BSD Mall : to hell

Miguel Lopes Santos Ramos miguel at
Fri Feb 24 11:51:13 PST 2006

> > > > Wherever there's people making money out of free software there's
> > > > dishonesty. 
> > >
> > > This is untrue.  Many people make money out of free software.
> > > There is a long history of it and all of it quite honest.
> > 
> > Sorry. I meant in the CD packing business.

Ok, I'm sorry everyone, I went too far.

> > How can it be explained that Red Hat EL sells for a price comparable
> > to some versions of Windows? At least, at Microsoft they had the
> > costs of producing themselves a new, modern OS from scratch.
> > What about some versions of linux totally based on free and GPLed
> > software selling for $40-50? The price of media?
> > _______________________________________________
> I don't think it can accurately be said that Red Hat is simply in the
> CD packing business:
> 1. Remember that Linux is just the kernel.  Red Hat has to assemble the
> OS and create processes for installation and maintenance.

Linux is just the kernel and there's a lot of GNU throughout the system and
a lot of other things too. More of anything else than of RedHat's.

I apreciate their effort in assembling the system and their own contribution
to Linux. But... Windows NT, which was my comparison, was designed from scratch.

> 2. When you buy Red Hat EL, you're also buying support and
> accountability.  These things are impossible to provide without payroll
> expenses.

Of course. And I suppose their expenses are greater than Microsoft's on
a per-license basis, because the scale is smaller.
Even so. At $179 per workstation, and $349 per server, it's a lot of money.

To the potential buyer, confronting with buying Microsoft or Sun, it
probably pays, but my point is that these prices are market driven, and
have nothing to do with cost. It is this respect which I think it's contrary
to the spirit of a lot of the software that is a component in their package.

> 3. Red Hat employs many open source developers, many of whom work on
> projects other than Linux (postgresql, for example).

I don't think this argument applies. It's a bit like saying that Bill Gates
getting richer and richer is good, since he gives a third of his fortune to

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