Subject: RE: Competition by internal expertise for F/OSS vendors
From: "Lawrence Rosen" <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2008 11:14:35 -0700

 Wed, 27 Aug 2008 11:14:35 -0700
I'm enjoying this thread.

Santiago Gala wrote:
> I've also seen "in the wild" a person (Philologist) that has Open Office
> installed under Vista Home and is thinking seriously about "installing
> linux instead of Vista", as she was again fed up with it. 
<snip>
> This was an interesting case for me, as she is not savvy neither has any
> close friend that is, except casual acquaintances. So "brownian
> motion" (cumulative impact of lots of small support hints, emails, IM
> chats, ...) seems to drive people closer to free software and away from
> microsoft nowadays.

"Brownian motion" is an interesting, albeit flawed, analogy. If you place a
drop of ink into a large glass of water, eventually Brownian motion will
spread the color throughout. But there would still be only a small drop of
ink molecules in that vast reservoir of water. That's not what we're seeing
as FOSS captures market share.

FOSS is succeeding in the hundreds of thousands and millions of downloads of
applications that solve problems in cost-competitive ways. Small-scale
droplets of open source software in the hands of philologists (or even the
hands of much more numerous lawyers) don't give us the FOSS growth-rates we
need and are seeing.

/Larry



> -----Original Message-----
> From: Santiago Gala [mailto:sgala@hisitech.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 9:44 AM
> To: simo
> Cc: Alexander Wait Zaranek; fsb@crynwr.com
> Subject: Re: Competition by internal expertise for F/OSS vendors
> 
> El mié, 27-08-2008 a las 01:00 +0000, simo escribió:
> > On Tue, 2008-08-26 at 20:36 -0400, Alexander Wait Zaranek wrote:
> > > On Tue, Aug 26, 2008 at 8:15 PM, Rich Bodo <richbodo@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > > Hard to say, this one looks a little more telling to me:
> > > >
> > > >
> http://www.google.com/trends?q=centos%2C+rhel%2C+suse%2C+debian%2C+ubuntu&
> ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0
> > > >
> > > > Looks like Ubuntu is just kicking ass and taking mind-share.  Of
> course,
> > > > there is no telling what all that web traffic means in terms of
> market
> > > > share.
> > > >
> > >
> http://www.google.com/trends?q=redhat%2C+novell%2C+ubuntu%2Capple%2Cmicros
> oft&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0
> > >
> > > I have to agree!  I have the impression that Ubuntu is giving Apple
> > > and Microsoft genuine competition.  It's a little hard to believe for
> > > a commercial user of GNU since 1993.
> >
> > Sorry but besides the woes of slashdot-type crowds I see little market
> > take by Ubuntu. How long before Canonical runs out of money ?
> >
> 
> Notice that here (Spain) I have seen a number of non-computer savvy
> people migrating from Vista to Ubuntu (always ubuntu, empirical result)
> because they didn't want to install cracked software, they can't afford
> MS Office, and they were fed up with the problems of viruses and
> upgrades in Vista. This is mostly people which really uses the computer
> only to browse and/or office tasks.
> 
> I've also seen "in the wild" a person (Philologist) that has Open Office
> installed under Vista Home and is thinking seriously about "installing
> linux instead of Vista", as she was again fed up with it. I'm quite sure
> that offering help to install would be all that is needed for a
> migration to start. All software she uses is:
> - camera download
> - basic office suite (Open Office)
> - browser (she installed opera because MSIE broke with upgrades, has
> firefox too)
> - webmail for email
> - skype
> - MSN (she can work with pidgin or a similar one, no problem with less
> fancies)
> 
> This was an interesting case for me, as she is not savvy neither has any
> close friend that is, except casual acquaintances. So "brownian
> motion" (cumulative impact of lots of small support hints, emails, IM
> chats, ...) seems to drive people closer to free software and away from
> microsoft nowadays.
> 
> Not sure how is ubuntu going to crack the big monopoly of initial
> installs, though, but in this scenario some laws (in some European
> countries, for instance) forcing to mark up separately the price of the
> hardware and OS could make Ubuntu grow *very* fast.
> 
> Regards
> Santiago
> 
> > Simo.
> >