Subject: RE: A few here may have an opinion on this
From: Rich Bodo <rsb@ostel.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 02:57:51 -0800 (PST)




> > software. Because it does not create any revenue, it automatically is
> > valueless... I do not think so! I think a lot of people and companies
> > using open source or free software would be quite willing and are indeed
> > willing, to pay a high prize for free software, but why would they do
> > so, if it's available for free?

Because software is relatively complex and unreliable.  A company
might be able to get away with no support for their screen saver, but
not for their business software.  When I buy software, it's either
because someone has a monopoly or I need expertise and a warm, fuzzy
secure feeling.

> I understand that it wouldn't be completely accurate to determine the
> value of something solely based on its' replacement cost, but what does
> the replacement cost of Free Software look like?

There is no exact equivalent.  If you have experience with both a
proprietary package, and a free package, then you might be able to
calculate TCO.  I'd be interested to hear personal experiences with
this calculation.  You might have to hire more or less employees to
maintain your free software as opposed to your proprietary software,
that type of thing.

I mean, would it make
> sense for Yahoo to put down the numbers for the money they don't spend
> every year on proprietary software?  Maybe not on their balance sheet,
> but maybe somewhere else?

Is this to gain a tax advantage?  Not a CPA, but that would be
interesting.

-Rich

Rich Bodo | rsb@ostel.com | 650-964-4678