surely not

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Peter, May 26, 2004.

  1. Peter

    Peter Guest

    I can't believe this guy actually said this.!opendocument

    First he says you shouldn't try to run a business dealing with open source
    software, 'cos you can't make any money. Then he says you shouldn't be a
    user of open source, because the businesses dealing with open source are
    making heaps of money out of it.

    Surely this is another case of the journalist getting it all wrong.

    Peter, May 26, 2004
    1. Advertisements

  2. Peter

    GraB Guest

    Given the dogs breakfast that MS serve up I can't believe this:
    "Microsoft, for example, invests around US$6.8 billion in research and
    GraB, May 26, 2004
    1. Advertisements

  3. Peter

    steve Guest

    The article says that Microsoft Sharp says:

    "Sharp, who used to work for Red Hat before joining Microsoft, said
    building open source software is a "waste of money." With open source, a
    company is in effect giving away its intellectual property (IP), he
    said, adding that this prevents a software company from getting back
    benefits from its IP."

    ....which only underscores how dishonest Microsoft is being. He is
    completely ignoring the benfits that such a company will have derived
    from free access to the work of others.

    In Microsoft's world: "What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine."

    Most people grow out of that sort of selfishness long before they become
    large multi-national company employees.
    steve, May 27, 2004
  4. sorry, I didn't see the original message, so I'll just interject here.

    I found this point quite interesting.
    "He pointed out, however, that even companies that support open source
    are just as motivated by commercial interests as any other commercial
    software vendor. He noted that even open source giants Red Hat and IBM
    are after a return on their investments on open source. They are not for
    the greater good of the community; they are also after the money, he said."

    He's dead right on that.

    and this one "He urged government bodies to base their software
    purchasing decisions on their actual needs, not on a software
    development strategy."

    right again.

    A lot of the other points were rather odd, and kinda misleading, but the
    ones I have above are correct.
    Dave -, May 27, 2004
  5. What is that?

    The people who write open source/free software are not making money out
    of that product. They are making money in their day jobs writing closed
    source software.
    Patrick Dunford, May 27, 2004
  6. Peter

    AD. Guest

    Or for some, day jobs writing open source software.

    Most larger projects seem to have a core developer or group of developers
    that get paid to work on the project. As you would expect, the
    contributions of the full time paid developers are generally a lot higher
    than the volunteers.

    Sometimes it's by a company formed to support or consult about that
    projects software or a supported version of the software, sometimes it's
    by a company that makes money selling a proprietary add on to the
    software, others are employees of the projects corporate sponsors.

    AD., May 27, 2004
  7. Peter

    Nik Coughin Guest

    Open source software isn't necessarily free Patrick -- open source means
    that the source code is available, not that it is *freely* available. Open
    source is not a synonym for freeware. A hell of a lot of freeware is closed
    source. There are a number of packages that my workplace has bought which
    are open source, and rather than being free they were significantly more
    expensive than a closed source equivalent, but because we can modify them as
    we see fit and on-sell the resulting product, it is more than worth our

    Additionally, software is not always written with the goal of marketing an
    end product. I know of a contractor in the UK who developed a piece of
    project management software for a company who had neither the resources nor
    the inclination to market the product -- as far as they were concerned the
    benefits and efficiency gains to be had by using the software far outweighed
    the cost of development (I think the savings were something like one person
    full time three weeks per month), so didn't feel that they had to recoup the
    cost of developing the software.
    Nik Coughin, May 27, 2004
  8. What licience was this software under? GPL or BSD style?
    Dave -, May 27, 2004
  9. Peter

    Nik Coughin Guest

    BSD. A GPL license wouldn't be commerically viable for our marketing
    Nik Coughin, May 27, 2004
  10. True, don't know what I was thinking when I posted that... upon
    re-reading, I laughed.
    Dave -, May 27, 2004
  11. Peter

    Nik Coughin Guest

    I'm having a day like that too... first day with no coffee during after AM.
    Nik Coughin, May 27, 2004
  12. Only a small percentage, as there are few open source projects to date
    that have produced sufficient income to pay all of their developers.
    Patrick Dunford, May 27, 2004
  13. It's never safe to assume anything, ass'u'me geddit?
    Indeed, although why wouldn't they use the software that they used to
    read it, to write it?
    <conspiricy theory>But whos to say that the company that wrote the open
    source software didn't pay off the company hired to read, check and
    compile the source code.</conspiricy theory>
    Dave -, May 27, 2004
  14. Peter

    brundlefly Guest

    If its information that belongs to the public, it should be able to be
    recovered by the public without a toll being extracted by a third party.

    Thats they you let everyone read it and submit to and read the bug check
    There is a payoff every time someone discovers a bug for you.
    brundlefly, May 27, 2004
  15. Who said anything about a toll? if they bought the software whether open
    or closed, they should be able to use it when ever they like.

