News: Microsoft afraid of Open Source
This article on CNet tells about Microsoft lobbying to get US lawmakers to do something about open source products. Microsoft claims that "open source is an intellectual-property destroyer" says Jim Allchin, Microsoft's Windows operating-system chief.
- Posted by: Robert McIntosh
- Posted on: February 16 2001 19:23 EST
Check it out
- Microsoft afraid of Open Source by florin g on February 18 2001 21:21 EST
- Microsoft afraid of Open Source by Robert McIntosh on February 18 2001 22:52 EST
- Microsoft afraid of Open Source by Kelly Graves on February 19 2001 02:25 EST
- Microsoft afraid of Open Source by steve holdener on February 19 2001 12:24 EST
- Microsoft afraid of Open Source by Bernhard Messerer on February 20 2001 09:16 EST
- Microsoft afraid of Open Source by Dmitri Colebatch on February 20 2001 16:11 EST
Microsoft afraid of Open Source by Bernhard Messerer on February 21 2001 04:07 EST
- Microsoft afraid of Open Source by Dario Louzado on February 21 2001 07:22 EST
Microsoft afraid of Open Source by Pravin Pandey on February 21 2001 11:01 EST
- Microsoft afraid of Open Source by jeff anderson on February 22 2001 10:32 EST
Microsoft afraid of Open Source by jeff anderson on February 22 2001 11:00 EST
- Microsoft afraid of Open Source by Bernhard Messerer on February 23 2001 06:04 EST
- Microsoft afraid of Open Source by Pravin Pandey on February 24 2001 02:16 EST
- Microsoft afraid of Open Source by tasos zervos on February 27 2001 04:30 EST
- Microsoft afraid of Open Source by tasos zervos on February 27 2001 05:00 EST
- Microsoft afraid of Open Source by tasos zervos on February 27 2001 05:06 EST
- Microsoft afraid of Open Source by Bernhard Messerer on February 21 2001 04:07 EST
- Microsoft afraid of Open Source by Peter Delahunty on February 21 2001 08:40 EST
- Microsoft afraid of Open Source by Dmitri Colebatch on February 20 2001 16:11 EST
- Microsoft afraid of Open Source by Hans Kristian Nordengen on February 20 2001 13:20 EST
Allchin says that open source is worst for the software business.
I have not yet seen such clear example of corporate mindset that proves once more that in reality it is the large software vendor that stifles inovation. Big corporations cannot escape the status quo and we all pay the price.
Open source is not the answer for all industry needs - there is always room for every quality product. Who should be afraid?
Despite of billions invested in great intellect, gratuitous talent and free expression of passion prove to be an unmached resource - it will always be that way.
Microsoft wants me to go their way paying tribute to their bank account. Who can help me go MY way?
The good news is that there is no government that can ever stop me use Linux, Apache or whatever.
This guy, what's his name, shows me how much he is out of touch. His fear gives me hope for a better future.
"In a world without fences, who needs gates?"
Seems ridiculous yes. But the article is clearly biased and takes quotes out of context. What does Jim Allchin really mean when he says that open source could stifle innovation?
In any case...
What better way to continue to aggravate developers. Soon these guys will realize that they continue to try and disenfranchise developers that there will be no one left to write apps for them.
But MS is a big company. I'm sure others there are not so happy about the comments. Just when I thought that .NET was looking pretty good. These guys tick me off again.
Obviously Sun is doing something right by giving us APIs and specs, but not trying to dominate all appliations. They are leaving that to more capable hands... ours. Devs love that. Don't tell me that I have to use Win2K and MTS. We don't HAVE to do anything.
MS thinks we are stupid, that will be their downfall.
It seems to me that M$ is trying to ensure that the government doesn't do something crazy like adopt open source software for all gov. PC's. The government could decide it will refuse any proprietary-format documents from outside and install Linux on all desktops. (Imagine the savings from Office and Windows licenses alone! American tax dollars pay for this, btw.)
If you were a government contractor, you'd have to be able to send StarOffice docs, XML, or whatever the feds chose. Most companies would be laughed at if they attempted this, and their customers and suppliers would turn away. But the government (and a few huge corporations) could pull it off because of their clout in the business world.
