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Re: Fedora and the System Administrator

> On Monday 06 October 2003 02:54 am, Dave Tetreault wrote:
> > Buck you're no way close to old.  Coming up on 63.  If people
> > thing that they have problems with RHEL they should consider the
> > little extra hoops I have to jump through.  We have a purchasing
> > system that excels in red tape.  To order something of the web using
> > a credit card is impossible unless you want to use your own and loan
> > the state money.  To purchase from one vendor it take a mountain of
> > paper work.  I needed ove twenty copies of ES. Wanted the basic
> > edition but that required a download and payment by card.  Finally
> > had to order the standard version through an "approved reseller".  I
> > can't wait until next year when I try to figure out how to pay for
> > the renewal :-)


I share your problems with ordering RHEL.  I have griped and griped and
griped about it but RH really doesn't care.

>From my perspective they have a less than optimized business model.  

It should be a no-brainer to hire someone to sit there and accept the
PO's from government sources (schools, military, states, universities). 
Moreover, it's SUPER stupid to require a signed license agreement.  In
court the acceptance given at install time is all they need to handle
people that violate it.  By requiring a specific signature from someone
(particularly someone who is placing an order on behalf of someone else,
as purchasing departments do) you are putting an individual in an
awkward position.  Paper pushers don't want their job put on the line
because someone else wanted something that their boss decides they
shouldn't have signed.  Better to not risk it.

IMHO it is extremely poor judgement to place burdens and hurdles between
a consumer and a product.  The introduction of those burdens lessons the
value of the product IMMEDIATELY.  Thus, sales and profits are
negatively impacted.  

This is made even worse by the fact that the incremental cost to selling
software is so low.  What this means is that most of the money from each
turned away sale (most= ~90%) would have contributed directly to their

Still worse is the fact that turning away customers in this stage of
product development (mostly early adaptors) is going to cost them
customers in the future.  The customers that they turn away with these
hurdles are customers that they have most likely lost to their
competition for good.

By turning away customers with these hurdles I have often wondered if RH
is afraid to grow.  Perhaps their management look at problems other
growing companies have had and are trying to do things differently.

Of course there are ways through the hurdles but it's not made clear on
their website or working with there sales teams.  

I also am not sure I understand the dumping of the RHL product line. 
Again it is a poor business choice.  Spawning off Fedora makes sense. 
Dropping RHL though?

In the driver seat at RH my decision would have been spawn off fedora
and at yearly intervals take Fedora and Call it Red Hat Home Linux,
whatever.  Give that RHHL a 2 year maintance life instead of the 9-12
months of Fedora with a $50-$80 price point.

Then instead of alienating a group of people you are opening your
product line offering to a wider market.  Considering they already have
a good foothold into this home user/basic workstation user market for
Linux it seems to me to be the better option.

Perhaps the decision was made on a different level though.  Perhaps the
decision was made on the basis of increasing their user counts for the
RHWS product line.  Perhaps that's a good idea in the short term, but,
in the long term they will need to return to the home user market to
grow their product line.  

The question is will the millions of RH users that have had the rug
pulled out from under them by RH dropping RHL leave a lasting memory for
when RH does decide to enter the home market again.

I guess someone at RH figured we would be ok with it.


"There are only two things that are infinite: the universe and human
stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe." - Albert Einstein

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