Linked by David Adams on Mon 2nd Aug 2010 03:53 UTC, submitted by fsmag
GNU, GPL, Open Source We are heading towards a world where we no longer own the hardware we buy -- and there is no point in having free software if you can't own your hardware.
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RE[2]: Is it good or bad?
by foldingstock on Mon 2nd Aug 2010 12:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Is it good or bad?"
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Now, suppose, instead of each paying for development of their own products, or all of them buying someone's expensive software product, they all co-operate on some software project(s) and each pitch in a share of the effort (this still employs programmers, BTW). Pretty soon they all have a much better software product, created at far lower cost to themselves, which they can all use as a tool for their main business lines.

Neat, hey?

There are two ways to increase profits, not just one: one can either increase prices, or reduce costs.

Software made by a consumer's co-operative organisation is an absolutely excellent way for businesses (the vast majority of whom are net software consumers) to reduce their costs.

The main problem I see with this is that most companies know very little or nothing about software development. This, combined with the general nature of corporate behaviors, can easily make software much more expensive to develop in-house, even if several companies collaborated together.

If a piece of software was developed in-house by three companies working together, it would probably start out strong with clear goals defined. Following corporate trends, it would quickly become so feature-full that it would be impossible to complete on time, once it was completed it wouldn't work right, and even more money would be spent after completion to fix these problems due to over-engineering and bloat. So then they are left with a half-ass piece of bloated software that is costing more money than it generates.

Its not just programmer costs you have to consider, either. Consider how much R&D goes into some of the bigger software projects. Then you have design teams, Q/A teams, managers, etc.

In a Utopian environment, I think this would be an excellent idea. But in reality, I think it would create even more bloated, expensive, garbage software that just got in the way of production and innovation.

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