Anyway, I think Microsoft is trying to make sure they don't lose all those juicy gov't license sales. Looking silly in the media is a small price to pay.
First: Please do not flame me for this post, it is my opinion, please think about it.
I don't say open source is bad, no, it is cool. I love Linux, I love jBoss, I like StarOffice, I think Mozilla has potential.
But I also think that open source could really be a threat to the industry. In fact, I believe balance between open source and commercial one will automatically been maintained, but if not, if you think open source "to the end" it is dangerous.
Lets say one day someone can prove Linux is, in all ways, better than Windows: Windows would soon disappear, together with all of Microsoft (this will indeed happen, but I believe the shift is to java and J2EE servers). How many people won't have a job afterwards? I'm personally contributing to open source projects as far as I can, but I'm also paid by a commercial vendor. If everything is open source you won't be paid anymore. The industry is dead, until open source projects disappear (or grow old) because no one maintains them. Programming and maintaining knowledge is a full time job.
Or, even worse, lets say there are really many cool open source projects. Maybe only really big companies will then have the power to do something "better" than open source. E.g. Solaris will not disappear so soon, it is more stable than Linux. And Sun has the money-power to add many features in a short time.
Bottom line: I think open source is cool, but I also agree with MS (although I dislike them in general), it can (in situations) hinder innovation. Where would we be without Windows? At the command prompt. I like it, but ask my grandma if she likes to browse with Linux!
Yes, comments are appreciated. As long as they are no flames. Maybe I'm simply wrong. If so, prove it to me and I'll be happy. But don't flame, this is bare stupid.
re not having a job in open-source - I understand what you're saying about someone still needing to pay for development - and that in today's business model, it is the corporations who will own the IP who pay for the development of it. There's no reason why people cant continue to be paid for building software, its an ownership issue - who owns the software at the end of the day? M$ or the community. I'm not saying there is no place for proprietory code, but there is no reason why open-source code cannot do what proprietory code does - it would however, take a new business model from not only companies who do build the code (they then offer their services and support - there are plenty of open-source projects where people work professionally in a support capacity), but also companies who use the code.
Your second point about where would we be without M$ - without Windows? I do believe that there were legal issues between M$ and a certain other OS about "Windows" - didn't Apple have the GUI as standard environment before M$? I know its not open source, but we dont require a giant monopoly like M$ to create good apps - and I know that many ppl will agree with me if I say M$'s business managers would not have "building good apps" as one of their objectives. Which, while I think about it raises an interesting point - open-source projects are (on the whole) interested in "building good software", where commercial operaters (understandably) will be primarily interested in "selling software".
Just my two bob
The first thing you say is quite reasonable. Companies are paid for the services they offer around open source. Some companies do this, like RedHat and SuSE, and it works. But it still won't work in the long run, because it doesn't solve the problem I "raised" (well, in fact I thought about it and really would like to have a vlarification):
As more and more developers begin to develop open source, less and less commercial ones are needed, because open source at least partly makes commercial software obsolete (or bought less often). If we come to the point where open source is "better" than everything else we have no commercial developers anymore. But what happens to these developing open source? Well, some will work in support, some will work on something else. But now no one is a "full time developer" anymore, and cannot maintain all the knowledge necessary. And hence no one can develop open source?!?!
Okay, another "model" would be: companies are developing commercial products, giving the source away and selling the services. Some are successful with this model, but I think they only can be because this model is new. Because someone cannot simply neglect the fact that software development companies spend lots of money on developers (and get something back for it). With this "new" model you'll have to pay your developers without getting anything back! So why should you develop software (as a company)? Everything's open source, let the others create and we'll offer the services (er, like SuSE or RedHat does now!). Again, you're stuck.
I think if there is too much of open source you will, earlier or later, get to this point, where no one is willing to pay developers any more but takes the mentality "well, let other create, we'll make the money". This even happens today with ideas! Some companies don't think but copy (one of them being Microsoft, but only partly).
