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Re: doughnuts on a fish hook

Howard Owen said:
> Well, where I'm working now, they have rolled out their own desktop
> Linux to 1400 customers. The total desktop pool is 16,000.

I would guess that 16,000 seats would get you a pretty good volume discount.

> They are
> currently based on RHL 7.3. The systems they are replacing are Sparc
> workstations, and the cost of hardware and software is the definitive
> reason. They pay nothing for the bits that come from Red Hat, but they
> put quite a bit of time into doing their own engineering on top of that.
> They also hire my employer to help them out with the tougher problems.
> So the cost of the bits is not the biggest concern to them, but it is a
> factor. They have considered and rejected rolling out WS because of the
> cost. They are worried about how errata will work after 7.3, and 8 and
> 9+ are no longer supported. They will surely have to pay more to
> continue supporting their desktop Linux. How this will balance out with
> a switch to WS, I don't know. But they have rejected the alternative
> thus far, as I said.

So they understand that keeping up with Errata on a distro is time
consuming and costly.  It doesn't make sense for them to do this on their
own, but they think it makes sense for Red Hat to do it and give it to
them for free?

> The switch to Linux on the desktop in corporations is absolutely about
> cost relative to Microsoft.

And retraining for existing support staff, re-implementation of in-house
apps, finding replacement apps, etc.  At the point you make a decision to
change OSes, the cost of the OS is not a large percentage of the cost.

> To the extent that the cost of bits affects the overall cost, it will be
> a factor.

Exactly.  That factor isn't generally that much.

> The real money is in the support.

I think you underestimate the development costs of backporting and
verifying security patches.

> I predict that sales of WS will not
> amount to much. Give it away and win
> a few big support contracts with the penetration that gives you.

WS *is* support.  If you didn't care about support, buy one copy of WS,
rip out any non-distributable bits (for example Red Hat trademarks),
recompile the SRPM errata's available from
http://ftp.redhat.com/pub/redhat/linux/enterprise/ every time a new one is
released.  When something breaks you get to keep all the pieces.

William Hooper

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