PDA

View Full Version : If Ubuntu went Mainstream (you had to pay for it) - Would you still use it?



BETATEST
January 22nd, 2010, 05:25 PM
I know, stupid question. Ignoring the "Canonical would never do that to Ubuntu" and "Ubuntu will always be free" diatribes for a moment ...

But say just for argument, Canonical decided to package Ubuntu like Microsoft Windows or Macintosh OSX and go full mainstream. You could still get open source applications ... but you'd have to pay (say $80) to get a full version of the base Ubuntu OS. You couldn't just *download* it (or any of the other *buntu derivatives) for free anymore (okay, you can get free minor in-line maintenance builds, but not new versions). Basically, you would have to buy it to use it. And in return, Canonical made it pretty much like Windows or OSX with fully integrated supported hardware "drivers" for things like the Agere WinModems, Logitech webcams, etc. that work right out of the base installation.

Would you still use Ubuntu if it were now "pay to play." Would it still appeal to you? Would the Adventurous Geekiness be lost? Or would you consider it just another greedy Mainstream OS and search out another free OS alternative?

I've often toyed with the "what ifs" about Ubuntu if it went fully commercial and if it would survive. I use Windows, OSX, and Linux - sometimes simultaneously on 3 screens in front of me - so I'm pretty agnostic about the whole OS religious war thing. I like them all. :^) Even VM/ESA on a TN3270 green screen is fine with me.

fatcrab
January 22nd, 2010, 05:34 PM
No.

Tibuda
January 22nd, 2010, 05:38 PM
mainstream != have to pay


but yes, I would use Linux if I had to pay.

SmallerNuke
January 22nd, 2010, 05:41 PM
I would probably pay for it because I already know how good it is. I would wonder if anyone that hasn't had any experience with Ubuntu would buy a copy. $80 for a OS that you have never tried before is a little pricey; I mean if you didn't like it then it would be a pretty big loss. I'd bet money that Ubuntu would just end up losing the people that they have right now because they don't want to pay for a copy. I don't think many 'reg Joe computer user' would go out and fork over $80 for Ubuntu instead of buying Windows for $200 (or $100 if they get a OEM).

Canonical would have to really start advertising Ubuntu, and getting demos to the masses before anyone would even be interested. The number of people that I see in any school around me have no clue what Ubuntu is (or even Linux for that matter). There are a lot of people who use Mac Books and swear by them. When I question why, the response I usually get is 'no more viruses'. So if Ubuntu could get a decent foot hold then maybe it would have a chance at becoming popular. If anything, Microsoft would have to lower prices or step up their game to compete. {I live in Central Texas}

I'd love to see this happen though. Finally, all my hardware would work for once if they actually got good drivers and all the bells and whistles. I'd also feel better knowing that I (a COSC Major that's still in school) could give something to the community. I understand that Mark Shuttleworth [sry if that's misspelled] has a good chunk of money to support Ubuntu, but it's important that we the users start to support Ubuntu I think.

BETATEST
January 22nd, 2010, 05:46 PM
mainstream != have to pay.

I meant Commercialized Mainstream (edited my subject). Which does = pay. Sorry about the confusion. But you got my drift. :^) Thanks!

k64
January 22nd, 2010, 06:02 PM
I'd probably go to Debian, or, especially, Foresight.

Pauly BC
January 22nd, 2010, 06:04 PM
In my experience Linux is good but not yet great. In terms of benchmarks it outpaces Windows easily so the kernel is obviously efficient. In terms of stability it is OK, but I have had issues unresolved. In terms of hardware support it is buggy - just look at the number of complaints related to audio and wireless support, plus all the video card drivers. Pulling my hair out! In terms of application compatibility and stability it is not ready for commercial sales.

IMO Ubuntu and Linux in general needs better focus in order to compete with Windows and Snow Leopard.

k64
January 22nd, 2010, 06:07 PM
In my experience Linux is good but not yet great. In terms of benchmarks it outpaces Windows easily so the kernel is obviously efficient. In terms of stability it is OK, but I have had issues unresolved. In terms of hardware support it is buggy - just look at the number of complaints related to audio and wireless support, plus all the video card drivers. Pulling my hair out! In terms of application compatibility and stability it is not ready for commercial sales.

IMO Ubuntu and Linux in general needs better focus in order to compete with Windows and Snow Leopard.

