Subject: ANN: New FS Business - feedback please
From: Jack Hughes <>
Date: Sat, 28 Jun 2003 14:56:53 +0100

Dear all,

I am pleased to announce the creation of a new free software business competing in the
network management and systems administration spaces.

If I were to compare us with existing businesses I'd say we are a fusion of the business
models of Red Hat, ActiveState and Apple's .Mac service.

We have just released our first subscription service as OPENXTRA BASICS+, an add-on
to our freely available OPENXTRA BASICS package. The subscription service includes an
electronic update service (like Red Hat's up2date service). We also include a license
of Sublime Solutions FireDaemon, a tool to allow Tobi Oetiker's MRTG to be used in an
enterprise environment.

Our first toolkit is available under Microsoft Windows as a native digitally signed
Windows Installer package. The package is available as a net installer, only downloading
the components you want and as a CD installer, in case you want to install the package
on a number of machines.

The idea behind the company is that we wish to bring the benefits of commercial packaged
software to the wealth of wonderful open source tools available in the network management
and systems admin world. We believe that we can close the support gap between open source
tools and their proprietary counterparts. All of this without losing the benefits of
using open source tools. Our central philosophy is that we want to keep the good bits
of open source (no lock in, rapid evolution) whilst negating some (or all) of the perceived
or actual downside (the sometimes scant support and documentation).

Why have we chosen Microsoft Windows as our first target? Well, that's where the users
are. If someone is using Windows and that is where their expertise is, telling them
to go get Linux is just putting another barrier between them and a solution to their
problem. Go learn Linux, then you can install the tool to help you solve your problem.
We're pragmatists, we want to give people what they want on the platform of their choice.
It is our intention to support Linux shortly.

Our belief is that there is a whole section of the market who are priced out of the
market at present. We've chatted to people in local government and they just cannot
get the budget for commercial tools to manage their network, especially when those tools
can stretch to thousands of dollars. Our solution is to leverage open source tools to
provide them with a low cost alternative.

The company website is please take a look and give us feedback.
We welcome constructive feedback, both positive and negative.

Take care,

Jack Hughes