Internecine Envy in Linuxland?

Maxie Spevack, a mouthpiece for the Fedora Project of Linux Distro, Red Hat (Red RHAT), is helping shatter the free love oh so niceness of the Linux community.

Reacting to what must be nothing short of unbridled envy at the recent uptick in the fortunes of other Linux distros such as SLED and Ubuntu, M. Spevack is asking why Red RHAT’s version wasn’t chosen instead in surveys taken by the hardware manufacturers Dell and Lenovo.

He writes, “My entire point with the statistics angle is one of transparency, not one of result. I would love to see how much money Canonical has spent on ShipIt. I would love to see their claims of how many million users they have backed up by some real data, with a disclaimer (like ours) of where the potential fudge factors are. I would find it incredibly interesting to see how much money Canonical spends on Ubuntu every year, and compare that to how much money Red Hat spends on Fedora. It would be interesting to be able to calculate some sort of "cost per user" metric, if you will.”

Since he was on a roll, he continued, “To win a survey like the Dell or Lenovo one requires you to have lots of users, who care enough about the distribution to go and vote for it. But what does it actually MEAN to win a survey like that, from a corporate and financial point of view? Once you are talking about selling machines with a distro pre-installed on them, then someone, somewhere along the chain is getting paid something. The question is who makes the money, how much are they making, and what is the margin? By margin I mean "how much money do you have to spend in order to make 1 dollar?" Are you spending 50 cents? 80 cents? 95 cents? And how do you make the margins tilt as far in your favor as possible?”

Whew!

Even I couldn’t start lobbing SCUDs like that!

Money quote: “Once you are talking about selling machines with a distro pre-installed on them, then someone, somewhere along the chain is getting paid something. The question is who makes the money, how much are they making, and what is the margin?”

Yeah, I’m so not making that up!

However, it goes directly to what I have been saying for a while: drones are preaching the ‘free’ part of open source as an entrepoint into wallets of users and businesses. After you drink their Kool-Aid, you will be stuck with exorbitant ‘services’ fees. Think only banks and Telco’s know how to inflict incessant fee pain? Think again!

Good vibrations seem to be over, as the expected sonic boom announcing the coming of Linux has, dare I say it, fizzled. Now it is survival of the fittest. No more smoking peace pipes, or singing kumba-ya around the campfires. Or whatever it is they do.

The flensing knives are out, and this is shaping out to be an epic battle: The War among Freetards.

I’ll sit back and enjoy this tribal war.

(Feel free to note it down as what is going to happen if, heaven forbid, Linux market share get to be around 10%! The freeloading IBMs of this world will bare their fangs them.)

One word of advice for Red RHAT: Call +1.425.882-8080, beg for forgiveness, admit to violating the Master’s IP and patents, and drink from the proffered cup of interoperability. Come join the continuum and watch your bars of gold-pressed Latinum grow.

Should I charge Red RHAT for this advice? Compliment me here or email me at john.obeto@absolutevista.com.

Visit Microsoft Subnet for more opinions and news. http://www.networkworld.com/subnets/microsoft/

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

SD-WAN buyers guide: Key questions to ask vendors (and yourself)