free as in kitten

There’s a fantastic post on the LibraryThing’s blog about the Library of Congress signing a $3 million deal with Microsoft to develop their new website with Microsoft’s Silverlight plug in. The catch is that libraries will need to also have Microsoft hardware and software to access the LoC website.


Once you’re locked in to the entire Microsoft stack, you pretty much can’t change a single piece without completely redoing your entire IT operation from top-to-bottom. When the free deal expires or you need new servers, you end up having to buy new Microsoft licenses and software. It’s like giving somebody a kitten for a present — they’ll still be paying for and cleaning up after your gift 10 years from now.

Free as in kitten indeed.

Loosely related story: when I bought my laptop in the Fall I was adamant that I would be getting rid of Vista, even though it would void the warantee on the laptop.A   The screenshot software that I like only runs on Windows and OnState Skype runs on Internet Explorer.A   So, I’m going to need to learn more about Linux than I thought I would.


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