[OT] Re: [Coco] [Color Computer] The evolution of the Coco..
John R. Hogerhuis
jhoger at pobox.com
Sun Apr 24 16:13:38 EDT 2005
On Sun, 2005-04-24 at 12:34 -0700, Kevin Diggs wrote:
> I don't know what is going to happen to companies like RedHat. I am
> talking about companies that went public trying to sell something that
> is largely free (at least the core kernel). Can someone explain why or
> how this could possibly work long term? A lot of pressure to constantly
> increase revenues. Isn't most of the cost advantage gone with RedHat's
> enterprise offering?
We're totally in off-topic land now but it's Sunday...
RedHat, IBM, Novell, etc. have a simple strategy: give the software
away, charge for support and access to update servers. Operating systems
are now a commodity. With pressure on computer prices getting higher and
higher, there is less room to make a buck off the OS royalty.
In fact, you the guy on the street can set up your own business pimping
any piece of open source software you like, so long as you follow the
rules: if you distribute GPL software, and you make changes, you must
release your changes. The original author benefits from your
improvements. People don't write FOSS code to be like Jesus, they write
it because it has benefits for themselves and others. Usually they enjoy
So as a contractor, you could pick a OS accounting package like SQL
Ledger, learn everything you can about it, and set up a business
offering support for it at $70-$120 an hour to small businesses needing
an accounting package tailored to their business, rather than being
stuck with QuickBooks.
Or you could teach a class in how to use The Gimp, or OpenOffice. Or you
could write custom macros.
At the application level no application is "ready to go" for a
particular business. Believe me anyone can make money off of open source
software, especially business software.
>From a hardware point of view, look at the PC architecture: what made it
so successful? The fact that anyone could take the spec and build one.
Open architecture. Did IBM make money? Heck, everybody made money on it.
we're still making lots of money on it. Imagine if the market was still
fragmented into umpteen home computers and business computer lines as it
was in the 80s, the whole market fragmented into little niche markets.
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