US Economy

Merrill Oveson moveson at
Fri Apr 8 17:08:07 MDT 2005

> How about some examples? The Windows OS costs more now than it did in 1995.

It's also not the same product.  Win95 vs XP.
I can't remember what Win95 cost in 1995, but I found XP for $155.
If we adjust the cost of XP in 1995 dollars (that is adjusting for
inflation at between 2% to 3% per year) the price would have been
between $115 and $127.

Remember that XP is not the same product it includes features not
included in Win95.

I don't wish to argue that point though.

Trust me when I say that XP would cost much much more than it
currently does if it weren't for MAC, Linux, Unix, and all the other
OSes out there.  And where Microsoft has effectively nullified it's
competition it has raised its prices.  After it captured market share
of its office suite, effectively eliminating the old Lotus suite and
WordPerfect suite, prices of its suite went up, even I believe
adjusting for inflation.

On Apr 8, 2005 9:25 AM, David Smith <DavidSmith at> wrote:
> <quote who="Merrill Oveson">
> > 1) OSS has put significant pressure on commercial software producers
> > this has caused them to a) lower their prices b) produce better
> > software
> How about some examples? The Windows OS costs more now than it did in 1995.
> > Competition is always good - at least for consumers.  Monopolies are
> > bad for consumers.  OPEC is a monopoly.  They are the #1 reason why
> > oil prices are what they are.
> Citing an example from the oil industry doesm't prove anything about the
> software industry.
> > 2) Because of reason #1, the cost to acquire software is less
> > expensive.  This cost savings allows businesses and consumers to spend
> > the saving on other goods and services.
> How about providing some examples? Is there an example of a business who
> was able to spend less on software thanks to F/OSS in such a manner that
> they could afford other goods/services that they otherwise could not have?
> Most IT budgets that I have seen go *up* year after year, not down, even
> those that are using F/OSS.
> With the lack of examples here, we can't accept this argument.
> > Consumers (whether households
> > or businesses always look to reduce costs.)  Producers (business or
> > labor) always look for ways to increase the price of their goods and
> > services.  Supply vs Demand - is what determines prices.  If OSS
> > didn't exist, then commercial software would be much much more
> > expensive.  Remember when WordPerfect was selling for $600?
> > Microsoft, in an effort to gain marketshare around 1992, introduced a
> > suite of applications Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access all for $99.
> > Suddenly, WordPerfect had to scramble to introduce their own suite,
> > that's when they teamed up with Borland's Quattro Pro and Paradox -
> > and had to suddenly cut the price of their flagship product
> > WordPerfect.  Now a days we have better wordprocessors for way less
> > money - especially factoring in inflation!
> Now that's a concrete example, but not a good one for the argument at
> hand. I doubt that Open Source had anything to do with the falling prices
> cited here. After all, it wasn't until very recently that a competitive
> open source office suite has been available. This is just an example of
> competition lowering prices. It has nothing to do with F/OSS, nor does it
> have to do with the argument at hand: whether F/OSS impacts the US
> economy.
> > 3) Lastly, because OSS was free and still is, this huge cost saving
> > spurred a ton of new innovation and businesses.  Smart guys, like you
> > all, grabbing Linux and Apache and setting up ISPs, or websites for
> > commercial enterprises, or websites for your own commercial
> > enterprise.  Heck I have a commercial website, it cost next to nothing
> > to host, the software for it is free.  Without OSS, this would have
> > never happened.  OSS and the internet (a result of OSS mentality) has
> > reduced the cost of advertising, marketing, customer filfullment,
> > mailing (Yes email makes the post office think twice before raising
> > the cost of a stamp.), even shipping, banking, etc, etc, etc -
> > everything.
> This looks like a pretty good argument on the surface, but still lacks any
> substantive examples. Prove that email makes the post office "think twice"
> before raising the prices of stamps.
> --Dave
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