And IMO, the open source model is innovative. WinDoze is stuck in the 1800's, thanks to its proprietary nature.

earthpigg
January 22nd, 2010, 06:12 PM
i'd use the Ubuntu version of Fedora or CentOS.

(Fedora is "Red Hat Testing" and CentOS is Red Hat Enterprise Linux with different branding.)

or debian. or arch. etc. either way, no i would not purchase ubuntu under any circumstances. there are only two unique things in ubuntu:

1) brown
2) new features created in-house by canonical that haven't made their way to other distros... yet. give it 1-6 months.

getting those features 1-6 months sooner, and having brown by default, isn't worth paying for.


if i where in an enterprise environment, however, and we where in need of expertise that we didn't have in house... i could see myself advocating that my organization evaluate paying for support.

k64
January 22nd, 2010, 06:16 PM
In a sense, Ubuntu already gives you two options: $19.99 or free. I just download the .ISO image rather than purchase a CD.

Oh, and free CD's take weeks to arrive. That's another reason to download a CD image.

earthpigg
January 22nd, 2010, 06:20 PM
In my experience Linux is good but not yet great. In terms of benchmarks it outpaces Windows easily so the kernel is obviously efficient. In terms of stability it is OK, but I have had issues unresolved. In terms of hardware support it is buggy - just look at the number of complaints related to audio and wireless support, plus all the video card drivers. Pulling my hair out! In terms of application compatibility and stability it is not ready for commercial sales.

IMO Ubuntu and Linux in general needs better focus in order to compete with Windows and Snow Leopard.

hardware support is a non-issue in a business environment. one can assume any responsible business would have done their homework first.

in the home/personal environment, i have had 100% of my hardware supported 100% of the time. i got lucky on my first install, and have done my homework on all hardware purchases since.

as far as application support: again, homework. if you must have <this> piece of software and it only runs on <this> operating system... then why pretend you even need an operating system, as such? you just need something capable of launching that sole application. consider the cost of <Operating System> as part of the application cost. counting on WINE is a horrid folly. its a toy. for games. not must-have enterprise use.

VirtualBox is what you should be using if you want Win software (excluding anything needing 3d acceleration) running with any stability on an ubuntu system.

JSeymour
January 22nd, 2010, 06:25 PM
I answered "yes," but it's conditional on the price, what the distros looked like, their support policy, their commonality with the other Linux distros, etc.

I used to buy RH Linux all the time when I could just go down to the corner CompUSA and pick it up. I felt it was money well-spent.

elliotbeken
January 22nd, 2010, 07:13 PM
yes i would but only if there was no silly things and the updates were free and also if the price was in reason

but ubuntu will never be like that and it will loose some respect if it did

Nerd King
January 22nd, 2010, 07:37 PM
I'm now at the point where I'm pretty comfy in any distro (ie I can build a system in Arch or Gentoo to meet my needs, LFS will come soon I'm sure!). I use Ubuntu because it's hassle-free, and because of the excellent repositories. It's the most consistently working distro for me accross a range of hardware. I think that's worth paying for, but if I couldn't afford it I could use other distros without too much trouble.

ankspo71
January 22nd, 2010, 08:02 PM
How much are talking anyways? If it is anything close to the price of windows or mac, then there is no way I would. I'll just settle for second best (linux). I took a vow to myself never to buy another OS.

MaxIBoy
January 22nd, 2010, 08:15 PM
That is a *really* stupid definition of "mainstream."

Ylon
January 22nd, 2010, 08:22 PM
No, I would interested in pay for support as annual subscription (if I were unable to fix my own problem) like Canonical ltd is actually doing.

Pay for an Operanting System and then you're on your own isn't what's linux all about. "Linux market" is made to run away from the common sense "buy the package"... Linux is more likely to sell competence of prepared people which solve your problem.


Yes, you can have it freely with forums: maybe there's just someone that can help you to solve your problem. But once you pay, you actually know that someone does the solution of your problem.. his/her job. :popcorn:

castrojo
January 22nd, 2010, 08:30 PM
Ignoring the "Canonical would never do that to Ubuntu" and "Ubuntu will always be free" diatribes for a moment ...

It's not a diatribe, it's a fundamental part of the project.

