Re: [unrev-II]MS exec: Open-source approach is flawed - ZDNet Discussion Zaplet

From: Grant Bowman (
Date: Fri May 04 2001 - 17:05:17 PDT

  • Next message: Eric Armstrong: "Re: [unrev-II]MS exec: Open-source approach is flawed - ZDNet Discussion Zaplet"

    Well the market tends to agree that it's very hard to make huge profits
    doing open source. Many of the companies are struggling. I wouldn't
    call Red Hat a software company but a marketing company these days.
    SuSE certainly had some troubles because it doesn't understand the US
    market. Companies like VA, TurboLinux, Caldera and Corel all are having
    troubles. The US software market for Linux OS software -shrank- I think
    it was 11%. No wonder Linux OS software companies are troubled when the
    year before the sales for SuSE, Inc. tripled.

    Do I agree with Mr. Mundie that open source is unhealthy? No, I think
    it's egalitarian, though the economics haven't been fully worked out

    Do I agree that there are additional security risks? Certainly not.
    This is a conversation unto itself. I would like to know what history
    he sites. Keep an eye on Slashdot.

    This article seems to play into more FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt)
    than anything else. We haven't yet found a simple and sustainable
    economic model yet, but that does not prove that it can't be done.
    Perhaps economic models must be more complex for all software
    businesses because the rules for everyone are changing, even Microsoft.

    -- Grant Bowman                                   <>

    * Eric Armstrong <> [010504 14:38]: > Much though I despise many of the business practices that > spawned this giant monopoly, and much though I lament their > loss of focus on user interfaces issues, I still find myself > in total agreement with this executive's proposition. > > He does not claim that open source *shouldn't* exist. He > merely claims that it cannot survive as a business model. > One can like it, or lump it. But he is right. The value of > a proposition is determined by how much others are willing > to part with to get it. That is the nature of our economic > situation, and no alternative has been discovered to date > that works anywhere near as well. > > I note, too, that counter examples like Red Hat and IBM > are all *hardware* manufacturers, who in fact gain a great > deal from open source software. In such circumstances, > making a profit on open source software is icing. Even a > sizable loss is more than offset by hardware sales. > > For any organization hoping to grow and prosper as a > *software* producer, however, an open source release > obviates the "intellectual property" advantage which is > the basis for the product's benefit. > > The only exception that occurs to me is in very large, > very complex systems that require ongoing, timely support. > In that case, yearly licensing fees from major corporations > may well provide nearly the same revenues as selling the > software. > > For any sort of consumer-level software, however, any > version that works well enough to use is that one does > not require support. (Development IDEs may well be an > exception, but again it is corporate custmers who spring > for support fees.) > > And if the next version is only a few months away, and it > is free, too, then what need for support? > > Note: > At this point, I have a suite of shareware tools that are > not too expensive, and I regularly shell out a few bucks > when a new version comes along. Do I care whether or not > the source is open. Hardly. I wouldn't have the time to > play with it, even if it were. What I care is that it does > the job I need it to do. > > Community email addresses: > Post message: > Subscribe: > Unsubscribe: > List owner: > > Shortcut URL to this page: > > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to > >

    -- -- Grant Bowman <>

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