Press Manufacturers to Offer Free Software operating systems on new machines

The FSF today released a paper that details the ways that hardware manufacturers can help the Free Software Community and stop DRM. The paper is a really good snap shot of what is going on right now and what the manufacturers can do. (Digg the story now.)

The paper follows on the heals of Dell's public call for new product ideas that has resulted in an overwhelming call for personal computers loaded with free (as in freedom) software. Nearly 100,000 " votes" were recorded on the Dell Idea Storm website that they want to see Dell desktops and laptops for sale with GNU/Liunx operating systems. Nearly all the top ranked product suggestions involve free software!

Regarding DRM, the paper says:

Hardware vendors could resist pressure by the media companies to stifle this innovative culture, and actively lobby for laws that protect consumers' rights.

** How will this improve the situation for the vendor?

The free software community will flock to any vendor that protects the rights of the consumer by delivering ``hardware free from restrictions.'' Vendors that sell equipment that is ``defective by design'' will see their sales and community support diminished.

By steering clear of DRM hardware, vendors would also remain free to innovate, rather than having to clear every new product with the content industry.

The momentum is clearly building since the launch of Vista for alternatives to Microsoft's operating system on new machines. Users want choice, and if we keep up the pressure it looks very likely that the OEMs will start offering it.

Digg the story now, and tell your friends and family. Hold off on new computer purchases until you can get a machine running the operating system of your choice.