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Linux Ecosystem Is Worth $25 Billion

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  • In a different sense, the question is as simple as answering this one: How much is your business worth?

    • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:53AM (#25441835) Homepage Journal

      It's a little more complex than that because an individual business does have a quantifiable worth: in the case of a publicly traded company, it's their stock valuation; in the case of a privately held company, it's how much they'd get if they went public. (Note that I'm not saying this is an accurate measure, but it is at least something you can put a number on.) You could, if you wanted to and you had enough money, buy any corporation for a precisely tabulated amount. With Linux, there's nothing to buy out -- you could buy all the companies that make money distributing it (Red Hat etc.) and you still wouldn't own it.

      From the market-value-is-everything POV, this means Linux has infinite value, which clearly isn't true. But it does make it a lot harder to count up than, say, the value of Windows or Mac OS.

      • by Aphoxema (1088507) *

        I think it wasn't supposed to be like "How much money" so much as "How much is your daughter worth to you?" when being threatened into doing stuff, except backwards because it's Microsoft that's the guy with the gun and the need of a hatchetman.

        • Ah, good point. I hadn't thought of that interpretation.

          Okay, in that sense no one can really quantify the worth of anything, because everything has some emotional value. (Kids are right at the top of the list, obviously, but for many people businesses are pretty high up there too.) But we do quantify the value of things all the time, every time we buy or sell, so I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with trying to do so in this case. It's just much tougher than it would be with a proprietary

      • by theaveng (1243528) on Monday October 20, 2008 @12:12PM (#25442133)

        The answer to this question is the same answer to "How much money is lost when people download music?"

        "Whatever they are willing to pay."

        If, like me, they are not willing to pay anything for either Britney Spears' latest CD, or the latest Linux distro, then the value is nothing. $0.00. But the record companies always assume everyone who downloads Britney is a "lost sale", and they publish huge outlandish figures for how much value they think they've lost. I suspect the Linux estimators will make the same crucial error in their estimates. Of those who download "free" music, or Linux, probably only 10% would be willing to pay for it.

        That tendency to avoid spending money needs to be accounted for, otherwise the value estimates are meaningless.

        • by erroneus (253617) on Monday October 20, 2008 @12:51PM (#25442711) Homepage

          Everyone who downloads Britney is a "lost cause" but this is off-topic isn't it...

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by entgod (998805)
          Even though people wouldn't pay for something it doesn't mean it doesn't have any value. I certainly wouldn't pay for my linux distro but it is of tremendous value to me, I use it for many things with it most people would pay money (in form of buying windows) to do. The fact that it's hard to attach an accurate monetary value to something doesn't mean it doesn't have any.
        • by Draek (916851)

          Except that by your use of Linux you're increasing it's value by the network effect. Granted, the same is also true for Britney, but for OSes the effect is much stronger than for mere music, so even if you never intended to pay for it, Linux is better off with you than without.

        • by top_down (137496)

          "How much money is lost when people download music?"

          Wrong example. Copying music, whether done by a record company or its illegal competitor the music pirate, is always producing value. No money is lost. Money is lost when you are not downloading while you want to.

          "Whatever they are willing to pay."

          This is wrong too. What we are willing to pay depends on what else is on the market and the price of these alternatives are related.

          Without Linux there is a good chance that Unix would have died and Windows would

          • "How much money is lost when people download music?"

            Wrong example. Copying music, whether done by a record company or its illegal competitor the music pirate, is always producing value. No money is lost. Money is lost when you are not downloading while you want to.

            I think the music example was right on the mark. I was going to make that same comparison before I found theaveng's post. I'm not sure where you're going with the rest of this... The only difference between copying music and copying a linux distro is that you're violating copyright law in one instance. In both cases the user gets some satisfaction or utility as a result, and both cases are impossible to qualify in financial terms, as you note further on.

            Open source also provides value by acting as an anc

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        It's a little more complex than that because an individual business does have a quantifiable worth: in the case of a publicly traded company, it's their stock valuation; in the case of a privately held company, it's how much they'd get if they went public.