And the second point: Well, and Apple stole it from Xerox, doesn't matter. But what is even more important: Although APple had it first it was MS who introduced it on "all" PCs. And if Unix would have taken the market we would still all sit on command prompts. Despite all the nice GUIs, Unix native environment is the command line, and will be for some years from now. And lets look at KDE, the most successful GUI for Linux: It is a WIndows copy. Okay, look at Gnome: Uh, half-way commercial now. We'll see where it will go.
And I also believe: We do not need giants like MS to build cool software, to innovate etc. But, as you said, open source is similar, and maybe it will be the "giant" of the future? I like companies like Sun: Somewhat big, cool, have nice products...
And I'll have to disagree: Open Source projects are mostly "just for fun" - and this is exactly the outcome. If "no one" is interested (Mozilla) - well we all had something to laugh, maybe it will get better. If "many" are interested - Linux is the outcome. However, again, I think that "open source" (I mean freely developed software, Solaris is also "Open Source") will not reach the quality of commercial software (Linux has a long way to go to reach the stability (the only goal of enterprise unices) of Solaris or AIX.
Enough for today, give me your comments :-)
Hey guys, why Microsoft is so afraid about Linux, jBoss, ano so on !?
Here is one reason :
COM+ and MTS Always Use SERIALIZABLE
Transaction Isolation Level
Database connections that are opened in transactional
Server (MTS) or COM+ 1.0 components are enlisted in the
Distributed Transaction Coordinator (MS DTC) transaction.
When COM+ enlists
a connection in an MS DTC transaction, the transaction
isolation level is
set to SERIALIZABLE, which is the highest possible isolation
default, you cannot set MTS/COM+ to a different level.
I totally agree with Messie. Techies usually go overboard in admiring what they have done while smart guys also come up with products and make money on it too. If things were left to the opinion of the techies this world would be running on charity. You guys need to understand that organizations need a software vendor who would provide them complete solution. If this world is inhabitted by only the open source code community, who would take the burden of organizing the highly fragmented and disparate platforms to provide solutions to the large customers. Imagine the plight of federal government and companies like GE and UTC if this world would have been operating on just open source code.
As far as copying windows from Apple is concerned, you guys are so blinded by animosity with MS that you have lost your power of reasoning. How many users used the Apple Technology and how did Apple change the way people in this world live and work. It was MS who gave people a chance to work on easy and consistent interface. It was neither Sun nor Unix developers. Apple is well known to have kept all its cool innovations in the shelves for name sake. And that's why it's down in the dumps asking for investors to put some stake in the company. He who fires the gun gets the creadit for making the kill. Not the one who oils the gun. Also, I'm surprised how you guys think of acheiving both efficiency and flexibility in the same application. You have to understand that Windows is meant for the masses and most of the people don't even know how to work on a computer. It's obvious that the OS will crash once in a while. Infact, UNIX also crashes once in a while or atleast needs to be rebooted once in a while. I have worked on Novell Unixware for 3 years and maintenance is such a pain in Unix. You guys are so swayed by the opinion of computer illiterate people that you can't reason things out yourselves. Even if Solaris is modified for masses tomorrow, it is bound to crash. It's another story that it will never be accepted by the masses for its price and other reasons.
What other vendors are doing the hard way, MS did the smart way. You guys are out of your mind if you think Linux is going to replace Windows as desktop standard in the near future. It has a long way to go and that is because it is an open source code.
As far MS's innovativeness are concerned, I still remember the days back in 1996-1998 when MS had all these cool development environment and came up with VC++, VB, etc. when Sun was still struggling with Java. It was MS who gave Sun a run for their money and forced Sun to come up with some innovations. If you guys think that you are smarter than the managers at MS, then you guys are real fools to have let MS make so much money and increase the its stockholder's wealth by leaps and bounds. No offence intended. They have made computing world a comfortable place for all and sundry by making software development so easy.
Sun's tactic of maintaining it's proprietary standards in hardware is very well known. If they boast so much about open standards, can they ever dare to hurt their hardware business, which is Sun's backbone, by allowing other vendors to build components compatible with Sun servers? You guys cannot understand the plight of the companies when they have to pay $4000 for a proprietary Network Card for a sun server or a proprietary hard disk drive. It's very easy to boast about acceptance of open standards but no business will dare to do so in their core business. Sun is running their software business as a charity but they will never be able to rise to the level of MS as far as increasing their stockholder's wealth through their software business is concerned.
