Subject: Re: [coallesced replies] Re: how to create 21,780 new free software jobs (2,530 in R&D)
From: Chris Maeda <>
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2002 15:48:41 -0800

I wouldn't automatically discount this idea.  The economics
have changed now that PC's have gotten cheaper.  An ISP
can now afford to give you a full blown PC if you sign up for
a long term contract.  ie

         PV ( $40 / mo for 24 months at 10% discount rate ) = $867
           Cost of new PC = $200-$300 at Walmart

Assuming that it costs $10-$20 per month to provide ISP service,
giving away PC's can be a profitable way of acquiring new customers.

I think the network appliance companies failed because they were
not giving away general purpose computers.  I think this idea might
succeed because consumers could conceivably get a new computer
every 2-3 years for the same amount of money that they pay for cell
phones today.

Note that Linux is key to making this business model work.  If you
add in the extra $100 for a windows license, you kill the profit margin.

At 07:38 AM 11/10/2002 -0800, Brian J. Fox wrote:

>    Date: Sat, 9 Nov 2002 18:54:23 -0800 (PST)
>    From: Tom Lord <>
>    I don't believe you.
>Yes you do.  You just want me to do some legwork for you.  However, I
>did see where I needed to make a correction -- the Net Appliance boom
>was 2000-2001, not 1999.
>    In other words, could you be more specific so that we can compare
>    and contrast the critical details, as well as learn from past
>    experience.
>If only your letter had started with "Could you be. . ."
>_Sony's eVilla joins Audrey in Net Appliance Graveyard_
>_Ellison trumpets client/server, announces Net appliance ..._
>_CNN - Linux-based Net appliance targets home - November 12, 1999_
>_Net appliances on parade_
>    Often, it seems to this amateur, winning ideas go through several
>    iterations of being tried out through losing implementations.
>Yeah, but you have to learn from the losers.
>More people use Apache than Word, and it does them more good.
>   Kragen Sitaker, Mon, 04 Nov 2002 21:32:18 -0800