We've already mailed this to 499 of the Fortune 500 companies (we didn't think Microsoft would listen), but that's just the start...

We'd love to send more letters to the Windows 7 decision makers that people have identified within their own organization or community, and with your help we can. If you donate $25 dollars, we'll send 50 more letters, donate $100 we'll send 200 letters and so on.

Send us your suggestions for organizations who would benefit from our letter. You can also see a list of organizations we've already mailed.

Re: Important notice regarding impending lack of privacy, freedom and security from Microsoft Corporation.

As a decision maker within your organization, you undoubtedly strive to make choices that seek to improve the working lives of your employees, enhance the relationship you have with your customers and potential customers and secure the independence and freedom for your organization to operate.

For many years, companies like yours have relied on Microsoft and the Windows operating system. With the release of Windows 7 in October, Microsoft is selling the new version on a combination of fear and threats. They threaten to stop supporting older versions of Windows in the long-term, and because their system is proprietary (not free/libre), you are dependent on them to provide regular security updates and fixes. With the threat to withdraw their support, they try to strong-arm you into adopting new versions of their software even when you don't need them and may have a negative consequence to your ability to operate, once again abusing its monopoly position, explicitly inducing vendor lock-in.

Like its plans to include DRM restrictions with Windows Vista, Microsoft's continued attacks against the security, privacy and freedom of your organization, are no mistake. Microsoft has a history of manipulating computer manufacturers into installing its products onto the computers you purchase.

With its most recent actions, it further threatens computing standards by polluting and perverting the OpenDocument standard with its own XML-based file format.

Because of Microsoft, many decision makers in America are now wholly dependent on the Windows operating system for their business computing.

The root cause of this dependency is proprietary software (not free/libre) and with the release of Windows 7, you have an opportunity to break your organization's dependency on it.

Free software is about freedom not price. Free software is software that you can use and adapt independent of any one vendor, such as the GNU/Linux operating system or the business productivity suite OpenOffice. Free software provides all of the freedoms Microsoft tries to deny, and is therefore better in all areas: security, accountability and monetary cost. GNU/Linux and OpenOffice are available from numerous vendors ensuring competition for your patronage and your freedom to change supplier.

Microsoft's recent 10-K reports (June 30th, 2009) speak of free software and tell a similar story:

The OpenOffice.org project provides a freely downloadable cross-platform application that also has been adapted by various commercial software vendors to sell under their brands, including IBM, Novell, Red Hat, and Sun Microsystems.

Despite these efforts, actual or perceived security vulnerabilities in our products could lead some customers to seek to return products, to reduce or delay future purchases, or to use competing products.

Free software is more secure because you and the wider community are independently able to read the source code of and customize any program you use in your infrastructure. It saves you from relying on a secretive third party, and the public availability of free software code means that many qualified eyeballs, the security experts and researchers around the world, are continually studying and reporting on its integrity.

Replacing all your desktop systems with GNU/Linux will give you independence from Microsoft, access to thousands of free software applications, and help break the social ill of proprietary software. Thousands of organizations have already moved to free software. What's your organizational plan?

Investing in Microsoft's Windows 7 will only get you more stuck and more dependent on them.

Take the next step -- evaluate your organization's opportunity to use free software -- and sign up for regular announcements on making the move away from Windows and to receive information about the work of the Free Software Foundation: http://windows7sins.org/signup.

A message from the Free Software Foundation.