Subject: RE: Why Open Source Sucks for the Consumer
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2000 00:06:06 -0700

>I never said Linux would not succeed on the Desktop.  Just not on the 
>Desktop -PC-.  If it is to have a chance of de-throning Windows it will 
>only be because we've enabled a better platform to emerge. 

I think for Linux to have a greater impact alongside Windows requires more
than a better platform. The community needs a better service model for
people and businesses interested in the use of Linux today, which was the
real issue raised by Jean Camp. Linux/open-source has impacted the future of
computing industry and the world has taken notice. People want to explore
and experience this for themselves. This is great for the Linux/open-source
community. Collectively, we need to help them, like Jean, and the world to
make the move to this open platform.

We seem to have taken a pure technology (no administration required) or a
future approach (embedded devices) to the business issue raised here. Even
if Jean's system came fully installed from whom ever, it would not solve her
pending problem of finding solutions for the platform to make it useful. It
would be sometime to come before the ASP solution would totally meet the
diverse needs out there. It is still a challenge to find help to implement a
blended solution within her school (as noted by Kyle) in future. The irony
is that there is many Linux/open-source solutions out there already (some
are very good) with many experienced people knowing exactly how to implement

Jean, like so many other non-techie, just wants someone to lean on and to
take the lead responsibility to have things working and problems solved. I
would think Jean would most likely go back to that lead person with future
needs (having established that trust and relationship), and continue to buy
from the vendors involved as well. At the end of the day, business is still
very much about solutions, trusts and relationships even in a global

The greater challenge is a business model for Linux/open-source that brings
value to all parties involved in providing solutions and services to the
"Jeans" of the world. The model should be scaleable for the emerging global
markets. Without exception, no company can effectively service even NA, much
less in a global context. However, along with the Linux community as a whole
(world wide) and individuals in particular, any one, a small group, or
company, can do the job effectively. I think the "Jeans" would be much
happier with a "Community Marketplace" approach, and get on with business.
This will also encourage the growth and popularity of Linux/open-source. 

At where I work, is trying to bring such a Community Marketplace
about. Linux/open-source community have a chance to do things better than
what we have currently. The industry is currently driven by large marketing
budgets where vendors bear the cost of guiding products into mainstream
distribution channels. Support service is separate. 
Linux and other open-source products are in need of efficient channels of
product promotion, distribution, and support services.

>..... I suspect that there are people in Cambridge 
>who would love to help me out with an extremely wide range of  support 
>services for an even wider range of prices. 

-Jean here is your answer: is a web-safe community marketplace where clients, consultants
and hardware/software vendors come together. The site provides much needed
efficiency and enables the Linux community to be an effective distribution
and support service channels for vendors of HW or SW solution. It has
features for the community to regulate itself to ensure quality and
performance of service for clients. 

The site's features emphasize global community empowerment, relationships
building, virtual support teams, fair business practices, and dispute
mediation by peers. It provides an environment where contracts can be
negotiated and disputes resolved. Contracts are made up of deliverables
defined by providers. A dispute resolution process and mediation by peers
ensures the use of fair and equitable business practices.

I hope I am not talking out of line here because this mail list is really
about "Free Software Business". IQLinux has just launched, and is looking
for community inputs. It is trying to make a difference to better serve the
"Jeans", bring economic value to the community, be a channel of solution,
and most importantly popularized Linux/open-source.

President, CEO