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View Full Version : [SOLVED] If you had to pay for Ubuntu...



the8thstar
May 1st, 2008, 04:12 AM
I know Canonical pledged to give us Ubuntu always free of charge, as in free beer, etc.

But what would happen if Canonical realizes with time that their main userbase or fanbase if you will is mostly the average desktop user and not the corporate or enterprise market. They could say, "Okay, now we can still deliver Ubuntu, but there will be a charge for it". After all they can only survive if they make money, right?

What would that charge be? What would the user be entitled to? In other words:

1. If you had to pay for Ubuntu, would you? Yes, no, WHY?
2. How much would be reasonable? (use your currency and its equivalent in euros or US dollars)
3. If you had to pay, what goodies or expectations would you have with the system when compared with today?
4. Would you choose alternatives (other Linux, Windows, etc.) or stick with Ubuntu?

swoll1980
May 1st, 2008, 04:15 AM
I would not pay for it. I would switch to a free fork like Mint

retrow
May 1st, 2008, 04:22 AM
I have often donated small amounts to open sources projects like OpenOffice.org, Ubuntu, Gimp, R, etc. However if it comes down to 'pay or we won't deliver' I'll change my loyalties - no strings attached.

Bungo Pony
May 1st, 2008, 04:22 AM
Although Ubuntu is good, it's not the best distro out there IMO. I think the only Linux disto that's actually worth paying for (that I've tried) is PCLinuxOS. Everything works out of the box, it's fairly easy to use, and I've had minimal problems with it. Why don't I use it full time? Because there's more support for Ubuntu. I've settled on the happy medium. Actually, I was considering moving to PCLOS if Hardy was crap. However, Hardy's rock solid which makes me happy :D

Oh yeah, and if I were to pay for an OS, it shouldn't be more than $40. Hundreds of dollars for an OS is rediculous. In fact, if Vista were only $39.99, people probably wouldn't complain about it as much. Seriously, who wants to pay hundreds of dollars for a piece of junk OS?

Saint Angeles
May 1st, 2008, 04:25 AM
i would switch to a free OS only because i'm dirt poor right now. but it would definitely be some form of linux.

kavon89
May 1st, 2008, 04:33 AM
I would pay a reasonable amount for a version that has been worked on for a long time, more than 6 months. I'd pay in the ballpark of about $10-$30. However my expectations for things working out of the box and looking all pretty would be higher because they're doing a great job already without all of our contributions.

Realistically though, I'd be lazy and just pirate it.

Jammerdelray
May 1st, 2008, 04:35 AM
No way I'd pay for it, I'd just switch to Fedora or Mint.

kevin11951
May 1st, 2008, 04:36 AM
i would pay like up to $50 for THE OS, but if it came with pro support from canonical, then... i might go for $100 or so (for the support).

swoll1980
May 1st, 2008, 04:39 AM
Although Ubuntu is good, it's not the best distro out there IMO. I think the only Linux disto that's actually worth paying for (that I've tried) is PCLinuxOS.

Why pay for PCLinux when Mandriva is free?

NightwishFan
May 1st, 2008, 04:40 AM
I would use a free distro, however, I would rather pay for Ubuntu than Windows or Mac.

msutton86
May 1st, 2008, 04:41 AM
Definitely wouldn't pay. I'd switch to a new distro, and keep my money.

vexorian
May 1st, 2008, 04:45 AM
People do pay for ubuntu, you know...

kevin11951
May 1st, 2008, 04:45 AM
you guys definitely are helping the stereo type that FOSS users are cheap! :mad:

the8thstar
May 1st, 2008, 05:01 AM
I haven't even answered my own questions, but I'm going to right now:

1. If you had to pay for Ubuntu, would you? Yes, no, WHY?

Yes, I would. I think that if my contribution made the OS stay alive and improve it would be money well spent.

2. How much would be reasonable? (use your currency and its equivalent in euros or US dollars)

I would pay between 25 and 60 euros. Anything cheaper would look, well, cheap.

3. If you had to pay, what goodies or expectations would you have with the system when compared with today?

I would have much higher expectations when it comes to overall stability, hardware compatibility, compositing, networking. I would expect a professional grade wine layer and/or Virtualization with 3d support. And a port of MS Office 2007 for Linux.

