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Canonical's business model

On Sun, Jan 08, 2006 at 10:30:07PM -0800, Russ Allbery wrote:
> They're investing in writing better tools, and they're keeping them
> private so as to maintain a competative advantage with them over Red Hat,
> SuSE, Fedora, and so forth.  Including Debian, for that matter.

...damnit, I never thought of that. And you know why not? Because on
some level I thought that all the noise they make about 'contributing
back to Debian' was more than just lip service. I had (stupidly)
wanted to believe that it wasn't *just* their PR machine at work.

If you're right, then it would mean that their concept of
'contributing back' means to purchase 'goodwill' at the lowest
available price - which would be consistent with the behaviour we've
seen from them so far. In effect, treating it as another asset, and
behaving like a classical company that focusses on the bottom line. So
that's actually plausible.

I don't know about other people, but personally I do not appreciate
being treated as a tradeable asset. And I am reminded of a passage
from Pratchett's /Carpe Jugulum/:

  Mightily Oats: "There is a very interesting debate raging at the
                  moment about the nature of sin, for example."

  Granny Weatherwax: "And what do they think? Against it, are they?"

  Mightily Oats: "It's not as simple as that. It's not a black and
                  white issue. There are so many shades of grey."

  Granny Weatherwax: "Nope."

  Mightily Oats: "Pardon?"

  Granny Weatherwax: "There's no greys, only white that's got
                      grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And
                      sin, young man, is when you treat people as
                      things. Including yourself. That's what sin is."

  Mightily Oats: "It's a lot more complicated than that--"

  Granny Weatherwax: "No. It ain't. When people say things are a lot
                      more complicated than that, they means they're
                      getting worried that they won't like the
                      truth. People as things, that's where it

  Mightily Oats: "Oh, I'm sure there are worse crimes--"

  Granny Weatherwax: "But they starts with thinking about people as

  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' :  http://www.debian.org/ |
 `. `'                          |
   `-             -><-          |

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