Subject: Re: Need quotes for an article...
From: Bernard Lang <>
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2004 17:36:55 +0100

* Robin 'Roblimo' Miller <>, le 23-12-04, a écrit:
> Here's the opening paragraph of an article I'm writing:
> According to MIT's <a 
> href="Technology">">Technology Review</a>, 
> the world's top R&D spender isn't Microsoft. It's Ford. Pfizer is number 
> two, DaimlerChrysler is number three, and Toyota is number four. IBM is 
> number eight. Microsoft is number twelve. While it's unlikely that all 
> the open source software development and research in the world 
> represents nearly as much R&D investment as  the bottom entry on 
> Technology Review's <a 
> href=""Top">">"Top 
> 15" list</a> (Volkwagen), it probably would make their (pdf link) <a 
> href="list">">list 
> of 150 top research spenders</a>. But how do we meaure the value of open 
> source development in financial terms? Should we even try to measure it 
> this way or look for a different metric that includes social value, not 
> just money?
> Anyone want to answer these questions? This is for publication....
> - Robin 'Roblimo' Miller


I do not understand. This makes no sense to me.

The R+D investment is to be measured like any other, and has nothing
to do with social value.  You are measuring the input, not the output.
Social value, if any, is related to the output.

  The fact that people may not be paid is totally irrelevant.  It only
means that they are providing the investment money.

  I have no figures, but I would expect that the total R+D investment
in free software far exceeds anything that MS is doing.

  One difficulty is circumscribing what may be considered R+D
investment from the free software community.  Does it include for
example all the academic research that results in free software ?

  For Microsoft, R+D just means technical work, as opposed to
marketing, legal and lobbying.

  What is R+D in the free software community.

  Microsoft includes things like encarta or games.

  Do you wish to include wikipedia in the free software R+D ?