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Date:      Wed, 23 Feb 2005 13:48:59 -0600
From:      "Andrew L. Gould" <>
Cc:        Anthony Atkielski <>
Subject:   Re: Different OS's? Marketshare
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>

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On Wednesday 23 February 2005 12:46 pm, Anthony Atkielski wrote:
> Jacob S writes:
> > Good. I'm glad to see the average Windows user looking around the
> > computer store still gets to see an alternative once in a while.
> I'm pretty sure I've seen Mandrake, SuSE, RedHat, Fedora, and a
> couple of other Linux versions in computer stores.
> A few years ago, I bought my first copy of FreeBSD (4.3) in a
> computer store.  Now I can't find FreeBSD anywhere; I had to burn my
> own CD from a download to install 5.3.

You can still find FreeBSD at Fry's Electronics and MicroCenter.  I 
don't know if CompUSA still carries it.  I have mixed feelings about 
FreeBSD 5.0-5.2.1 being sold in the retail market.

> > So, where on do you see them trying to sell
> > something?
> On the first page, with the ad for XS4ALL.  If you click on "Getting
> Debian," the first option given is purchase of the CDs.
> > But Linux was compared to Microsoft, which would indicate that some
> > consider it to be giving in to evil influences.
> I don't think the trend towards commercialism is healthy, noble, or
> altruistic, although it's understandable.  But it's a bit
> hypocritical of Linux fans to claim disdain for the Microsoft-style
> business model when they are following precisely in Microsoft's
> footsteps themselves. Of course, this was inevitable, but the Linux
> crowd never understood that.

This oversimplification is so flawed that I'm not sure how to best 

...but I'll try:    ;-)

First, Microsoft is a monopoly that has been found, in court, to have 
used unethical business practices.  Second, the motivation behind the 
creation of Windows focused more on a marketing plan than good design 
principles (you know: security and stuff).  I see no similarity between 
Microsoft and Open Source OS vendors on either of these points.

Third, the beauty of capitalism is that good can come from profit 
motive. (See:  Adam Smith's "invisible hand".)  Let's face it, without 
commercialism, Linux development would not have benefited from the 
likes of IBM or HP.  Likewise, without commercialism, there would be 
very few, if any, *BSD or Linux developers performing open source 
development for a living.  The money has to come from somewhere.

Fourth, I appreciate all the hard work that goes into developing and 
packaging an operating system and its related applications.  I am happy 
to pay for the convenience of an operating system on a DVD.  It's only 
fair that the vendor be able to recover cost.  If earning a little 
profit motivates them to continue providing a great service, all the 

Andrew Gould

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