Linux sprang in 1990, but rather from the
fire-breathing multiprocessor monster that Linux is today.
With two minutes left, Steve asked from the audience if I
thought Windows XP was a good reason to migrate to Linux. A perfect
cue for me to launch my final spiel about freedom. I was out of
time, and had only covered two-thirds of what I had intended.
A few of us continued to talk afterwards. Steve told me how he
had tried XP and decided there was no way he was going to upgrade.
He said he didn't know how much longer it would be before Microsoft
would "expire" support for the version of Windows he runs today.
His unhappiness with Microsoft was palpable. Steve's feedback
convinced me that Stallman has it right when he says we should use
free software for the freedom it provides, not just because it's
better, or because it's more cost effective. The conversation with
Steve made me realize I'd ordered the bullet points in my talk
backwards. Just as readers have taught me the what of Linux for the
past three years, this audience member told me the right reason
A word of advice: If you're called upon to give a similar talk
someday, start with freedom. It's all about freedom. Don't leave it
out of your talk or give it short shrift the way I did."