Subject: Re: New markets and new pricing for FSBs
From: "Michael A. Olson" <>
Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 17:48:43 -0700

At 04:51 PM 5/19/00 -0700, Ian Lance Taylor wrote:

> Sleepycat's current license only permits free distribution in a open
> source product.  For distribution with a non-open source product,
> Sleepycat charges a fee.  Why can't you simply make that distribution
> fee depend upon the OS?  Charge the higher fee for permission to
> distribute on any OS.  Charge the lower fee for permission to
> distribute only on specific OSes.

Platform-specific pricing is possible, of course.  To date, I've
dismissed it for the following reasons:

	+  We *like* our customers to port our software to new
	   platforms.  Charging by platform makes that conversation
	   harder to have.

	+  It complicates the price list in general.  Right now, you
	   license Berkeley DB for use in an application.  Under the
	   per-platform pricing, we'd have to create equivalence
	   classes of OSes on which you could distribute.

But you state the case pretty compellingly.  It's useful to hear
it from outside my own head.

> Based on what you said, your current sales are going to be
> cannibalized one way or another soon enough.  You can cannibalize them
> yourself, or you can let somebody else cannibalize them for you.

The fact that revenues are threatened in two years doesn't mean I
will walk away from them right now.

We expect embedded systems to be a much bigger market, with much
higher volume, than our current server and desktop markets are.
We'd like to use the next two years to build market share and
brand in the new space.  Our server business can pay the bills
while we do that.