OpenBytes encourages users to research themselves and find the packages that are best for them.  I will not say that all FOSS solutions are better than proprietary, and likewise, I would not seek to encourage, coerse or persuade you to sign the petitions listed below.  That is a decision for you, the end user to make.  What I will say however, is I will not be signing them.  Why? I hear you ask.  Yes I believe in FOSS, yes I believe Linux to be far better than Windows.  The reason I wont sign is that I dont blindly use FOSS just for the sake of it.  I use it because its better (IMO).  In the future that may change, and who knows? it may be a proprietary solution that I am using.

By me not signing this, I believe shows that I stand by my opinion that I am currently using the software that is best for me.  I am not on some crusade to crush Microsoft (like some dubious posters would have you believe) the only “cause” I support is one that presents the end-user with as many options as possible as to their software solutions.

Anyway I digress.  Over on the Number 10 site, there are two Open Source related petitions which caught my eye:

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/nonMSschools/

The only BECTA recommended operating system for schools is Microsoft Windows, but there are several reasons why this is not the best choice for use in an educational environment. Firstly, the vast majority of malware in existence is for Windows. Secondly, the cost of a Windows computer may prevent some learners from having one at home which is compatible with the ones used at school. Thirdly, Windows restricts the user’s choice of such settings as languages and character support based on edition bought. Finally, Windows is not designed for education.

For these reasons, we believe that the primary OS used in schools should be a free and open source alternative. Many operating systems that are more secure than Windows are available, although there is currently only one specifically designed for education. Many of these systems are Linux-based, and so there are alternatives to most Windows software available, and where they are not, it is possible to run windows applications.”

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/KillSoftwarePats/

“Software patents are sadly legal in USA but the system is failing. It is not possible to scan existing patents and determine if they affect a new piece of software without being skilled in the interpretation of patents. Software patents will stifle innovation and become the barriers to market entry wielded by large corporations. Open source software projects encourage cooperation and innovation. The European Patent Office is outside the control of the EU. Large corporations will stifle innovation unless action is taken now. I understand that Parliament and Brussels have voted against software patents but the EPO could frustrate this wish.”