Subject: Re: www.oreilly.com -- Tangled Webs: What Gives Them the Right?
From: Russell Nelson <nelson@crynwr.com>
Date: Sat, 27 Nov 1999 19:42:41 -0500 (EST)

Ben Laurie writes:
 > Russell Nelson wrote:
 > > Not necessarily.  Every boxed piece of software comes with a warranty.
 > > Free software cannot, and that's one of the things that people don't
 > > like about free software.
 > 
 > Why can't it? How is it different from proprietary software in this
 > respect?

Uh-oh, I said a four-letter word.  Sorry, I meant that gratis software
cannot come with a warranty.

And even if you sell boxed free software with a warranty, you're still
only selling it to people who want the warranty.  Ya gotta ask
yourself (when setting up your cost structure): why do they want a
warranty?  Granted, they can only get the boxed set *with* the
warranty, so part of their reason may be other things that come with
the warranty: the reduced risk of a branded product, the printed
manual, the CD-ROM put together by the authors.  But if the value of
the warranty dominates the other value, then you ought to presume a
high rate of warranty repairs will be needed.

-- 
-russ nelson <sig@russnelson.com>  http://russnelson.com
Crynwr sells support for free software  | PGPok | Government schools are so
521 Pleasant Valley Rd. | +1 315 268 1925 voice | bad that any rank amateur
Potsdam, NY 13676-3213  | +1 315 268 9201 FAX   | can outdo them. Homeschool!