I totally disagree with Messie's claim that you guys will jobless if it will be open standards through and through. I beleive that you guys will still have a job but you will be dying of hunger since the same Sun in whose favor you are talking today would not pay you even a penny for any of your work once MS is driven out.
Lastly, it would be foolhardiness on our part to beleive that MS will ever be driven out of business. Those guys are too smart. While you guys are busy building softwares and admiring your innovations and boasting of your acheivement, they would have already developed and sold their propreitary products in the market and continue making money. This world is not all about innovations. It's about selling. Else all the patent holder in this world would be millionaires today. The tragedy is most of the patents have never even been tried in the industry. Most of then die before they are released because they don't have a good selling strategy.
I think alot of people out there are missing a versy simple point neither commercial or open source software on their own stifle creation. Creating an over restrictive environment where one cannot freely innovate is the only thing that stifles the implementation of new ideas.
Open Source will never stifle innovation unless someone passes a law that says open source is the only code you can use. As long as people are allowed to figure out a way to make money with software than companies and individuals will do so regardless of how much free software is out there. Organizations like to buy software because they get to have someone to blame an/or turn to if things go wrong.
Why do these conversations always degenerate into another pointless M$ vs Sun topic. Is anyone getting bored of this yet? Both companies sure aren't perfect I like Sun and you like M$, next.
I think alot of people out there are missing a very simple point, neither commercial or open source software on their own stifle innovation. Creating an overly restrictive environment where one cannot freely innovate or compete in a transparent fashion is the only thing that stifles the implementation of new ideas. This environment could come from an over regulatory government or a monopolistic corperation which bullies everybody. I can't see how a good open source community or a company that delivers a high value product can do anything but encourage innovation.
Open Source will never stifle innovation unless someone passes a law that says open source is the only code you can use. As long as people are allowed to figure out a way to make money with software and hold onto their rights to own their software than companies and individuals will do so regardless of how much free software is out there. Organizations like to buy software because they get to have someone to blame an/or turn to if things go wrong. (Among a zillion other reasons like training, support etc)
The only thing open source does is introduce a free potentially high quality product on to the market, this will only force companies selling comparable commercial products to either
1) develop a product with higher value
2) serve niche markets
3)innovate in some unforseen way which no can predict.
How is this differnet from the market right now? It just means that commercial software has to get better and cheaper, which means customer companies pay less for it, which means customer companies have more room to either invest in something else or discount what ever they are selling, see the pattern here? Even if open source code caused all commercial software companies to die it would not be the end of the world. Industtries die out all the time, as either new technologies come around or new ways of doing business do. I don't see anybody still complainig that the pony express isn't still in existence.
If open source has any effect on commercial companies it will only be to raise the bar on what they produce. Sounds to me more like helping innovation.
I think you didn't get the point we are discussing here. As I metnioned, if open source "takes it all over", well, who will pay the developers? Who will pay you for your software? We come to a point where there are no more developers, because (as I said), developing software and maintaining the necessary knowledge is a full time job, but you cannot live from it, because simply no one pays, everyone expects software to be free. This seems like a deadlock to (which I guess will never happen, because once many things are open source developers will see this and spend less time on OS as they need to work more to get money to live).
And the second thing "...unless someone passes a law that says open source is the only code you can use": Isn't the GPL trying to do exactly this? Of course, there are other licenses, and workarounds ("I do not use the source, I use binaries"), but even about these there are quarrels ("May you distribute commercial software with Linux?"). And GPL is by far the most popular license.
Again, this is no "Sun vs. MS" war. The only one talking about this is you. It was just pointed out that if everyone thinks MS is so stupid, why did you let them make the money instead of you? And this is a good point, although I dislike MS' politics.
I never meant to direct my argument towards "Sun vs MS". Infact, even I wonder why every discussion on this site that relates to Windows finally boils down to "Sun vs MS". Infact most of the times I have seen responses from so called Java wizards hurling certain allegations towards MS in words which is not expected of educated people.