        I don't think that's quite right.

        There are many cases of private companies being sold in a private transaction, and the value on the stock market isn't a factor. Using plain old balance sheets and some measure of good will you can certainly quantify the v

        • by MBGMorden (803437)

          There are many cases of private companies being sold in a private transaction, and the value on the stock market isn't a factor.

          This seems counterintuitive. If it's a PRIVATE company that can be sold in a private transaction, then there is no "value on the stock market" because it's not publically traded.

          On the other hand, if there IS value on the stock market then it IS publically traded and can't be sold "in a private transaction".

          • by gstoddart (321705)

            This seems counterintuitive. If it's a PRIVATE company that can be sold in a private transaction, then there is no "value on the stock market" because it's not publically traded.

            You misunderstand me. The OP said:

            It's a little more complex than that because an individual business does have a quantifiable worth: in the case of a publicly traded company, it's their stock valuation; in the case of a privately held company, it's how much they'd get if they went public.

            My response is that the stock market does n

    • by BPPG (1181851)

      more like, how much is the sum of all linux-centric business, plus half of businesses that indirectly benefit from linux, twice times whatever charities or non-profit orgs use linux, etc;

      then take the square root of that, then the natural logarithm of both sides, and then differentiate. The resulting value is some totally unrelated number. Or is it?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 20, 2008 @12:06PM (#25442043)

      How much is your business worth?

      -$104, 287 in the red ever since the BSA raided my small business. Turns out that a former employee(my dim but well-meaning wife) installed the same copy of Windows Vista Business on 5 computers while I had only 4 licenses.

      They came in with assault rifles and stomped my face into the ground with their jackboots and kevlar saying I was a "filthy pirate" and that I was "goin' on a free vacation to Gitmo" and stole all 6 computers including my Mac and my Linux box and told me that they were being used for software piracy. When I asked teh judge about my rights, he said "9/11 threat level yellow terrorist pirate national security" and now I write slashdot from a common terminal within a very sympathetic maximum security prison.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Exactly.

      If linux were suddenly to 'go away', how much would it cost to license, install, configure, and support the entire business world with millions of copies of Server 2008?

      Answer - a heckuva lot more than 25B.

      Back to the abacus to make up some new numbers...

  • What? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Yvan256 (722131) on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:48AM (#25441777) Homepage Journal

    How much is Linux worth today? That's a question the Linux Foundation is trying to answer in a new report expected to be released on Wednesday.

    There's no need for that, we already have the answer [slashdot.org] (see title).

  • In related news... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jeff Hornby (211519) <jthornby AT sympatico DOT ca> on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:51AM (#25441799) Homepage

    in a study done by me, my 11 year old jeep is also worth $25 billion.

    I wonder how much the Linux ecosystem would be worth if it were valued by an organization that didn't have a vested interest.

    • by einer (459199)

      Exactly. I'm sure this bomber I'm about to fire up has a "street value" of well over $1.3 million, but I managed to acquire it for the low low price of $12.50...

      Also (further off topic), over the course of my life, I've found that the price of pot is a far better instrument to measure inflation than any number published by a government agency.

      • by phorest (877315)

        I've found that the price of pot is a far better instrument to measure inflation than any number published by a government agency.

        I'd like to see those numbers...

    • by fm6 (162816) on Monday October 20, 2008 @12:19PM (#25442231) Homepage Journal

      Usually, I share your cynicism about these breathless, fact-free "open source is gaining ground!" stories. But here your logic is way off. If this were just some pundit working for the Linux foundation making the usual "expert" assertions, your criticism would be valid. But this is a report based on real-world figures, and these figures deserve to be evaluated on their own merit. The fact that the people who wrote the report have a bias should make you look out for selective use of data, but doesn't automatically destroy the report's credibility.

      • by CBravo (35450)

        He does have a point: they have a vested interest.

