View Full Version : About FLOSS profits

July 25th, 2007, 06:23 PM
I'm new in the FLOSS world and I find it really amazing to be able to use software for free and even modify it (yep I'm a total newbie in this world:))

But I have a question to make since I first heard about Free software, and i'm sure it has been asked some times before, but I'd like to ask it anyway.

How does a FLOSS company profit? If you(as a company) develop some software (what of course, costs money), and you offer it for free and open source so that anybody can modify and redistribute it. how do you get benefits?


July 25th, 2007, 06:25 PM
By selling (professional) support for the software.

July 25th, 2007, 06:30 PM
The open source industry is generally considered to be service rather than product-based, but there is nothing stopping people from selling the software they create as a product. What really matters is that the software is free from restrictions - although most open-source developers also make their software free from costs too. They make their money through other means - support for the software, distribution of the software, customisation of the software etc.

Many people do not have the skills necessary to take an existing piece of software and modify it so that it meets their requirements. Thus, a company can charge for the service of carrying out these customisations. Customised software is a big, big thing for businesses - but not really so important on the desktop (which is just as well really, because few people pay for desktop software anyway).

July 25th, 2007, 07:15 PM
An OSS company is selling you a solution. Part of it is the software, part is the community, and part is the services they provide. By making the software free, they can distribute it out far and wide, and then sell their services to complete the solution.

July 25th, 2007, 08:30 PM
Not to say that they could be hired to customise their software for a specific need.

July 25th, 2007, 09:07 PM
There are other FLOSS business models, as well, including selling special hardware on which to run the FLOSS(Digium/Asterisk), selling subscriptions to services (tv listings/cd data, whatever), and even selling the software itself (certain games).

July 26th, 2007, 01:09 PM
Aha, more or less i was thinking about that.
Many many thanks to you all:)