A recent study posted on Slashdot compares the EULA for Windows XP and the GPL, which is common in Open Source projects such as Linux.
I was looking over the study, which included many of the normal comparisons: GPL is free, EULA is restrtictive, GPL requires software based on GPL’d software to be GPL as well. What I found shocking where three little bullet points buried at the bottom of the article concerning the EULA that covers Windows XP.
- gives Microsoft rights to collect information about the system and its use
- gives Microsoft the right to supply this information to other organisations
- gives Microsoft the right to make changes to the computer without having to ask.
WHAT?!? Your #$#@*&’ing kidding me right?!? Worry about the government, the Church of Scientology, or the CIA all you want, but a software company with 90% of the desktop market actively collecting information about your system and “its use” and, subsequently, supplying that information to whomever they want is a VERY scary proposition!
I run Windows 2000 Professional at work, but considering this recent development I plan on installing Debian GNU/Linux this weekend. I knew I should have read that damn thing.