ViewTouch and Free Software
ViewTouch is much, much more than just point of sale software for Linux.It is unique software because it is the only mature POS solution which directly makes use of the resources which are available at each and every level of the hardware and software. That means exactly this; ViewTouch is the only mature POS solution which has absolutely NO proprietary software (such as Windows and Java) in it.It takes the power of free software to do what we do. The entire foundation of our products and services, at every level, is built from free software. We exclusively use free software because we agree with Richard Stallman in asserting the essential need for and the right to the freedom to build the best POS solution we know how to build. We have forged a hierarchy of customized software modules, including the BIOS, the operating system kernel, the network topology, the SSH firewall and an array of patent-free innovations in graphics that we have invented.
The ViewTouch touchscreen software paradigm is 25 years now and it has been copied all over the world. It's been proven to be an unqualified success in minimizing the cost and the complexity of hardware and software that it takes to get the job done in the POS market. We made the decision long ago to not rely upon any operating system that does not allow those who use it and depend on it to be free to use it. To do our best for you, we absolutely need freedom at every level to build the best POS solution that we can:
Freedom to study how programs work and adapt them to our needs.
Freedom to access ALL the source code used in your POS system.
Freedom to make and to distribute copies so we can help our customers.
Freedom to improve programs and to pass on improvements to the public so that everyone benefits.
This sounds pretty darn normal and logical to us but we do realize, of course, that none of our competitors who use Windows can take for granted the freedoms that we do. It's no wonder, then, that they can't provide you with any of the benefits of these freedoms that we can. Nobody is stopping our competitors from simply choosing to follow the same path we do, so we therefore refuse to worry about the restrictions that they accept as normal which result from relying upon software which is not free. ViewTouch is, of course, not open source software but we have elected to build ViewTouch only upon free software components and we are content to let our competitors suffer the consequences of the paths that they have elected. There are no other POS solutions available which also are built entirely out of free software. If you have clicked on any of the two hyperlinks to free software then you have an understanding of the meaning of the expression free software; it's all about freedom to be able to develop great software.
We pledge to you, our customers, the benefits of an operating system that allows us to freely use, extend and improve as we see fit to build for you a better foundation for this POS solution. We have the very real and exceptional power of freedom to bring to bear on the job at hand, delivering to you a low cost, highly utilitarian package of software and hardware that is easy to use, yet has all the 'bells & whistles' that make it the best POS solution. That's what you get with ViewTouch - the complete package that also represents the best value. We don't know all the reasons why so many companies are trying to copy us, but we do know that if they think they can do it with software that they are not absolutely free to use, then they will have to keep fighting battles over and over again that we can effortlessly, and naturally, avoid.
17, 2004, Dateline
Linux violates more than 228 patents, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer speculated at the company's Asian Government Leaders Forum in Singapore. He did not provide any details, of course. "Someday, for all countries that are entering the WTO (World Trade Organization), somebody (Bill & Steve, for instance) will come and look for money owing to the rights for that intellectual property," Balmer added. In the same speech Ballmer also boasted, "We think our software is far more secure than open-source software. It is more secure because we stand behind it, we fixed it, because we built it. Nobody ever knows who built open-source software," he said, lying through his teeth.Con Zymaris, CEO of Cybersource, had this to say, "The platform most at risk from drowning in patent litigation is Microsoft's own. At present, Linux is not the target of any software idea patent attacks. Microsoft is facing between 30 and 35 such court actions. To name but a few, Microsoft has been ordered to pay US$521 million to Eolas for an infringement in Internet Explorer and another US$440 million settlement to InterTrust Technologies Corp. for infringement of digital restrictions management patents and US$1.6 billion to settle a patent and anti-trust suit bought against it by Sun Microsystems. That's over US$2 billion for just three suits, well over US$500 million per patent case. Furthermore, the number of court cases against Microsoft is increasing."