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Thread: Questions about free software for profit

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    Questions about free software for profit

    I understand using the GPL or a BSD-style license for hobby projects. However, in a lot of what I've read about free software, it seems like it is being suggested that free licenses are beneficial for commercial software as well.

    Is the position that commercial software should be free a minority one and the idea is that hobbyists will make commercial software obsolete? Or do many people feel this is a better business model. If so, how can you make money this way. I've read that Mozilla makes millions of dollars. How? Is it from advertisers? hardware companies funding the project? donations?

    Something I've seen a lot is that developers should sell service. That sounds like a business model that would lead to software with very poor usability. If I make money by selling services what is my incentive to make my product easier or faster to use? If something better came along, rather than having to compete with it, I could just take the code and put it into my product. I'd have an incentive _not_ to spend resources on creating better software, because if I waste time, money, or manpower on that; a competitor could pick up my code and focus completely on providing the best service.

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    Thumbs down Re: Questions about free software for profit

    i suggest you read these articles: http://www.osgui.com/open-source/6.html

    Open source is a set of principles and practices that promote access to the production and design process for various goods, products, resources and technical conclusions or advice. The term is most commonly applied to the source code of software that is made available to the general public with relaxed or non-existent intellectual property restrictions
    www.OSGUI.com
    The name has a double meaning: the OS stands for both ‘Operating Systems’ and ‘Open Source’, and the GUI stands for ‘Graphical User Interface’.
    http://www.osgui.com/content/linux/ubuntu.html

  3. #3
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    Re: Questions about free software for profit

    Quote Originally Posted by Altarbo View Post
    I understand using the GPL or a BSD-style license for hobby projects. However, in a lot of what I've read about free software, it seems like it is being suggested that free licenses are beneficial for commercial software as well..
    FLOSS creates opportunities that do not exist in a proprietary software model. Do you think that Google would be where it is tody, if they had used windows? By being able to cluster millions of servers together, google pretty much made the internet a lot more accessible to a lot of people. Had they had to pay licencing fees for each box, and had they been dependent on a third-party to customize their software to do that, it either would have taken a much longer time, or simply cost too much to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Altarbo View Post
    Is the position that commercial software should be free a minority one and the idea is that hobbyists will make commercial software obsolete? Or do many people feel this is a better business model. If so, how can you make money this way. I've read that Mozilla makes millions of dollars. How? Is it from advertisers? hardware companies funding the project? donations?.
    I don't know what you mean by commercial software? Ubuntu is commercial software. FLOSS in general is a multi-billion dollar industry. Exactly what do you mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Altarbo View Post
    Something I've seen a lot is that developers should sell service. That sounds like a business model that would lead to software with very poor usability. If I make money by selling services what is my incentive to make my product easier or faster to use? If something better came along, rather than having to compete with it, I could just take the code and put it into my product. I'd have an incentive _not_ to spend resources on creating better software, because if I waste time, money, or manpower on that; a competitor could pick up my code and focus completely on providing the best service.
    Don't forget that when hundred or thousands of businesses sell their service and they all cover the same software, they have a tendency to out-do each other. In a proprietary model, yes, selling service for software that you distribute exclusively is a flawed concept. But in FLOSS, remember than the improvements made by one person at one time have the potential to reach all the users down the line.

    See here:
    http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/ict/p...lossimpact.pdf
    http://softwarefreedomday.org/SoftwareFreedom
    I lost a "z". Anyone seen it around here?

  4. #4
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    Re: Questions about free software for profit

    Companies like Canonical make a lot from selling support, giving courses etc
    My home page

    Member of the Esoteric Order of LaRoza - Resistance Is Futile.

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    Re: Questions about free software for profit

    I found a better way of expressing myself on this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Altarbo View Post
    Is the position that commercial software should be free a minority one and the idea is that hobbyists will make commercial software obsolete? Or do many people feel this is a better business model.
    It depends.

    If your business involves making computer do stuff, then you will follow one of two paths.

    The first path is to go out shopping for software.

    The second path is to use free-libre software. This can make sense if you can reach your goal (to make your computer do a certain thing) without it costing you a lot of time and money to develop the software for doing just that. Since you can build upon the work of others when you use FLOSS, it's not so unusual that FLOSS will provide you with the cheaper and better end-product for your needs.

    Chances are that if you want to accomplish a computer-related task, someone somewhere has already accomplished that very thing. It may even be that someone already documented the procedure for you. In other cases still, they released the code that they wrote for you to build upon. It's astonishing how often this happens.

    If the volume and variety of software that is available as free-libre software continues to grow at the current rate, it won't take long for the first path to become the most expensive one.

    So, no, You can't say that the FLOSS development model is better for everything today. But it certainly has a lot more potential than the proprietary one. It is a lot more efficient. If your business relies on software, it makes more sense to not have to rely on a third-party software vendor to tell you what your computer can and cannot do.
    I lost a "z". Anyone seen it around here?

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    Re: Questions about free software for profit

    Quote Originally Posted by Altarbo View Post
    I've read that Mozilla makes millions of dollars. How? Is it from advertisers? hardware companies funding the project? donations?
    Mozilla Corporation makes all that money because of the Google Search box on the top right. If you search with that box and you click on the Google ads on the results page Firefox gets ~80% of that. They also have Amazon in the search box, and other services that kick them back some affiliate fees.

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    Re: Questions about free software for profit

    Doesn't Mozilla Corp. also have some private backing as well? Heard that a couple of years ago.

  8. #8
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    Re: Questions about free software for profit

    Mozilla has
    Mozilla Store
    Funds and Donations
    Ads
    Free Volunteers
    to make money from or to run it.

  9. #9
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    Re: Questions about free software for profit

    ---EDIT Ops. wrong thread ---

    I've been looking for a laptop as well and also like the look of what Efficient PC have to offer. I have emailed them a couple of questions though and had no response and there does not seem to be a phone number. Just wondering if any one has had any experience dealing with them? and if they are a legitimate and reliable company?

    Any thought?
    "We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves." Tenzin Gyatso

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