[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Edlug Archive Mar 2004 ]

RE: [edlug] Big blue v Big poo

I agree, and think there needs to be a proper' debate leading to definition of Open Source apropriate business models.

I'm sure there are many examples of businesses based on Open source, and making money. I think the business and entrepeneurial community need to be better informed as to what they are. 


1. Use Linux and Open Source Software throughout your business.
2. Go about your normal business.
3. Save money on licenses, virus management, hardware upgrades etc.

1. Create Open Source software, release under GPL or other.
2. Promote and market your product.
3. Charge for bespoke installation and suport.

I suspect that there is much FUD regarding the complexities of Open Source licening models and licencee responsibilities.


-----Original Message-----
From: Alistair J Ross [mailto:ajross@xxx.xxx.xxx] 
Sent: 29 March 2004 14:27
To: Peter George
Cc: edlug@xxx.xxx.xxx
Subject: Re: [edlug] Big blue v Big poo


    My sentiments exactly,

    The comparison was poor, and I got the feeling that he had simply read a
    brief on Open Source the night before the meeting took place.

    The IBM rep seemed almost to shake in his boots when he was asked what I
    would have thought was a relatively answerable problem. His answer was
    almost always 'I don't think I have an answer for that'.

    The IBM guy sounded like someone who was not only enthusiastic about the
    business in o.s. but was also interested in anything anti-microsoft at
    times. Maybe this is because IBM/MS haven't always had the best
    relationship and IBM would love to distance themselves from them, but at
    this point *rely* on them, or maybe it is because Linux offers a refreshing
    new way to look at software. 

    Either way, he seemed to have his heart (but not his head) in the right
    place. Which is a shame. 

    The talk seemed to be a bit too much of a Windows vs Linux bashing debate,
    which is not what I turned up for. I wanted to hear real arguments for and
    against the next revolution of software marketing: is OSS going to drive
    conventional proprietary licensing to the brink of extinction, or as the M$
    guy said, OSS is only for enthusiasts (as in the freeware market), but due
    to it's free nature, can't possibly make viable commercial sense.

    I don't think OSS is going to go away, and I possibly don't see the
    extinction of propriatery software on the horizon any time soon but real
    argument for and against would be nice to hear, so that in months to come,
    I have strong answers for both OSS and the propriatery model to give to my

    One of my older bosses used to ask me (quite often), "So, how does this OSS
    model make any money then?". I wish I wrote him a report now, saying the
    pros and cons of OSS and was able to give him a better answer than :

    	* IBM and other corps like it throw lots of money at it
	* Lots of people pay for consultancy and support

    I'm not a businessman, but I feel as an advocate of OSS/Linux, as many of
    the EdLUG members are, we should know more about the business viabilities
    of the OSS market, so that we can tell the money spinners *why* the oss
    model really is worth all the money, and where they can actually put the
    money in, and where it actually comes out.

Answers on the back of a postcard!

Alistair Ross

 Peter  George Said (peter@xxx.xxx.xxx):

> I agree with many of the observations posted already.
> The IBM speaker did not really give a compelling enough case, and the 
> Microsoft speaker was considerably better prepared and presented 
> better arguments. Both speakers acknoeledged that Linux and open 
> source now have their place in business.
> The Microsoft speaker pointed out that Microsoft have learned a lot 
> from the open source movement, particularly in rediscovering the 
> iportance of community involvement which they had let go since Win 
> 3.1. The graphs of vulnerabilities disclosed by each distribution were 
> interesting, Debian being slated as about 5 times more insecure than 
> Win XP according to his data. Ed's already pointed out how the info 
> may have been misrepresented.
> I thought the most disappointing part of it was the introduction to 
> the 'debate' by the chair, who seemed to be comparing the open source 
> business model to shoplifting O'Reilly books from Waterstones. I think 
> there is room for a considerable amount of education on how businesses 
> make money and thrive when using Linux and open source.
> A better open source advocate speaker might have taken some real world 
> business case studies, and performed comparative cost savings 
> (licencing), and demonstrated how the different open source licencing 
> models can be used or modified to make money, which is of course what 
> business is about.
> P
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-edlug@xxx.xxx.xxx [mailto:owner-edlug@xxx.xxx.xxx] 
> On Behalf Of Calum
> Sent: 27 March 2004 10:43
> To: edlug@xxx.xxx.xxx
> Subject: Re: [edlug] Big blue v Big poo
> Indeed, my perception was much the same:
> The MS guy did the typical "MS is better than everything else because 
> our partial thuths and manipulated bar graphs say so." His entire 
> speech concentrated on why Linux/OSS is not a better choice than MS, 
> and his main points of argument were only true in his engineered 
> context.
> The guy was obviously trained in diplomatic deception, and as such, it 
> was difficult to pick his argument apart in time to challenge him. I 
> suppose it was the only safe tactic to use against a room full of OSS 
> people!
> The man from IBM, however, gave a rather dull account of why he and 
> IBM think OSS is good for buisiness. I can't say much about his talk, 
> other than it seemed fair and honest.
> On Sat, 27 Mar 2004 08:59:17 +0000, Ed <epo1@xxx.xxx.xxx> wrote:
> >
> > Not really a debate. The IBM guy gave a standard suit-oriented pitch
> > on
> > why Linux was a good thing for business. The MS guy gave a talk 
> > containing many half truths on why Linux wasn't nearly as good as people 
> > were saying it was.
> >
> > However the MS guy was by far the better performer and is obviously
> > one
> > of their open source diplomats. He fielded most of the questions and did 
> > so very well. As with all diplomats he is very accomplished at not 
> > telling the whole story. Two of his pieces of evidence that I can recall 
> > through the post-debate booze-induced haze were,
> >
> > "we commission these reports but don't get to influence how they're 
> > written - these consultants have their reputation to think of", and
> >
> > "Mitre summaries show that Linux has more reported vulnerabilities
> > than
> > windows and that Linux's is going up while Windows' is going down"
> >
> > The first, while strictly true is misleading because the report's 
> > commissioner gets to lay down the criteria by which comparisons will 
> > be made so can skew things in their own favour.
> >
> > The second misrepresents what cve.mitre.org is about. It is a record
> > of
> > publicly known vulnerabilities and if anything means two things. That 
> > more people are looking for vulnerabilities in Linux, reporting it and 
> > ensuring it gets fixed. MS on the other hand keep shtum about any 
> > vulnerabilities they know about so their count of 'known 
> > vulnerabilities' is lower. A classic example of open vs closed thinking.
> >
> > And no, I didn't think of either of these until much too late.
> >
> > Notably the MS guy didn't really address the debate's topic 'Is Open 
> > source a viable business alternative' and only talked about linux.
> >
> > Overall a sterile affair, far too polite but a good networking event 
> > helped by copious free hooch.
> >
> > Ed
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Leo Friel <leo.friel@xxx.xxx.xxx>
> > To: edlug@xxx.xxx.xxx
> > Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2004 19:07:38 +0000
> > Subject: [edlug] Big blue v Big poo
> >
> >
> > Anyone got any tales from last nights Open Source debate (or links 
> > to
> > a
> > blog
> > even)? (Would love to have been there but new baby and all that...)
> >
> > cheers
> > Leo
> > -
> > --------------------------------------------------------------------
> > --
> > You can find the EdLUG mailing list FAQ list at: 
> > http://www.edlug.org.uk/list_faq.html
> >
> >
> >
> > -
> > --------------------------------------------------------------------
> > --
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> >
> >
> --
> master of the known unixverse
> -
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