Subject: Re: gdb
From: Russell Nelson <nelson@crynwr.com>
Date: 18 Dec 1997 15:01:48 -0000

L. Peter Deutsch writes:
 > > Is your cost analysis still valid for a large outfit, in which
 > > one person would waste some time finding out about free products,
 > > which would then be made available to a whole group of programmers.
 > 
 > No.  For large outfits, the overhead of one person becoming the expert on
 > the location, care and feeding of free software which could then be
 > replicated internally would probably be much smaller than the amount of $$
 > saved in license fees.

I assume you mean "spent", not "saved".  Anyway, since the purpose of
a corporation is to deal with transaction costs, it follows that you
believe there to be large transaction costs associated with an expert
who is external to the organization needing the support.  It would
seem, then, that the way to address that is to lower the transaction
costs of supporting freed software.  This might be done through a
brand name (e.g. Cygnus Solutions, as Michael suggests), or through
bulk pre-payment, or through an umbrella organization which sells
bundled freed software and support just like proprietary software.

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