        • by fm6 (162816)

          You're oversimplifying. His point is not just that they have a vested interest (duh!). It's that because they have a vested interest, we can ignore everything they have to say. My point is his point is wrong. It's rejecting an argument without listening to it, because you question the objectivity of the arguer. But the arguer's objectivity is irrelevant: an argument should stand or fall on its own merits.

    • in a study done by me, my 11 year old jeep is also worth $25 billion.

      Lisa, I would like to by that Jeep.

    • by gstoddart (321705) on Monday October 20, 2008 @01:28PM (#25443319) Homepage

      I wonder how much the Linux ecosystem would be worth if it were valued by an organization that didn't have a vested interest.

      Depends on if they have a vested interest in the other way.

      Microsoft would argue that Linux clearly has a negative value due to all of those patents which it may or may not be infringing on and the licensing fees you owe them.

      IBM will argue it has a high value since they make gobs of money on services as a result of it.

      At some point, you have to try to value it in terms of industry revenues associated with it, as well as the intangible value of how long it would take to build your own, or to buy a commercial solution to replace it.

      If every company using Linux were forced to replace it with a Microsoft solution, I can easily see the valuation to industry being measured in the billions.

      In terms of the resources being managed under Linux machines, how they're used, and what it would take to swap them out ... there's an awful lot of stuff you'd have to be spending a lot of money on to replace.

      Cheers

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sgtrock (191182)
      Here's a report [europa.eu] released on November 2006. Quoting from the executive summary:

      Direct economic impact of FLOSS

      The existing base of quality FLOSS applications with reasonable quality control and distribution would cost firms almost Euro 12 billion to reproduce internally. This code base has been doubling every 18-24 months over the past eight years, and this growth is projected to continue for several more years.

      This existing base of FLOSS software represents a lower bound of about 131 000 real person-y

  • I Love Linux, but... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mfh (56) on Monday October 20, 2008 @11:53AM (#25441837) Journal

    The only tidbit of info I have so far is that the LInux Foundation has valued Google's use of Linux for Android at $1.3 billion worth of R&D.

    Value can only be attributed towards things that can be bought and sold.

    This is therefore an example of Post hoc ergo propter hoc [wikipedia.org]; ie., just because Linux foundation says the Linux footprint is worth $25 Billion, is a fallicy because nobody can purchase it. It could show a measure of the rate of Linux adoption, but such suggestions must be understood by looking at the bigger picture. Who's losing when Linux is being adopted and also, which projects are not going with Linux?

    There is also the long-tail of Linux adoption that couldn't possibly be accounted in their figure.

    I must maintain that the big picture is currently too big for anyone to fully interpret at present, especially the Linux foundation who is subject to some considerable bias.

    You can't sell the Linux ecosystem, and if you believe you can buy it -- I have a bridge to sell you (please contact me right away because I also have some important Nigerian business that requires you immmmmediate and humbling attention, kind sirs.)

    I like Linux, but these types of concepts are rooted in Non Sequitur; that the buy-in of Linux is rooted in the success of Linux. That can only be true of this is a zero-sum claim, and there is evidence of losses directly attributed which while plausible does not make these factually relevant.

    • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Monday October 20, 2008 @12:03PM (#25441997) Homepage Journal

      This is therefore an example of Post hoc ergo propter hoc

      This is an example of someone not understanding what a particular logical fallacy actually is, and throwing it against the wall hoping it will stick.

      Seriously. These online lists of classic fallacies are useful resources, and I think they've done a lot of good by helping people learn to recognize arguments that fail in certain predictable ways, but I'm getting really tired of people just grabbing their favorite and applying it to whatever argument is at hand without pausing to make sure that it actually applies in any meaningful way.

      • by Alarindris (1253418) on Monday October 20, 2008 @12:28PM (#25442353)
        Mod parent up.

        A occurred, then B occurred.
        Therefore, A caused B.

        I really don't see how that applies here.

        I think the converse fallacy of accident is more applicable.

        Every (business/good/OS) I've seen is worth something, so it must be true that Linux is worth something.

