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re: revenue in a Free Software Industry

From: Tom Lord
Subject: re: revenue in a Free Software Industry
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2001 16:25:48 -0700 (PDT)

        Dave Masterson writes:

        > Quality and originating process count and provide a basis
        > for higher margins.

        Hmmm.  So, if IBM can demonstrate that its support of a
        particular piece of software is superior to the support done
        by others, they can and should charge a higher fee for that
        support?  That I can buy.

Then we agree.  

Not just "support", either.  For example, if company XYZZY can
demonstrate that, all else being equal, they are doing more (that is
good) towards producing the next generation software -- that's another
reason to shop at XYZZY.

We're still talking past each other about this:

     >> Remember, you're asking these software vendors to totally abandon
     >> their other means of revenue

I'm really not.

Regarding existing proprietary software, my opinion is that (like all
other software) it will become legacy code no matter what.  So when
talking about replacing that software, I'm not asking these companies
to do anything they don't already have to do.

Regarding "other means of revenue", where that is interpreted to 
mean business processes rather than specific pieces of proprietary
software, the changes I'm asking for are changes in the forms of
contracts -- not (much) by way of changing the function of those

The biggest change in function is from keeping software source code
secret to releasing it under GPL.  That must, inevitably, lead to
changes in engineering process (for the better, I've argued).  It
obviously leads to changes in the customer/vendor relationship.  But
that isn't at all the same as "totally abandoning their other means of

Another post talked about the vital role of keeping code secret in the
EDA industry.  Time permitting, I'll try to grok and then reply to
that issue there.


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