Subject: Re: Take this analogy and fix it (car repair? _not_)
From: Brian Behlendorf <>
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 13:34:32 -0700 (PDT)

On Fri, 4 Jun 1999, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> In fact it arrives broken---you just don't discover it for a while.
> So if repair really matters, you're accusing vendors of deliberately
> delivering broken software.  Regularly.  So they can make money on
> service.  I just don't see it.  Does Microsoft really make money on
> service contracts?

No, but if they've got two braincells (which I think they do), I'm sure
they're ramping this up as fast as they can.  It's the only big-business
strategy left for a company so thoroughly invested in software.  Well,
that, and mass media.  IBM, for what it's worth, officially makes 30% of
their revenues in their services division, and that component, along with
hardware, is growing.

The fact is that there is no such thing as perfect software, and, at least
for the time being, companies would rather pay to have an expert at the
other end of an 800 number 24/7 than to train their staff internally to do
the same thing.

> I would think they make a lot more money on turning out
> "Microsoft-certified" tekneeshuns than they do on service.  And in
> fact they seem to be quite happy setting up lots of competition in the
> repair business.  

Microsoft has a history of being friendly with an industry, only to move
in and become one of that industry's chief competitors overnight after
having learned from their "partners" how the game is played.