SuperSonic4
January 22nd, 2010, 08:32 PM
Ubuntu is OK but for a paid version I'd expect a proper investment in Kubuntu. There are many better distros out there than ubuntu. I'd pay for Arch and Mandriva if there were no other options.

ticopelp
January 22nd, 2010, 08:40 PM
If the price were reasonable, by which I mean around $50 or less. I have no intention of paying $100+ for an operating system ever again if I can help it.

Grifulkin
January 22nd, 2010, 08:59 PM
I don't use it now, why would I pay for it?

Ric_NYC
January 22nd, 2010, 09:04 PM
I didn't see my option there: "Get into my spaceship and go back to my Planet".... :)


Honestly. I'd pay for it, like I paid to have Corel Linux (remember it?), Caldera Linux, Mandrake Linux and Red Hat.

squilookle
January 22nd, 2010, 10:43 PM
you'd have to pay (say $80) to get a full version of the base Ubuntu OS. You couldn't just *download* it (or any of the other *buntu derivatives) for free anymore (okay, you can get free minor in-line maintenance builds, but not new versions).

I'm not against paying for my OS as a whole - I have bought boxed copies of Suse in the past. However, hile I have broadband, I'll get something for free where I can. I want to help support the development of these things, but there are many other things I have to spend my money on first.

However...

WARNING: I go into the pricing for too deeply and make little sense!

If you only got minor maintenance builds for free and not new versions, then the 6 month release cycle and 18 month support would have to go out the window: unless you bought an LTS you would have to fork out your $80 every 18 months, and would end up paying more than you would for Windows. When you think that xp came out 2001, and is still supported - and will be for a few more years - you have got alot of updates for your money. (problems with the OS put to one side).

Even the Microsoft OS's with normal lifespans (XP's lifespan was not normal) get more than 18 months, but it is okay for Ubuntu to give support for only 18 months because the upgrades are free.

In short, the whole schedule would have to change because people would either get fed up paying for upgrades so often, or would only by the LTS's, makng the other releases rather pointless. I'd go to Windows before I went to somthing like that...

Swagman
January 22nd, 2010, 11:55 PM
/Mexican Bandito voice

"Someone must pay Senor"

I'd pay. Gladly. It's worth it isn't it.

It's a bit like paying more for something from someone you like. I'd rather give them a few bob extra than some unknown.

23meg
January 23rd, 2010, 02:47 AM
It's not a diatribe, it's a fundamental part of the project.

To expand on that a bit:

The thread title implies that you don't have to pay to use and redistribute Ubuntu right now because it's hasn't "gone mainstream" yet. But your freedom to use it free of charge and redistribute it freely is rooted in the nature of the (free) software licenses under which its default components are licensed (http://www.ubuntu.com/community/ubuntustory/licensing), rather than an arbitrary decision on behalf of Ubuntu / Canonical to make Ubuntu free of charge, which may arbitrarily be changed in the future.

"Would you still use Ubuntu if you had to pay for it?" is not the simple question it seems to be; it poses a "what if" scenario whose implications go very deep. By introducing the obligation to pay a license fee per installation, you're changing the very essential rules of the game, changing the history of free software (since we can't speak of such a history as we know it under the obligation to pay license fees per installation), distributed development, software licensing, and more.

Would you still drive a car if the atomic number of carbon was 18 rather than 6?

Groucho Marxist
January 23rd, 2010, 02:52 AM
It's not a diatribe, it's a fundamental part of the project.

Exactly; it would not only invalidate one of the crucial tenants of the "Founding FOSSers," but also establish a precedent for future backpedaling on principles.

dragos240
January 23rd, 2010, 03:00 AM
I use gentoo, but my backup system is still ubuntu. I'd just use the version I already had.

Gallahhad
January 23rd, 2010, 03:51 AM
I'd pay if many of the annoyances that haunt my linux desktop would be scheduled to be fixed. That means, fix all existing bugs before adding any new features. I'd pony up right now for a linux solution that would give me a bug free guarantee, I'd pay $150 per license.

MasterNetra
January 23rd, 2010, 04:15 AM
Wouldn't happen sense I've moved to Mint Linux. Can't really say that will suffer considering Ubuntu is Open-Source.

