Red Hat's Ideas for the Future: Linux for a Price.

I just finished reading an article about the company Red Hat, the leading distributor of Linux software. The article talks about the dilemma Red Hat is faced with as they try and sell software that is free. I was very interested in this article because I love Linux software and I've heard nothing but good about it. One very large selling point, of course, is that it is free. This article talks about what Red Hat is doing to try and make profits by selling this product. from what I understand of the article, Red Hat is starting to sell subscriptions to a new operating system. The article states that the operating system is an advanced version of Linux. Red Hat is specifically marketing this product to larger corporations with the hope that they will buy the product for its added benefits and better service capability. I am very concerned about the strategy because I question a company trying to make a profit off a product that has always been free. I think people love Linux because it is a wonderful product that doesn't cost them anything. I think that if consumers are going to have to pay for the higher-quality versions of Linux and only have low quality versions for the free price, demand for the Linux operating system will drop drastically. It's true that only moderate profits are realized now through tech support and services, but I think that is a much better plan than starting to charge for a service that is so famous because of its very attractive price.


Aaliyah said...

Free isn't always attractive. Maybe for die hard Linux users, free is the only way to fly, but if Linux has any hope of competing on a large level with the likes of Microsoft, then they are going to have to start making a "for sale" product. Linux has to pay for the best R&D to compete in this market, and has to make contracts with other developers of products with a price tag. Though donating software to the consumer may be a wonderful thing for Linux lovers, it may not be the best long-term strategy to a company looking to grow and gain some market share.

Eric said...

In response to Aaliyah’s ending comment of charging a price to “grow and gain some market share”, I think that you have a good point, Red Hat might at some point need to charge a price for their product. But I think the best time to gain market share is when everything is completely free.

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Hunter for a grammatical error.

I'm dubious of just about everything I hear about Red Hat. Software companies like them are often called "tortware", because their business strategy is big on lawsuits, and small on viable ideas.