US Economy

Dave Smith DavidSmith at
Fri Apr 8 18:20:32 MDT 2005

Merrill Oveson wrote:

> 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.

I agree that competition drives prices down, but that is tangential to 
the argument at hand, which is: Does F/OSS affect the US economy? And 
specifically, does it affect the economy by forcing its competition to 
reduce prices. With that in mind, I'll try to understand your statement.

Are you arguing that F/OSS keeps the price of proprietary software down? 
If so, "MAC" and "Unix" are not really F/OSS. That leaves Linux. Do you 
think that the price of Windows is lower because of Linux? I doubt it. 
But maybe we should compare apples with apples (leaving Apple out of it 
completely, har). I bet MS feels much more competition from Linux on its 
Windows Sever product than on its desktop OS. By your argument, Windows 
Server should be cheaper than the desktop version since there is more 
competition in that arena. It's not. I've heard of companies paying 
thousands for their Windows server installations.

By the way, I paid under $100 in 1995 for Win95 OEM SR2. So, Windows has 
gotten more expensive since the explosion of Linux. Yes, it has more 
features, many more than in 1995, but so what? That's not because of 
Linux either. That's because people buy software for new features.


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