[clug] Google compared to latest Microsoft evilness

Paul Wayper paulway at mabula.net
Thu Jul 9 07:34:03 MDT 2009

On 09/07/09 16:30, Chris Smart wrote:
> 2009/7/9<wally at wic.net.au>:
>> I fear this is where the translation was lost.
>> As I understand it so far :
>> Microsoft charge you (based on your hardware) for software  ..then offer
>> free updates.
>> RH offer free software then charge you (based on your hardware) for updates.
> All the other stuff aside, my original argument was simply that Red
> Hat restricts how you can run their commercial RHEL software. I wasn't
> debating their support service or business model at all.
> And they do restrict you, because you a) need a subscription, and b)
> it has to match your hardware. And if you don't then you're in
> violation of their agreement and you can't get updates.


Sorry, but I think somewhere along the line you got the idea that you can 
download a copy of RHEL, branding and all, for free and get updates to it for 
free.  That just isn't true.  So arguing that since that isn't the case you 
must be right is kind of circular.

The real point that this whole thing started from, as far as I can see, is the 
whole question of what's "evil".  Is it right for an operating system to be 
locked to run on certain hardware even though it's capable of running on more, 
or less, or different.  And sure, that's annoying.  But it's also what we deal 
with every day.  You can go via the toll road and pay more, or go via the long 
way and pay less.  You can eat out and pay more or do your own cooking and pay 
less.  I don't think that it should be particularly surprising that companies 
have arbitrary charges for number of CPUs per OS.

It's obviously not really a question of whether the OS is up to it.  It's just 
an arbitrary pricing point that they've introduced to differentiate their 
customers.  You can read "Red Hat" or "Microsoft" through the above as you 
will, it changes nothing.

You'll also find that none of that goes against the GPL, either.

Hope this helps,


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