        But, as was stated, Linux is not for sale.
        • by mfh (56)

          A occurred, then B occurred.
          Therefore, A caused B.

          A: Linux is worth $25 Billion
          B: Microsoft market share has decreased

          Therefore A caused B? No. There is no evidence of that.

          I love Linux but that kind of logic is simply flawed and therefore people who love Microsoft could use it against OSS in their sales pitch. A good part of OSS is the ability to have groupthink be thwarted by the input from many open (freely offered) sources. I happen to be a proponent of OSS.

          A: Linux is worth $25 Billion
          B: Microsoft mark

          • by Americano (920576)

            A: Linux is worth $25 Billion
            B: Microsoft market share has decreased

            I think I missed some part where any mention was made of Microsoft's market share. Where are you getting that the Linux Foundation made that assertion, or concluded that B was a consequence of A?

            As stated in the article, and the summary, the Linux Foundation asserting that "the Linux ecosystem is worth 25 Billion dollars" is not an example of the logical fallacy you're claiming they've made.

            You cannot attribute a price on the value o

          • Your post is based on a misunderstanding of the original poster. Actually "value" doesn't have any meaning at all. It is pure junk business speak as in "we deliver value to our shareholders". In this particular case there are at least two different things. "Purchase value", which is what you are talking about and "value to mankind" or perhaps "value to business" which is what most other people here are talking about. Even those have definitions which will vary according to exactly what question you ask

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)
      Actually, that's a pretty good measure of value. Google had three choices:
      1. Buy an OS from someone.
      2. Develop their own OS.
      3. Use an open source OS.

      The value of the open source OS, to them, is the cost of option 1 or 2, minus the cost of developing the extra stuff they need on top of it.

    • by pclminion (145572) on Monday October 20, 2008 @12:17PM (#25442211)

      If the entire Linux technology sphere magically vanished overnight (don't ask me how), would the damage to the economy be in excess of $25 billion? Just because there's no liquidity doesn't mean there's no value.

    • by Vellmont (569020) on Monday October 20, 2008 @12:18PM (#25442215)


      Value can only be attributed towards things that can be bought and sold.

      Pure nonsense. Value can be attributed to things that produce value. Would you say the Brooklyn Bridge is worth nothing because it can't be bought or sold? I'd hope not.

      Linux, like the Brooklyn Bridge produces economic value. Economists assign value to things that aren't bought and sold all the time. You can argue about how to go about this (and I'm certainly not qualified to do even that), but it's silly to say you can't give it a dollar value simply because nobody can "own" it.

      • by jonaskoelker (922170) <jonaskoelker@gnuUMLAUT.org minus punct> on Monday October 20, 2008 @12:52PM (#25442733) Homepage

        Value can be attributed to things that produce value.

        l = []; l.append(l); print l. Your definition is circular.

        Value is a measure of how much we want or like something. I value personal liberties. I value economic liberties. I value food, clean air, sex, internet, staple guns, learning new things, intellect and reason in myself and others, science and lots of other things.

        Value influences how much we're willing to give up to get the thing we value. If I had to choose between a house to live in and air to breath, I'd choose the air. If I had to choose between sex and internet, I'd choose sex. If I had to choose between 100$ and a copy of GH3+controller, I'd choose Guitar Hero. If I had to choose between 200$ and two Guitar Hero packs, I might choose the money, or I might choose the GH packs in hope of a resale.

        Money has value for society because it allows us to break symmetry: I don't have to write code for the baker to get his bread. It has value to the individual (or the organization) because we all agree to trade it for other things we value.

        Asking for the value of Linux is a vague question. The value of Linux what? The Copyrights? Not sure; even if everybody handed copyright on all FOSS code to a buyer, it's still FOSS, so we could just fork it and continue doing what we do. The buyer could allow itself to link GPL-incompatible code to _its_ GPL-licensed code. Or go all-the-way proprietary. How large a competitive advantage is that going to give? Not much, I think.

