Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 8th Nov 2006 11:24 UTC
Novell and Ximian Microsoft will pay Novell USD 348 million up front, but Novell will return USD 200 million of that amount over five years. The specific numbers came in an a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission made by Novell late Tuesday. "The financial commitments Microsoft is making as part of this agreement are significant," company CEO Ron Hovsepian said in a statement. In related news, Microsoft has denied that its patent deal with Novell is in breach of the GPL or will automatically spread Microsoft's patent protection to other Linux distributions.
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RE[6]: losing community faith
by twenex on Wed 8th Nov 2006 18:20 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: losing community faith"
twenex
Member since:
2006-04-21

I think the bottom line is you think FOSS software wouldn't exist if you could get proprietary software with excellent service and no vendor lock-in. I agree completely and well said.

Reply Parent Score: 1

elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

I think the bottom line is you think FOSS software wouldn't exist if you could get proprietary software with excellent service and no vendor lock-in. I agree completely and well said.

Not really, I don't deal in absolutes like that. Microsoft could give Windows away and offer to send a tech onsite for every little problem that arises, and there would still be people with requirements that Windows just couldn't meet. I'm talking about customers needing a competitive market to achieve the best value, and OSS being an enabler for that competitive market by offering a viable alternative, not the only viable alternative, to proprietary software with crappy support or inherent lockin. Besides, free software far predates Windows whether considering public domain, shared source, freeware, shareware, what have you. It will always exist, it's human nature to create and try and improve. The existence of proprietary software has nothing directly to do with that, though perhaps indirectly in that it inspires others to try and do better one way or another.

The problem with advocates and zealots on either side of the argument is that they tend to superimpose their requirements and objectives onto the general public. Some people choose free software because they resent paying for something they believe should be free, some people choose linux because they want the flexibility it can offer over Windows even knowing that it may require compromise, whereas some people just need their software and hardware to work together above all else and are happily willing to pay for that. Some people want the best supported product, some want the cheapest and will gamble on fixing it if something goes wrong. Some people value gaming at 15000 fps as being more important than not having to install A/V software. Nobody's requirements or value definition is right or wrong, it's for them to determine and what I believe is important is that everyone have the ability to select the products that offer the best value matching their requirements. Be it FOSS, OSS, or unabashedly proprietary.

I do believe that OSS has an important role in commoditizing technologies that dominant companies would otherwise resist in an effort to extract every possible dollar of revenue out of, something that normally would not be possible in a competitive free market but is possible when dealing with staggering monopolies, ambiguous patent laws and questionable competitive practices, all of which at least partially fly in the face of a free market.

Besides, I'll be the first to admit that OSS isn't always the better alternative. Low priced doesn't always equate to cost effectiveness, and in terms of TCO and ROI sometimes you have to spend more money up front to save money in the long run. I think the whole issue gets clouded with the concept of linux being gratis versus Windows being $400, when the issue and value equation can be far more complex than that.

I just want to ensure I always have viable choices. That's what I believe in. I don't mind voting with my wallet, I just want to make sure there's more than one name on the ballot regardless of which way I vote.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: losing community faith
by twenex on Wed 8th Nov 2006 22:15 in reply to "RE[7]: losing community faith"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Remember, "free software" != "freeware"! Freeware is free as in price, free software free as in freedom.

Reply Parent Score: 1