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[ox-en] Re: GNU/Linux distributions and commerce

Hi Florian and all!

2 months (64 days) ago Florian v Samson wrote:
On Sun, Mar 26, 2006 at 11:19:36PM [PHONE NUMBER REMOVED], Stefan Merten wrote:
What I find more interesting here is that capitalist corporations
helped GNU/Linux to flourish but they were

* not able to make useful profit from it at least for a good part of
the market share

* the supply with distributions didn't stop even when capitalist
corporations withdrew from the market

2 * NACK:
- RedHat is profitable for years now
- None of the 3 major commercial distributors has withdrawn (RedHat/Fedora,
SuSE Novell, Mandriva/Ex-Mandrake). There have been consolidation processes
taking place (e.g. Mandriva merging/buying Connectiva), but no withdrawals.

May be I have been not precise enough here. My first point were that
in the longer run the corporations were not able to make useful profit
*from the consumer market* - which I still think is a good part of all
distributions used (to prevent the term "sold" which is misleading
here). This is where they were not able to make a useful profit so
they stopped trying it. This doesn't contradict that they are
profitable in other areas such as the corporate market.

My second point were about withdrawal from the *(consumer) market*.
I.e.: They don't sell the consumer distribution any more. It's
probably true that they contribute most to their former market
products - Fedora as well as OpenSuse - but they stopped selling their
work to the consumers. In this sense I still think they withdrew from
the market. And there are still consumer distributions.

To me this proves Oekonux theory that for software the Free mode is
simply better and more useful than capitalist mode. The development
Debian during the past years is another, and even bigger proof for

To me the state of the Debian project proves the opposite, unfortunately.
Ubuntu being that successful with loads of Mark Shuttleworths money being
pumped into it, even more.

Well, Ubuntu as well as Knoppix are based on Debian. Neither Ubuntu
nor Knoppix would exist if Debian would have vanished some years ago.
Though it's true that pure Debian is probably not a good consumer
distribution it obviously is a good basis for this. Neither Klaus
Knopper nor Mark Shuttleworth chose Fedora as a basis for their
projects. Instead both based their successful distributions on a
Doubly Free Project. And as far as can see for Knoppix there is nobody
pouring dollars into Knoppix.

Possibly Debian will slide into insignificance and Ubuntu taking its place,
due to the Debians refusing any commercial links, e.g. Debian project
members being employed by some Debian adopter.

This means Debian tries to keep Doubly Free. Interesting.

Actually some years ago I said somewhere that when Oekonux
theory is right we will see such a development. Sounds like a litmus
test to me :-) .

... which is about to show "failed"! :-(

I still don't think so.

						Mit Freien Grüßen


Please note this message is written on an offline laptop
and send out in the evening of the day it is written. It
does not take any information into account which may have
reached my mailbox since yesterday evening.

Contact: projekt

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