Re: Working Within the System

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Sun Apr 30 2000 - 08:05:00 MDT

Martin Ling wrote:
> On Sun, Apr 30, 2000 at 08:28:17AM -0400, Michael S. Lorrey wrote:
> >
> > I bought SuSe on a CD that was part of a linux book, that retailed for
> > $49.00. I bought it on remainder at a used book store for $15. A used
> > dual processor server I just bought from a guy for $50 happened to have
> > a Red Hat cd stuck in the drive (and he just moved out to Arizona, oh
> > well ;) ), so you could say i got that for free. But I doubt that most
> > people are as cheap as I am. Both are 'previous release' issues, and
> > I've likewise seen Windows 3.1 and Win95 disks available for nothing or
> > next to nothing in similar venues...Buying the latest release of an OS
> > is not likely to be gotten for free or next to nothing.
> Yes it is. You can always download the latest version of RedHat, SuSE,
> Mandrake, Debian, Slackware, and all the others I could come up with, or
> obtain the CD for $2-3.

The issue isn't downloads, its hardcopy, and I'd be very interested in
finding sources of cds for 2-3 dollars. The utility cost of downloading
100M or more, especially if your local phone usage rates are not capped,
is less than going out and buying the CD. Knowing cd production costs,
they are losing money distributing at that rate. Moreover, the business
models of companies like these are focused on making money on tech
support. I doubt very much that half of the linux companies will be in
business in a year or two.

> Corel is a rather unusual example (it includes some commercial software,
> namely the personal version of WordPerfect).

Yes, and Corel is also coming out with linux versions of all of its
applications. It intends to give Microsoft a run for its money through a
user freindly version of the linux platform and a full linux product
line, so long as they don't run out of money first. Michael Cowpland,
CEO fo Corel, seems to be afflicted with the gee-whiz virus, and even
though they are short onf cash, went ahead and bought Kai, at the same
time that they are finalizing their Borland/Inprise merger. He is doing
little to improve existing applications, preferring a strategy of making
applications pay for their own improvements. Ventura, for example, is in
many ways a superior DTP application to Quark, PageMaker, and
FrameMaker, but lacks some features that I consider to be of utmost
importance to be truly wonderful (though few other DTP apps offer them
either, and in the rare cases they do, they are expensive aftermarket
plug-ins from third parties.)

If Corel can keep its head out of its ass for another year or two, I
think they will be positioned to be the major challenge to Microsoft.
NOTE: Michael Cowpland is opposed to breaking up Microsoft.

Mike Lorrey

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