From my argument I just wanted to imply the following:
1. No open source code can be successful in the long run because to make a product successful in the market, the innovators have to reach out to the people in a well thought out strategy and it requires lot of organizing and planning. Who's going to do that for such wide, dispersed, disparate and fragmented community?
2. I agree that open source code does help in bringing down the cost by goading the commercial software vendors to come up with innovative product to thrive in the competitive market. But open standards can never establish a network externality which could be as significant as commercial software can establish. Imagine the plight of the masses if they have to do away with Windows and learn to work on a new environment. I don't think people can adapt so easily to new environment if they haven't been able to learn how to run Windows efficiently in all these years. Hence, establishing Network Externality is the biggest challenge for open standards because it again requires planning and strategizing.
3. If large companies invest in open source code that keep changing drastically from time to time, who's going to take the charge of maintenance, ensuring compatibility and interoperability, etc for such a diverse set of systems. Although it's easy to say that open source codes help innovations, maintenance and compatibility assurance industry will become a big raquet, wrenching huge sums from large corporations and all the resources that companies currently invest in new technology will be channelled towards maintenance and ensuring interoperability. Maintenance and compatibility assurance industry will be even a bigger hoax than the currently IT industry.
4. This point is the most important point that I'm going to make. After lot of research and analysis I have concluded that none of the successful businesses will ever hurt their core business with open standards. All the businesses who have done so could never last in the industry. As far as deciding monopoly of a company is concerned, I beleive that ORACLE is the biggest monopoly currently in the industry. All the ERP systems use ORACLE databases apart from the other applications. When ORACLE tried to get into the domain of ERP Consulting companies and they threatened that they would switch to SQL Server, ORACLE withdrew from their domain to maintain it's market. Why doesn't ORACLE build bridges to operate with other databases like Sybase, etc? Sun's hardware business is another big example. Why don't Java guys ensure interoperability with other programming languages? Infact, they were forced to include CORBA in their standards as they had no other market. Protecting your technology is the key to growth in the industry. A business can never grow if they have no strategy to protect their technology. That's the key to get the first three phase of funding from the VCs.
5. This is in reference to your remark that a restrictive environment comes from a monopolistic business that bullies others in the industry. As far as a business being a bully is concerned, every company uses it's hold in the market to expand wherever possible. MS is not the only example. If MS drove out Netscape, I personally beleive that Netscape as a business should have had a strategy to sustain itself in the competition. If it failed, it was due to it's faulty strategy. Others should not be blamed for the death of a business if it failed to have a good strategy. All weak business models have to die one day. It's only the smart guys that thrive. So I beleive that all those who call MS a bully for Netscape's death can never be a competitive businessmen. If Sybase comes up with an astonishing product today, there's no way ORACLE will sit back and not try to retaliate with a sound strategy. It's just not the quality of product that drives others out of the market. It's the strategy backing the product that should be sound to push the product in the market. There are many patents drying out because there's no strategy to push it into the market. Market decides the fate of the product only when the product has reached the market and people have tried it. Although people keep abusing MS for a lousy OS, at present there's no way the same people can dare to do away with it. Moreover, we all have to understand that no business is out here to run a charity. They exist to make a profit no matter what they claim. IBM, ORACLE, Sun, etc. have formed a lobby against MS since their business is badly hurt and they themselves are responsible for it. This world would not be better off if lousy business models and incompatitive businesses who resort to lobbying are allowed to survive. A business is a monopoly by virtue of it's product's demand and strong business model coming from innovativeness.
To summarize, open source code can only be successful if there's a well organized smart team to plan and formulate a strategy to help the masses accept it and then provide long lasting, high quality after sales services and maintenance. It's like an impossible dream. We have yet to see how Red Hat Linux survives in the next few years. It has yet to record a profit and it's not expected to do so till 2005.
1. There are a lot of successful open source sw who have been around for some time. Examples are gcc, emacs, bind, linux/netbsd/freebsd, perl, php and apache/mosaic.
