defending FOSS was Re: [Linux-aus] [Fwd: Re: [xxxxxxx] FW: Re:

Jon maddog Hall maddog at
Mon Dec 4 18:54:06 UTC 2006

> [are there total cost of ownership current docs around on this?]

You will never win if all you look at is "total cost of ownership".  You will be
nit-picked and special-cased to death.  The argument of Free Software being low in
price does not work well in a country where most of the software is pirated.

Instead you have to look at "Value of the solution", and here you will make much more

Value of a solution that does not work = zero.
Value of a solution that works perfectly may be close to infinite.

When you walk into an airport, in a hurry to get to your plane, and you are greeted by
the blue screen of death on the airport information sign, then it does not make any
difference how much that system cost. The system's value to you, the customer, is zero.

If you can not get a simple extention or bug fix in the time that you need it, the
value of that software is zero.

If you can not develop your own software expertise inside of your country because the
software you use is created some other place, then the value of that software is less.

Yes, Total Cost of Ownership is important, because if you can not afford the software
in the first place, then you can not get the solution.  But once that hump is
over, you need to look at ROI (Return on Investment), and that has mostly to do with
the value of having the solution (or not having it), not the cost.

Warmest regards,

Jon "maddog" Hall
Executive Director           Linux International(R)
email: maddog at         80 Amherst St. 
Voice: +1.603.672.4557       Amherst, N.H. 03031-3032 U.S.A.

Board Member: Uniforum Association
Board Member Emeritus: USENIX Association (2000-2006)

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