    But on your line of thinking, why do we get charged to get public
    information from councils etc...
    I don't understand your first sentance, and after a third look, it still
    doesnt make sense, can you re-phrase?
    Dave -, May 27, 2004
  16. Peter

    brundlefly Guest

    Linksys can't be making money selling those routers?
    TiVo can't be making money selling those PVRs ?
    Redhat can't be making money selling those distros ?
    Paradise can't be making money running their ISP ?
    Citynet can't be making any money running their MAN infrastructure ?
    Weta can't be making any money running their renderfarm ?
    Yeah right.
    brundlefly, May 27, 2004
  17. Peter

    AD. Guest

    Maybe a small percentage by total numbers of developers, but the majority
    of the code produced for these projects would be from professional full

    For most projects, the vast majority of the code is written by a small
    core of developers.

    Who said anything about 'all' developers being paid anyway?

    AD., May 27, 2004
  18. FWIW, I was in Sydney earlier this week for meetings with the aforementioned
    Chris Sharp and this particular story and a few others were discussed during
    the course of our conversation. I should point out upfront that Chris is
    somewhat of a pragmatist, not short of an opinion, and if you're looking for
    glib PR-speak he is the wrong guy to talk to :)

    I've lifted out what I've guessed are the points that might cause the most
    controversy and added a few comments which I hope will clarify things a

    1. "If you are compelled to give back to the community, then you don't have
    the opportunity to benefit from that knowledge (you have created)". This use
    of the word "compelled" makes it obvious that this is a reference to the
    GPL. The list of companies/people developing GPL'd code and financially
    benefitting from their intellectual property (IP) is a relatively short one.
    Yes, some may derive revenue streams via support etc but the nature of the
    GPL makes it somewhat harder to monetise software development when compared
    to other software licenses. For the record, Microsoft is *NOT* "anti-open
    source" but we are on the record many times as saying that we see the GPL as
    being at odds to the commercial software model that we utilise to provide a
    return to our shareholders.

    2. "They are not for the greater good of the community; they are also after
    the money". This is straight from the "stating the obvious" file. If anybody
    thinks that the work that Sun, IBM, Novell, HP etc are doing around Linux is
    purely altruistic and community-focused then I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd
    like to sell you.

    3. "With open source, there is no way to make more software". I have a
    suspicion that this isn't a complete quote. What Chris was saying is that
    the difficulty inherent in deriving revenue from open source (particularly
    GPL'd) software makes it hard for companies to invest heavily in the R&D
    required to make new software (see #1 above)

    4. "Sharp claimed that many of the publicised announcements that certain
    governments are completely deploying open source software are untrue. In
    many cases, he said, it's just one branch or agency of the government making
    the announcement, and it is not a government-wide purchasing policy". This
    is factually correct. If the only news source you had was the IT press you
    could be forgiven for thinking that governments around the world are rushing
    to implement pro-open source legislation. The reality is that the vast
    majority of government IT procurement policies worldwide specify that "best
    value" is the key consideration. Speaking as a taxpayer this sounds smart to
    me and I should point out that the NZ government's policy in this area is
    recognised as being world-leading by many other governments.

    5. "In one study, he said commercial software offered lower total cost of
    ownership over open source software, largely due to software management
    issues. He added that commercial software has also been found to be as
    reliable as open source software". Many of the studies are at and yes, we paid for the research but if you
    think that commissioning research somehow causes the research companies to
    put their reputations at risk by doctoring the study results then please
    refer to comment #2 above regarding a very nice bridge I have for sale. The
    reliability claim is backed up by a number of studies. The last one I saw
    was a Veritest 'apples with apples' comparison of RH and Small Business
    Server 2003 - in one of the tests they stress-tested both servers for 59
    days without either one failing. 100% reliability sounds pretty good to me.

    Hopefully this was of some help in explaining Chris' comments. As always, if
    you have any comments or questions please post them here or email me and
    I'll do my best to respond to them. I want to reiterate one point I made
    above, Microsoft has no problem at all with the concept of open source
    software. It's been around for 30-something years and it'll be around in
    30-something more (heck, we've even released some ourselves). Yes, we have
    issues with some specific open source licenses but that's our prerogative
    and last time I checked everybody was entitled to an opinion.

    Brett Roberts
    Microsoft NZ
    Brett Roberts, May 27, 2004
  19. Read the article not Peter's interpretation thereof
    Brett Roberts, May 27, 2004
  20. Peter

    Gavin Tunney Guest

    I think that depends more on what you want to read from it Peter. He
    didn't actually say the businesses dealing with open source are making
    heaps of money. He said they're in it for the money, that their
    interests are commercial rather than charitable. That would be true.

    From a commercial perspective open source appears to offer most
    prospects outside the actual software development, which does have the
    potential to weaken the software industry as a whole. If people can't
    make money out of selling software then fewer people will write
    software. Not everyone can make their dosh from sideline activities.

    The guy in the article is obviously giving his own personal views on
    the subject, and that's ok with me. In general I don't see anything
    wrong with what he said, open source proponents aren't the only ones
    allowed to have an opinion.


    Gavin Tunney, May 28, 2004
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.