2. I'm not sure what is ment by "open standards can never establish a network externality", but I think that DNS, SMTP/MIME, HTTP and TCP/IP are all open standards which are used by everyone because they are open and _used by everyone_ and not because they are the best solutions available.
3. My impression is that we're allways investing a lot of money in technology that keep changing. Examples are the shift from WP to MS Word, from fat clients to thin clients, from mainframes to VMS to Unix to MS (and back to Linux?) and from token ring to ATM to GB ethernet.
4. I agree that large companies will add proprietary added value solutions. This is one of the reasons compability and interoptability might be better between "free"/open source solutions than between commercial solutions. Selling a proprietary solution is a very good way to lock a customer.
5. Microsoft is in a position where they can take their competitors down one by one. Even if you have a supreme product with a huge potential you can't survive economically when you competitor has monopoly (~90% market share) on the environment where this product is deployed and desides to create it's own version of this product giving it away as a part of it's environment. This is also a problem for other environments who is not able to support this supreme product.
Monopolies work no better in the USA than they did in the USSR. M$ is both able and willing to use its power to keep the market it has monopoly spending as little money as possible and earning as much money as possible. While at the same time use it's existing monopoly to gain influence and even monopoly in new areas.
I must also admit that the M$ threat has created strong coalitions within the commercial/opensource industry which might prove that even M$ can be beaten.
To summarize, I don't think that open source sw will be successfull enough to be a threat to most commercial software vendors. But I do think that opensource software will compete with commercial software for basic tasks and where there are open and/or dominating standards.
M$ will fall down from its monopoly throne the same way IBM did years ago. And the sooner the better since keeping a monopoly is a strong business model, but a business model where bullying competitors and locking customers into proprietary solutions is far more essential than inovating.
This might help :
Table of Contents
Will a higher distribution price hurt some users?
Will a higher distribution price discourage use of free software?
The term ``selling software'' can be confusing too
High or low fees, and the GNU GPL
Other Texts to Read
Many people believe that the spirit of the GNU project is that you should not charge money for distributing copies of software, or that you should charge as little as possible -- just enough to cover the cost.
Actually we encourage people who redistribute free software to charge as much as they wish or can. If this seems surprising to you, please read on.
The word ``free'' has two legitimate general meanings; it can refer either to freedom or to price. When we speak of ``free software'', we're talking about freedom, not price. (Think of ``free speech'', not ``free beer''.) Specifically, it means that a user is free to run the program, change the program, and redistribute the program with or without changes.
Free programs are sometimes distributed gratis, and sometimes for a substantial price. Often the same program is available in both ways from different places. The program is free regardless of the price, because users have freedom in using it.
Non-free programs are usually sold for a high price, but sometimes a store will give you a copy at no charge. That doesn't make it free software, though. Price or no price, the program is non-free because users don't have freedom.
Since free software is not a matter of price, a low price isn't more free, or closer to free. So if you are redistributing copies of free software, you might as well charge a substantial fee and make some money. Redistributing free software is a good and legitimate activity; if you do it, you might as well make a profit from it.
Free software is a community project, and everyone who depends on it ought to look for ways to contribute to building the community. For a distributor, the way to do this is to give a part of the profit to the Free Software Foundation or some other free software development project. By funding development, you can advance the world of free software.
Distributing free software is an opportunity to raise funds for development. Don't waste it!
In order to contribute funds, you need to have some extra. If you charge too low a fee, you won't have anything to spare to support development.
Will a higher distribution price hurt some users?
People sometimes worry that a high distribution fee will put free software out of range for users who don't have a lot of money. With proprietary software (18k characters), a high price does exactly that -- but free software is different.
The difference is that free software naturally tends to spread around, and there are many ways to get it.
Software hoarders try their damnedest to stop you from running a proprietary program without paying the standard price. If this price is high, that does make it hard for some users to use the program.
With free software, users don't have to pay the distribution fee in order to use the software. They can copy the program from a friend who has a copy, or with the help of a friend who has network access. Or several users can join together, split the price of one CD-ROM, then each in turn can install the software. A high CD-ROM price is not a major obstacle when the software is free.
Will a higher distribution price discourage use of free software?
