Selling Linux to Windows Users

Gilles Gravier gilles at
Tue Dec 9 15:00:52 UTC 2008

Hi, Joep!

Joep L. Blom wrote:
>> Let me play a little more devil's advocate here.
I hope this point was CLEAR in my initial posting. I was "PLAYING DEVILS
ADVOCATE"... for non native English speakers, it means that I'll PRETEND
for once that I am on the OTHER SIDE just for the sake of the argument.
> Secondly MS has wilfully and intentionally made secret trapdoors in his 
> code to gain access to the user systems.
While this is *PROBABLY* true... I want proof points when somebody makes
a bold claim like that.

> Secondly, the fact that so many companies doesn't dare to make drivers 
> and other software for other OS is simply due to threats by MS of 
> banning their products.
While this is *PROBABLY* true... I want proof points when somebody makes
a bold claim like that.

> Linux is still in it's infancy but, hey, no $$-machine fuels the 
> development and I have the greatest admiration for the developers who, 
> for the majority, don't get any money out of it, only gratitude and the 
> pride of using their skills to do something useful
Actually, the biggest contributers to the Linux world are Sun and IBM...
This document :

from the European Commission shows it clearly (look at page 51).

The model they use is based on contributions to DEBIAN... so very Linux
world. They map lines of code to person-month to EUR to have a uniform
measuring point.

What does that document say?

It says that Sun has injected 312 million EUR (to which you can add the
35 million EUR from MySQL), and IBM 90 million EUR into the development
on software that is at the basis of Linux. Red Hat comes in 3rd with 59
million EUR.

They also compare in Person-months time.

The biggest contributor by university is 4955 Person-month by the
Regents of the University of California (that's Berkeley for those of
you who don't know - Berkeley as in the guys who wrote BSD Unix). In
contrast, Sun's 312 million EUR maps to (using the EU model) 51372
Person-months... that's about 10x UBC's contribution.

You want more proof? Look at the source of Count the files that
have "Copyright Sun Microsystems" in them. Then go look at GNOME. Sun is
the biggest single contributor to GNOME (almost all of ORCA - the GNOME
accessibility library - was written by Sun). Of course, no comment on very Sun project (even though that is slowly
changing)... and Mozilla (some projects like Sunbird/Lightning are 50%
Sun - 7 of the 14 developers of Sunbird/Ligthning are Sun employees)...

Actually, when you boot a Linux box, by the time you get to the GDM
prompt, you've run more lines of code written by Sun than by any other
single contributor.

So please stop thinking in an idealistic world. Today, Linux is
developed in LARGE, in MAJORITY part by developers that are either
funded, or salaried by large corporations who spend millions of dollars
on getting it to work.

Linux isn't ANYMORE the operating system that was developed in majority
by geek-hobbyist-that-don-t-get-payed. The world has changed.

It's a business world out there. Companies like RedHat, Canonical
(Ubuntu for those of you who don't know it yet), Mandriva LIVE off of
the selling of services on top of their distros... and they PAY
developers of Linux. A lot of the DEBIAN committers are EMPLOYEES of

Wake up!


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