In a former post, I talked about how Open Source was becoming more visible in the university where I work. That post was followed by another one narrating our speech in a congress and the post about our workshop (described by Megatotoro here).
Well, I thought that had been all our contribution to raise awareness on the existence of multiple choices when dealing with computers. However, yesterday I got an email that startled me. It was a request from a project coordinator asking Megatotoro and I to participate as the main speakers in another workshop. The idea was to cover the following topics:
1. How to install Ubuntu/Mandriva (I'd like to add Mepis, Pardus and Mint, haha)
2. How to work with open word processors, spreadsheets, electronic presentations
3. How to save documents in compatibility mode (This one is funny. People still fail to see that incompatibility issues spring from Microsoft, not from open documents)
4. How to dual boot Linux/Windows.
This hands-on workshop is again addressed to professors. They chose us, it turns out, because both Megatotoro and I are not technical users, which proves that ANYONE can use Linux.
What does this say to me? Well, the more people discover that Windows is neither the only nor necessarily the best OS available, the closer we are to the end of the Windows era. Yes, when people see that they have choices, they begin to do what Microsoft has never wanted them to do: choose!
Plurality is always beneficial. It fosters innovation, cooperation (and competition, why not?) and guarantees freedom. Upon those conditions, a wonderful phenomenon takes place: it's called PROGRESS.
But don't panic, Windows fanboys: if more people start using Linux, maybe that is going to benefit Windows users in the long run, too. Who knows? Perhaps Microsoft will be forced to release an OS that can rival Linux security without all the bloatware, antivirus paranoia, etc. that actually makes users switch to Linux! That would be progress!