[lug] Fedora *MEETS* KRUD comments wanted

Peter Hutnick peter-lists at hutnick.com
Thu Sep 25 15:52:42 MDT 2003

Rob Nagler said:
> Why should RedHat provide something for free when you can get it
> elsewhere?  Why would anybody do this unless they had a way of paying
> for the cost of "free"?   Why would you pay when you can get it for
> free?  Because it's not "free".

I appreciate the RH is a commercial enterprise.

Like many on the list I am pretty put out by this change.

I think that RH's free ISOs were a very good thing for them.  Undoubtedly
they have done more analysis than I have, but my gut tells me this is a
bad move.  (I freely admit that my gut tends to be self-serving!)


Mindshare.  I have two computers, both run RH9 installed from a CD that I
installed and burned from ftp.redhat.com (or some mirror).  In the past
(and, fates willing, again in the future) I have had a significant
influence on purchase decisions.  Through this change in policy they have
provoked me to seek out an alternative to RH.

Install Base.  I think that when Balmer said "Developers, developers,
developers." he really meant "Applications, applications, applications." 
Right now a lot of stuff runs "out of the box" on Red Hat specifically
because they are the most obvious target.  This is clearly attributable to
the facts that a. they handily carry the largest GNU/Linux install base
(stateside) and b. they provide a free(ly downloadable ISO) platform.

Good Will.  In the pre-Linux IPO boom world Red Hat was often looked upon
with a fair bit of suspicion.  Today they have solidified their position
as a "Good member of the community."  They may be in for a shock when they
see how quickly "we" will turn on them.

Surely they realize that this move will alienate some number of people. 
The real question is whether the increase in license sales will out weigh
the loss of the items above in what I am going to suddenly call the medium


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