4. Would you choose alternatives (other Linux, Windows, etc.) or stick with Ubuntu?

Like I said, I would stick with Ubuntu, where I spend 95% of my computer time (5% only on Vista).

cardinals_fan
May 1st, 2008, 05:07 AM
No, but then I'm not using Ubuntu now anyway. If ALL OS's cost money, I would gladly pay to use a BSD or Slack derivative.

iSplicer
May 1st, 2008, 05:08 AM
Realistically though, I'd be lazy and just pirate it.

+1

Tundro Walker
May 1st, 2008, 05:15 AM
I donated $100 last Christmas to Ubuntu / Canonical. And I plan on doing so next Christmas. So, if you do the math ... compared to MS Windows (which comes out with a new version every 4-5 years), I would actually end up paying more for Ubuntu in the long run.

However, Ubuntu follows more of a "subscription" service. You get a six month upgrade regardless, and you get the usual updates. Also, I don't think of it as "donating to Ubuntu" only, because some of what the Ubuntu devs do ends up heading up/down stream to other pieces of code / projects, and generally I feel like I'm contributing monetarily to a company that has free exchange of ideas in mind, versus someone like Microsoft who's interested in buying up all the companies with good ideas, and then bastardizing the concepts to make a slick profit off of them.

If Ubuntu "sold out" and started charging, I wouldn't mind paying $30 every six months to keep on using it. But, like others said, I would expect the quality of work be a bit more. In other words, I'm ok with things breaking in Ubuntu while I'm using it for free, because part of my "consumer" contribution is acting like an end-user QA tester for the Ubuntu community. But, if I was to pay for the product, I would expect it to work without worries. This is why Microsoft has driven me away as a customer ... they make me pay for products that are buggy and annoy the crap out of me. Plus, they don't listen to feedback from the "little guy", instead focusing on what's best for "big business" (even though a large part of their profit comes from "little guy" desktop software sales, either directly from buying upgrades, or indirectly from buying a new comp with OEM Windows pre-installed).

Like others, if Ubuntu started charging, but kept the same level of quality, I would probably go check out other free Linux distros, because there's other fish in the sea doing that. If everyone was charging for Linux, and Ubuntu decided to join the club, then that's a different scenario, and I would probably stick with Ubuntu.

However, your argument is a bit flawed, because Mark Shuttleworth has said he was planning on making money around the market that springs up from a free distro. So, Canonical makes a free Ubuntu, but also contracts out to work on speciality projects for companies using Ubuntu, paid support for Ubuntu, certifications, etc. There's money to be made, and I think it might be enough for Ubuntu to finally be self-sufficient financially as Mark has stated he would like it to be eventually.

doorknob60
May 1st, 2008, 05:15 AM
Id switch to Debian or Gentoo or something like that.

jrusso2
May 1st, 2008, 05:20 AM
The only way I would pay for Ubuntu would be if they included extra value to it like codecs, flash, java, WinDVD or PowerDVD and Nero Linux along with all the proprietary drivers and firmware.

Then I would pay up to $50 for it.

yssida
May 1st, 2008, 05:23 AM
I will only pay for support. Even if it HAS to come with the OS in order to use it. I wouldn't pay for the OS though.I'd rather donate to FSF. <that is, if the quality continues to be the same> And I don't like subscription style service.

Quillz
May 1st, 2008, 05:28 AM
I would not pay for it. I would switch to a free fork like Mint
As would I.

dnns123
May 1st, 2008, 05:30 AM
1. If you had to pay for Ubuntu, would you? Yes, no, WHY?

Yes, it's somewhat worth it over other OSs.

2. How much would be reasonable? (use your currency and its equivalent in euros or US dollars)

For Ubuntu, $100 max, per LTS. Sorry, student budget...

3. If you had to pay, what goodies or expectations would you have with the system when compared with today?

For first-timers, I'd really expect an idiot-proof OS, it's already close to doing that. For regulars, get the basics fixed. e.g. Flash, Firefox ( lags too much )

4. Would you choose alternatives (other Linux, Windows, etc.) or stick with Ubuntu?

I'd switch to Debian, even if it's a little harder. But the less upgrades and rock solid OS is worth trying. I'm just lazy reconfiguring the OS every 6 months.

swoll1980
May 1st, 2008, 05:37 AM
you guys definitely are helping the stereo type that FOSS users are cheap! :mad:

It's not cheap it's reasonable why pay for Ubuntu if there going to charge for something I can get for free

Fedz
May 1st, 2008, 06:02 AM
Would I pay a lump sum outright from the start - it depends on the price but, quite possibly not!