Mahngiel
January 23rd, 2010, 04:33 AM
ubuntu is garbage. too many issues. i wouldn't pay a dime for it.

mamamia88
January 23rd, 2010, 04:41 AM
if i had to pay for it really depends. i am sure i could find a better distro for me but i just prefer synaptic

lightningfox
January 23rd, 2010, 04:56 AM
No I wouldn't use it, I'd switch to a free Linux distribution.

k64
January 23rd, 2010, 05:07 AM
No I wouldn't use it, I'd switch to a free Linux distribution.

+1 all the way.

23meg
January 23rd, 2010, 05:25 PM
In a world where you had to pay a license fee to install what is currently known as Ubuntu, there could be no such thing as a "free Linux distribution".

Xbehave
January 23rd, 2010, 05:49 PM
$80 no, but then windows costs $20, i'd pay $10 (maybe even $20) for ubuntu yes, but for $80 I'd need support that i wouldn't use (as most of my install comes from ppas)

SuperSonic4
January 23rd, 2010, 05:58 PM
In a world where you had to pay a license fee to install what is currently known as Ubuntu, there could be no such thing as a "free Linux distribution".

Why not? Even if ubuntu charges the GPL says the source code must be available

jrusso2
January 23rd, 2010, 06:00 PM
When its better then the free Linux I will consider it.

V for Vincent
January 23rd, 2010, 06:12 PM
If the fee got you the source code as well, I'd be willing to pay a reasonable amount. If not, some other distro would take ubuntu's place.

matchett808
January 23rd, 2010, 06:34 PM
I would, and I'm going to start donating (just got into a much better position wise).....following this logic:

-windows - crap, unstable and bloated - charges a fortune
-ubuntu - really simple, stable, runs as it did the first time i installed it (actually faster) JUSTIFIED EXPENSE (fair enough the odd printer or ipod (FAIL) might not work but thats ok, because with windows the odd everything barely works.....

alexfish
January 23rd, 2010, 06:58 PM
I would not Pay for Ubuntu


But if Canonical had Commercial Software available for Commercial users ,then yes I would be willing to pay for this


I will always use a Linux based system

ctrlmd
January 23rd, 2010, 07:19 PM
Only if the software, games companies support ubuntu like windows and mac
then yes i would pay for it
but at this current state no.

BETATEST
January 24th, 2010, 08:22 AM
I'm amazed at how civil everyone is being so far. :^) And that's good.

I'd pay for Ubuntu myself if I knew the money was going to R&D to address a lot of the audio and video driver issues and got more device hardware manufacturers like Logitech on board to support it.

I think this is where Ubuntu really stumbles - the vast majority of Application houses, Game publishers, and Hardware device developers (webcams, scanners, graphics and audio cards, faxmodems, printers, etc ... all the add-ons that make a computer useful and fun ...) look only two places. Microsoft. Apple. When I contacted Logitech about Ubuntu ... they said Linux wasn't a core market to them at this time and that they were primarily focused on the Windows and MAC environments. The girl on the phone likened it to VHS vs. BetaMax ... and Ubuntu to them was just another BetaMax. Better quality, but not really used by the common masses.

The "money trail" doesn't lead to Ubuntu.

I know there's a consortium of device manufacturers who are freely making Windows/MAC/Linux compatible devices and that ball is moving. But when a user goes to a retail store now - all they see is Made for Windows and Made for Macintosh stickers on boxes. The new user you want to use Ubuntu is not going to accept the fact that they may have to wait months for some soul to reverse engineer proprietary Windows drivers so they can use their $90 Logitech webcam's built in microphone. All they know is that stuff doesn't work with Ubuntu and it does work immediately with their Windows and MAC ... after that, Ubuntu is forgotten.

There's a lot of people here who just can't get their arms around the fact that most people don't want to write scripts or tinker with config files or sit for hours trying to figure out which conf file posted works best. Most people just want it to work, do their thing with it, and go off and do something else.

As far as my definition of Mainstream - it's not stupid. When I think "Mainstream" - I think "Commercial" ... as much as I love Ubuntu (and hate it at times), Ubuntu is about as mainstream now as GEM OS has been for years. I don't see it on store shelves next to Windows Se7en and OSX. I don't see it on the secretary's desktop in a corporate office. I have yet to see an employer put out a job qualification "Must know Ubuntu and Open Office" on a job application. I don't see it as an integrated OS on a gaming appliance or in a car's in-dash control system. This to me, means those who make something "Mainstream" ... aren't seriously considering Ubuntu. Just because you personally like it and have no problem with it - doesn't make it Mainstream. We need a couple Million of you liking and loving and using it as a common household term that even your Grandmother knows how to use.

