Linked by Amjith Ramanujam on Thu 24th Jul 2008 04:32 UTC, submitted by snydeq
Linux Mark Shuttleworth today urged development of Linux models to rival what Apple has done on the desktop and mobile devices. Certainly on the desktop experience, we need to shoot beyond the Mac, but I think it's equally relevant [in] the mobile space, Shuttleworth said, outlining the challenge as figuring out how to deliver a 'crisp and clean' experience, without sacrificing the community process. Key to this will be services-based mechanisms for creating revenue for free software that go beyond advertising, Shuttleworth said, adding that cadence in free software releases spurs innovation, and that a regular release schedule, as well as meaningful ties to Windows, will be essential to fulfilling the vision.
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Coral Snake
Member since:
2005-07-07

One thing that I strongly dissagree with this author about is that some vague thing called "services" is the best way to make money with Free Software. "Services" is a good model for the large companies like IBM, Novel, Mandriva etc. However it is not a good model for the thousands of one to ten person developer teams currently producing software onder the proprietary "shareware" model but may like to go to the Free Software model while still deriving some profit from their software.

For "shareware" people who would like to make Free Software out of their projects yet still profit from them I would propose a packaged software model similar to the "rackware" approach that put many of the "shareware" based games on the map in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Basically this would consist of building statically linked apps (these work under ALL Linux and Windows versions and distrubutions) complete with source code under the GPL or some other free software license, putting them on a cd or DVD and placing them on racks in stores willing to cooperate with this distribution model again or sell them on Ebay or similar services for about $5.00 to $10.00 a cd.

I believe such a free software "service" as the one I'm proposing here would be very profitable for small developers and developer teams who wish to free their software for whatever reason (the reason could be political or simply a wish to avoid the legal problems tied to defending copyrights and patents on a proprietary app in court) but still profit from it.

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