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Re: Enterprise/Consumer support debate

On Thu, Mar 27, 2003 at 01:32:38PM +0100, Michael Schwendt scripsit:
> All of a sudden, it has become an all-or-nothing game or at least
> close to that. There are Red Hat Linux users (read: customers) who
> would be willing to pay for updates if that extended the support or
> at least one year. Such an option does not exist.

So is this due to 
    a) RedHat has become evil, and is trying for the most money they can
    possibly vaccuum out of people
    b) RedHat -- a company approaching, but not achieving, profitability
    -- deciding that they can't possibly make money at it at that price
    point, so they're not going to do it at all?

I'm betting on b), myself; those price points have probably been very
carefully chosen.

Greater adoption means greater and more complicated support demands, and
support costs are the same, year on year; you need a certain number of
engineers and you need a certain amount of work, it's not less because
it will end sooner.

The other thing is the strong expectation that your best customer gets
your best price; Redhat more or less *cannot* use the corporate, large
scale price to subsidize the small business user because the large scale
customers won't tolerate it.

For a truly small business, one too small to require even a quarter time
systems administrator, it's a business opportunity for linux support
companies -- 'we'll support you'.  This really isn't all that hard to do
off of the community distribution on a small scale, for one's church or
one's friend the accountant or whatever; for a larger scale than that,
150 USD or so is going to get drowned in the connectivity costs.

And yeah, the jump is large, but I really can't get a sense of it as
being any larger than RedHat needs to be profitable.

oak@xxxxxxxxxxxx | Uton we hycgan    hwaer we ham agen,
                 | ond thonne gedhencan    he we thider cumen.
                 |   -- The Seafarer, ll. 117-118.

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