I dunno - I use Ubuntu, I tinker with Ubuntu, I curse at Ubuntu. But I like tinkering with things to make them work. But most common people ... don't. And let's face it ... Ubuntu requires a lot of tinkering and TLC. More than any common Windows and especially any MAC user is going to do.

Simon17
January 24th, 2010, 08:33 AM
Paying for software is a human rights violation.

Bill G**** (I refuse to say his name) makes Hitler look like a saint. We're going to have to revive Dante so he can make a new circle of hell for Bill and Steve.

Khakilang
January 24th, 2010, 08:49 AM
I will pay for good and secure software rather than paying something and have to spend time cleaning virus.

The Toxic Mite
January 24th, 2010, 09:47 AM
I'd probably go to Debian, or, especially, Foresight.

I would probably go for Debian as well, but from further research, Foresight looks pretty good... :)

mrebanza
January 24th, 2010, 10:40 AM
WHO PAYS FOR SOFTWARE ?!?!?!?:confused:


IDK . . . Is it just me or is the avarage consumer not willing to pay most any software . . . for the most part . . . windows is not sold to the public . . . computers and laptops are . . . windows software is sold (under large contracts) by Microsoft to the company's who make these devices . . . .



Even Apple isn't selling software their are selling hardware with custom developed software packaged inside.



Most people are not willing to spend over a $100 for a Windows CD and that is when we find Ubuntu . . . . as I did . . . I personally love my Ubuntu despite the very occasional minor driver compatibility issues. The GUI of Gnome and Compiz are so impressive configured the way I have them configured. Wobbly windows . . . ring switcher. . . snap windows.


So I believe the question should be . . . .



Would you buy a Ubuntu PC or Laptop with fully integrated and optimized supported video card, CPU, and other hardware & drivers ect ????


. . and my answer to that question would be YES INDEED I WOULD.


If they where to come out with a Ubuntu Laptop with a glowing Ubuntu Logo on the case (apple style . . . . I think I had a dream about it) I don't think that they would have any trouble selling it as long as it was fast and reasonably priced.


Also a Ubuntu Powered M.I.D. (Mobile Internet Device) would also be nice!



Picture a Nokia N900 with a faster processor and more Ram running a full Verison of Ubuntu Karmic . . . I would be selling my unborn children for one of those!!! :D


Would I still support Ubuntu if they closed the source????


No - Humanity is over. I'd move to the forest & live like a hairy Sasquatch (Or probably just download Ubuntu as a torrent :D ).

mrebanza
January 24th, 2010, 10:44 AM
Paying for software is a human rights violation.

Bill G**** (I refuse to say his name) makes Hitler look like a saint. We're going to have to revive Dante so he can make a new circle of hell for Bill and Steve.

Dude calm down Bill isn't THAT BAD?!?!?

:popcorn:

5dolla
January 24th, 2010, 10:47 AM
id either pirate ubuntu or use open suse.....id use open suse

Chilli Bob
January 24th, 2010, 01:44 PM
I voted yes - I'd pay for it. My current Ubuntu install is working flawlessly, far better than any OS I have used before. I'd pay for that sort of quality.

However, I reserve the right to live in a forest as a hairy Sasquatch. Hey, I have the body for it.

Chilli Bob
January 24th, 2010, 01:46 PM
Paying for software is a human rights violation.

Bill G**** (I refuse to say his name) makes Hitler look like a saint. We're going to have to revive Dante so he can make a new circle of hell for Bill and Steve.

Comments like this do NOTHING to help your cause.

Uncle Spellbinder
January 24th, 2010, 05:12 PM
If Ubuntu became an OS that I had to pay for, I'd move on to Debian Testing. Or maybe even leave the Debian based world all together and try something completely new.

Long story short - I would never pay for Ubuntu.

PartisanEntity
January 24th, 2010, 05:17 PM
Going "mainstream" and charging money are two completely independent things IMO.

But yes, if the price is right, I would pay to use Ubuntu.

Depends on the business model:

a) 49 per LTS
b) 25 per non LTS releases

Something like that perhaps. It should be an ammount of money that allows a company to pay enough developers to maintain an OS but not so much that it rivals Apple and Windows.