[kwlug-disc] interesting piece on the power of open source

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Tue Dec 1 23:46:04 EST 2009

Raul Suarez wrote, On 12/01/2009 10:15 PM:
> --- On Tue, 12/1/09, unsolicited <unsolicited at swiz.ca> wrote:
>> Desktop is the only indicator that matters.
> I respectfully disagree.

Let's define some context then.

The users I'm thinking about are your receptionist when he goes home,
the waitress, the ditch digger, the labourers, the blue collar
workers, the majority of the working public.

All the people, from home, who google, and do online banking. Full
stop. Many of whom do not use a computer at work.

And, we're talking Windows users, since we're talking about penetration.

They will never see server software. They see the desktop. And
substantially, that's all. They substantially do not buy software.
They take the package of software that comes for free from their
provider when they sign up, and they let it expire.

So, the desktop is the only thing that matters. It's the only thing
they use.

What is your context?

>>> Marketing, inertia, distribution channels and
>> support.
>> And best buy availability.
> "And"? I already said distribution channels.

Distribution channels is too large and vague a term, for what we're
talking about here. Linux may be available via IBM Global Services,
but these desktop users will never buy from them.

The only channel that matters for the mass of these desktop users is
retail. (Since software runs on hardware, and we can't just download a 
CPU upgrade. People have to go somewhere to acquire it.)

>> I don't think people (= home desktop users, corporate users call
>> their support department
> It's not a matter of faith to believe they do. They do.

So, you're telling me this average desktop user is frequently calling
MS at, what, $125 a pop, for support. Or anyone else, at a cost?

I'm talking calls, not forums, not e-mail, not a friend, the original
vendor of the software, the one they didn't buy  a support plan from
(because I can't imagine the mass public doing so).

And ... make sure to distinguish between calls relating to the service 
and calls looking for software support. My order didn't come is 
different from your web form can't add two numbers which is different 
than your software printed my page upside down and backwards.

>>> Finally, market dominance is meaningless if it is achieved by
>>> loosing track of what FLOSS is.
>> By your statement, market dominance will never be accomplished.
>> Or it would have happened.
> Where is the hurry? I know it is a cultural difference, but under
> certain cultures we think hundreds of years to be recent history.

But the culture in the context of this K-W LUG list is substantially 
North America, particularly K-W, and realistically the U.S. - as mass 
U.S. adoption is the only mass of sufficient size to trigger the 
necessary 'critical mass' we're talking about. What happens elsewhere 
is irrelevant - it's what's happening in my back yard that matters.

(What do they say, 'Change begins at home.'?)

>>> The only purpose, as I see it, of market dominance is
>> ensuring that all the people understand the benefits of Freedom
>> as it relates to software.
>> No, it's about getting everyone onto the same page. Software,
>> freedom, benefits - fluff. Users have too much else on their
>> plate that concern them more.
> I know, most Argentinians didn't care about freedom of expression
> during the Pinochet era. Does that mean that artists, writers and
> dissenters got killed in vain?

That would seem to be self-evident. [And this is going way off ... so 
far as I know, nobody has ever been physically harmed by using 
Windows, no matter how much LUGers would like to throttle them.]

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