Another common concern is for the popularity of free software. People think that a high price for distribution would reduce the number of users, or that a low price is likely to encourage users.
This is true for proprietary software -- but free software is different. With so many ways to get copies, the price of distribution service has less effect on popularity.
In the long run, how many people use free software is determined mainly by how much free software can do, and how easy it is to use. Many users will continue to use proprietary software if free software can't do all the jobs they want to do. Thus, if we want to increase the number of users in the long run, we should above all develop more free software.
The most direct way to do this is by writing needed free software or manuals yourself. But if you do distribution rather than writing, the best way you can help is by raising funds for others to write them.
The term ``selling software'' can be confusing too
Strictly speaking, ``selling'' means trading goods for money. Selling a copy of a free program is legitimate, and we encourage it.
However, when people think of ``selling software'', they usually imagine doing it the way most companies do it: making the software proprietary rather than free.
So unless you're going to draw distinctions carefully, the way this article does, we suggest it is better to avoid using the term ``selling software'' and choose some other wording instead. For example, you could say ``distributing free software for a fee''--that is unambiguous.
High or low fees, and the GNU GPL
Except for one special situation, the GNU General Public License (20k characters) (GNU GPL) has no requirements about how much you can charge for distributing a copy of free software. You can charge nothing, a penny, a dollar, or a billion dollars. It's up to you, and the marketplace, so don't complain to us if nobody wants to pay a billion dollars for a copy.
The one exception is in the case where binaries are distributed without the corresponding complete source code. Those who do this are required by the GNU GPL to provide source code on subsequent request. Without a limit on the fee for the source code, they would be able set a fee too large for anyone to pay--such as, a billion dollars--and thus pretend to release source code while in truth concealing it. So in this case we have to limit the fee for source, to ensure the user's freedom. In ordinary situations, however, there is no such justification for limiting distribution fees, so we do not limit them.
Sometimes companies whose activities cross the line of what the GNU GPL permits plead for permission, saying that they ``won't charge money for the GNU software'' or such like. They don't get anywhere this way. Free software is about freedom, and enforcing the GPL is defending freedom. When we defend users' freedom, we are not distracted by side issues such as how much of a distribution fee is charged. Freedom is the issue, the whole issue, and the only issue.
Other Texts to Read
Return to GNU's home page.
FSF & GNU inquiries & questions to gnu at gnu dot org. Other ways to contact the FSF.
Comments on these web pages to webmasters at www dot gnu dot org, send other questions to gnu at gnu dot org.
Copyright (C) 1996, 1997, 1998 Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111, USA
Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.
Updated: 5 Oct 2000 taz
1.Solaris & AIX might be more stable than Linux but the latter was the choice of the Chinese goverment...
It is good to know what your OS is exchanging!
Apple didn't exactly stole the GUI idea from Xerox.
What about Bill Atkinson's ideas described in
"Insanely Great:..." by S.Levy ISBN:0140232370....
What if "Open Source" could be licenced...?
Something which helps inovation, security,
General tools could be licenced under an
Apache type licence or even a J2EE type licence,
while applications are licenced as they
In my opion tools should be open source. So rather than a company pay for the tools they pay for the worker to use the tool. All open source projects are tools.
Take JBOSS. It is an open J2EE app server. However it is no good on it's own it is a tool. You need to build ejb's to run on it. These will be specific to the company's needs. And so who are they gonna get to build these applicataions. "YOU". However open source needs to be supported some how. So i think companies should put money into these projects to make the tools better and increase innovation. The companies then pay for builders and support. It is new way of thinking in the software industry
Open source is doing the same thing for the software industry as M$ once did. It's creating a cheaper, and for a lot of people, better solution.
I might have agreed with M$ if their proprietary solutions were much better than opensource solutions. They have earned a lot of money and should most certainly be able to pay for some software development.
Instead M$ have among other things created an extremely unstable OS called Windows 95/97, killed the Web browser market (and web browser development in general) and created their own proprietary version of kerberos.
We really need a strong opensource community in order to make it neccessary for developers of closedsource software to innovate.
And by the way... The graphical interface is a natural step in the evolution of the computer. M$ developed on of many implementations.