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Why do companies prefer proprietary products to GPL products?

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I do understand why companies often prefer BSD and Apache products to the GPL. But what I don't understand is why companies prefer proprietary over GPL. Let me emphasize, I'm talking about a product that is not related directly to core business secrets such as content management or a database.

The first reaction is, "with the GPL, we must make our changes publicly available." But I would ask, how is that different than a proprietary product, at least in a negative way? For instance, if we spend $100,000 on an IBM product, we have directly or indirectly paid for the development of that product. If we pay for IBM to enhance that product, we have directly paid for the development of features we find valuable. IBM will continue to sell that product to anyone that will pay, including our competitors.

If there is a competing GPL product that would require $50,000 to customize, and $50,000 in ongoing support (let's choose numbers that take cost out of the equation), most companies will take the proprietary route every time.

rest here

Nice try at spreading FUD.

Nice try at spreading FUD. Too bad your claims miss coherent logic, so it utterly fails.


"GPL products are copyrighted by FSF, but no warranty or services to guarantee the bug free performance."

So, you wanted professional tech support for free? That's funny.

"You can also be sued for patent infringement, if you use GPL products."

I hate the be the one to break this to you, sunshine, but you can be sued for patent infringement if you use proprietary products. Proprietary software has a long history of legal battles. On the other hand, GPL software is probably the least risky, because it's squeaky clean. SCO has been pushing a well-funded lawsuit against linux since 2003 and have basically gotten nowhere, managing only to bankrupt their company and lose their customer base.

"Proprietary software, on that other hand, before you pay, can be supported by warranty or paid services to assure performance. You have someone to recover any damages or losses of revenue."

Ah, that's sad, yet funny. You really think there's a pot of gold there for the asking? Let me know how your lawsuit against microsoft goes.

"If you are poor and have nothing to lose, then you have to use GPL products. Otherwise pay your insurance and use proprietary software"

LOL, such inane stereotypes. Seriously, if you are poor and have nothing to lose, you probably use the microsoft windows that came with the peecee you bought at the goodwill store.

On the other hand, my daytime employer - a fortune 100 company - uses linux because it's powerful, flexible, reliable and very cost effective. Heck, we're saving millions by moving the oracle databases off of HPUX and onto Linux.

Atang, it will no doubt come as a shock to you, but my company has had paid support in place for both the hardware and the software on all the linux servers, for some years - which flies in the face of your idea that it's somehow impossible to get professional support for linux.

BTW I'm a gainfully employed professional. I can afford windows, but have no use for it. I use linux because it's the best platform. The only inconvenience is the tendencies for some firms to assume that all the world is a windoze peeceee - and that, thankfully, is becoming less and less a problem as time goes by.

re: Nice Try

What's not coherent? Atang1's comment is clear and correct.

Businesses are all about risk management, and proprietary software has WAY less inherent risk then Open Source.

Plus they offer a safety net of having a PROFITABLE company behind their product - so worse case, businesses always have the option of suing.

To say nothing of the fact that Proprietary software actually has professional Q&A teams instead of relying on a community that lives with the motto "if it's not good enough - code it yourself".

Re: Nice try

"proprietary software has WAY less inherent risk then Open Source"

On what basis do you make that claim?

"Plus they offer a safety net of having a PROFITABLE company behind their product"

Eh? So all software businesses are profitable? I could have sworn that many of them have gone out of business. Their customers? Screwed.

"so worse case, businesses always have the option of suing"

ROFL! Have you ever read the EULA for any commercial software product? It basically boils down to: "we are not responsible for anything, and our liability is limited to the cost of replacing the software if defective"

Oh dear, what on earth are they teaching in the schools these days?

Who needs the BIOS anyway?


M$ autoupdate is required to keep M$ 'secure' and to roll out features that were dropped from inital releases.
I am yet to see one useful feature pushed out through this service... whatever happened to WinFS???

If you rely on M$ rolling out updates you probably have a room full of botnets or you have spent far too long locking down windows after installing it... I seem to find it faster to lock down a Linux install rather than a windows one due to the better freely available documentation.

I recieve more regular updates through opensuse's build service than I ever did through windows autoupdate.

If you want to avoid being sued then you obay the copywright and liscences around the relevent software.

(And most patent probelms could also be solved by buying a liscence to use the apporpriate technology (as happens with mp3 players), not a perfect solution but it's a legal one that puts off lawsuits.)

***ALL*** BIOS updates/adjustments I have ever seen are pushed out through the manufacturer and surprise, surprise, ASUS supports my Desktop mobo through Linux as well!

(sidenote: I would love to see an end to the BIOS as I'm getting fed up of waiting at the POST screen. but as long as windows relys on it why should manufacturers replace it)


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