Overcoming Social Inertia

“15 years have passed since the combination of GNU and Linux
first made it possible to use a PC in freedom. During that time, we
have come a long way. You can even buy a laptop with GNU/Linux
preinstalled from more than one hardware vendor, although the
systems they ship are not entirely free software. So what holds us
back from total success?

“The main obstacle to the triumph of software freedom is social
inertia. You have surely seen its many forms. Many commercial web
sites are only accessible with Windows. The BBC’s iPlayer
handcuffware runs only on Windows. If you value short-term
convenience instead of freedom, you might consider these reasons to
use Windows. Most companies currently use Windows, so students who
think short-term want to learn Windows, and ask schools to teach
Windows, which they do, thus leading many other students to use
Windows. Microsoft actively nurtures this inertia: it encourages
schools to inculcate dependency on Windows, and contracts to set up
web sites, which then turn out to work only with Internet