I've never paid for Window$ 95/98/XP/Vista but, I do regularly donate to Canonical (http://www.ubuntu.com/community/donations) on a weekly basis towards the past and ongoing development, bandwidth ...etc.

I like the fact it's free, open source and I can donate any amount on a regular basis :)

blithen
May 1st, 2008, 06:15 AM
I would not pay for it. I would switch to a free fork like Mint

Same here.

Tundro Walker
May 1st, 2008, 06:26 AM
It's not cheap it's reasonable why pay for Ubuntu if there going to charge for something I can get for free

I second that. Humans are analog machines; we seek the path of least resistance, because we're designed to do such.

It's like asking "there's 2 lanes that pull up to a stop light. 1 lane is five cars deep, but the other lane is empty. Do you pull in behind the other five cars, or do you pull into the open lane?" Naturally, you would pull into the open lane, since it means you can proceed (when the light is green) at your own pace without having to wait for the bottleneck in the other lane.

So, if you had to pay for Linux vs. get it for free. Gee, guess which answer will be the dominant. This isn't rocket science, nor is it "being cheap", it's human nature, and humans by design do a cost/benefit assesment on (most) everything they do.

Some folks just don't do it very well, hence they still use Windows. :)

swoll1980
May 1st, 2008, 06:37 AM
I second that. Humans are analog machines; we seek the path of least resistance, because we're designed to do such.

It's like asking "there's 2 lanes that pull up to a stop light. 1 lane is five cars deep, but the other lane is empty. Do you pull in behind the other five cars, or do you pull into the open lane?" Naturally, you would pull into the open lane, since it means you can proceed (when the light is green) at your own pace without having to wait for the bottleneck in the other lane.

So, if you had to pay for Linux vs. get it for free. Gee, guess which answer will be the dominant. This isn't rocket science, nor is it "being cheap", it's human nature, and humans by design do a cost/benefit assesment on (most) everything they do.

Some folks just don't do it very well, hence they still use Windows. :)

well said

ShodanjoDM
May 1st, 2008, 06:51 AM
This isn't rocket science, nor is it "being cheap", it's human nature, and humans by design do a cost/benefit assesment on (most) everything they do.

Some folks just don't do it very well, hence they still use Windows. :)

And time is not cheap. People actually spending a good amount of their time here to help each other.

popch
May 1st, 2008, 07:11 AM
I paid for a Linux distro before. In fact, I shelled out on the order of 60-80USD (@today's rate) about twice a year for a boxed distro which could be downloaded for free. It got me a set of CDs, a DVD, a manual, some stickers and pins as well as free support by email for one or two cases per box. I used the DVD and the manual.

I stopped using that version because I like Ubuntu better and because Ubuntu worked better with my hardware.

However, I am an IT pro with a steady income. I used to spend a multiple of that on smokes.

frup
May 1st, 2008, 08:38 AM
I would not pay for Ubuntu as it is. Hardy is getting close to being worth paying for but I think most people would switch to something freer and it would really harm new user adoption. Having said that I would gladly donate when I have the funds. In total I have donated $70 US to FOSS over 2.5 years. I can't afford more but soon will be able to. If Ubuntu did cost money I would expect Canonical to have over 2000 employees and really be the frontier of FOSS development. They would have to be active in submitting new technology to the kernel, to gnome, to kde, to developing new applications and really really providing that damn compatibility so many users get frustrated about.

I like the idea of corporates supporting the company (I.e support contracts) and the individuals of the user community supporting the individuals of the development community. I don't like the idea of some stupid popularity contest though where famous or popular devs (dev is synonymous with project here too) get more money, basically bounties are what I'm thinking of. I think brainstorm.ubuntu should have an add bounty feature (should I submit this?). Upon submitting the best patch a programmer could earn say 70% of the funds. 20% could go towards a sort of "communism" system to make all bounties worth something and 10% towards the running of brainstorm.ubuntu (essentially relieving pressure off canonical in what really is a community part of Ubuntu).

Unlike other FOSS members I also think that ubuntuforums not having ads for example is absolutely ridiculous. Sure ads are annoying but having ads would offset the cost of what many of us don't pay for and really abuse. I would be happy to know every foss project was getting money from me when it really doesn't cost me anything.

master5o1
May 1st, 2008, 08:59 AM
Wasn't there that thing where they were going to charge for non-LTS shipit requests, and all LTS will be free?