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The OS Agnostics

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OSS

The annual choice awards are published in the December issues for many software magazines. A number of the winners were chosen because of their ability to use extensions or flexibility in configuring the software. However, an overlooked and increasingly important attribute to me is cross-platform support or what I laughingly refer to as OS Agnosticism.

Why is cross-platform support important? My personal reasons are:

First, I find the OS Agnostics are a good starting point for getting someone to TRY Free Software. Realistically, I’m unlikely to get my extended family members or friends to light-switch to a GNU/Linux or Unix based operating system. However, there is a good chance I can get them to try Firefox, Thunderbird or OpenOffice. Usually, any initial resistance is removed by the appeal of trying these programs for free (as in free beer) and without removing their current programs.

Second, since I’m frequently the guilty conspirator who helped switch my family/friends to Free Software, I usually find myself providing some level of technical support.

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