        Linux use? To me, being able to use Linux is more valuable than being able to use Windows. I'm a member of our minority group on that. To some people, there's a big dollar amount [of saved money] attached to using Linux instead of $OS. Measure all those amounts well and add them up, and you may end up with a number that actually means something and has a relationship to reality.

        An interesting bit from TFA:

        In 2008, IDC forecast that the Linux ecosystem would be worth $49 billion by 2011. That report coincidentally was sponsored by the Linux Foundation as well.

        Is that like a Gartner report saying Vista is worth $BIGNUM monies? Because from here I can't tell the difference, so someone please spell it out for me.

        (#define Linux GNU/Linux or Linux, as appropriate)

        -- Jonas K

        • by suggsjc (726146) on Monday October 20, 2008 @02:12PM (#25443959) Homepage
          You make some good points, but I think you lost about half of your readers after this line:

          If I had to choose between sex and internet, I'd choose sex.

        • by raddan (519638)

          Value is a measure of how much we want or like something.

          Value is clearly more complicated than that. For example, Marx diffentiated value into social value, "use value" [wikipedia.org], "exchange value" [wikipedia.org], and price. This is much closer to the modern economic idea of value. Economists come up with metrics for use-value all the time-- and the idea is to facilitate proper calculation of exchange-value so that decisions can be made purely on a utilitarian basis. This is how we come to have figures like the economic value of human life [behan.ws].

      • > Would you say the Brooklyn Bridge is worth nothing because it can't be bought or sold?

        The Port Authority could sell it if they so chose. Linux, on the other hand, cannot be sold in the same sense that you cannot sell the idea of a cloud.

        • by kill-1 (36256)

          Linux and any other collaborative open source project could be sold theoretically, if all copyright holders would agree on the terms.

        • by zenyu (248067)

          The Port Authority could sell it if they so chose. Linux, on the other hand, cannot be sold in the same sense that you cannot sell the idea of a cloud.

          I have as much right to sell the Brooklyn Bridge as the Port Authority Corporation of NY and NJ does. The bridge is owned by the City of New York, and I assure you it would be easier to get the few thousand copyright holders of Linux to sell than it would be to get New York City to to sell the symbol of the unification of the five boroughs. In fact, it might

      • The problem that remains, though is: just because you can think up a random number to put on something, doesn't mean it's the right number.

        And if economists were that good at calculating the values, the USSR would still be going strong and would have the strongest economy in the world. After all, that was the whole idea: instead of letting the free market work it out by trial and error, have a handful of smart guys who calculate exactly how many bycicles are needed and exactly how much should they cost. It

      • Get a clue dude. The Brooklyn Bridge was "bought" for the wages of the workers who built it and the cost of their raw materials. It produces tangible return to the community by increasing their available paths of commute, reducing their transportation costs in fuel and time. In fact, it could even be "sold" to a private holder, who would value it for the return that could be produced by charging a toll on the bridge.

        You're right that value can be attributed to things that produce value. What you have failed

      • by Ihmhi (1206036)

        True, but how many people would be using Linux if it weren't free?

        It's powerful for a lot of functions - servers and the like. But let's say Linux costed even half as much as Windows XP. Would we see it in sub-notebooks like the EEE? OLPC?

      • What the crap are you talking about?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooklyn_bridge [wikipedia.org]

        The bridge was purchased by the city for 15.5 million dollars.

    • by bazorg (911295)
      "Value can only be attributed towards things that can be bought and sold."

      your country's GDP for example.

    • Hmm? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Moraelin (679338)

      Hmmm, I'm not sure I understand in which way it is a Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc fallacy.

      Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc, means almost literally what its translation says: Y happened after X, therefore Y happened because of X. In other words it's mistaking chronology for causation. E.g.,

      - I bought a new cell phone last year, and this year I occasionally have migraines. Therefore, the cell phone is obviously the cause of my headaches.

      - Bill Hicks spoke against God and religion, then (after many years of it) Bill Hic

    • Value can only be attributed towards things that can be bought and sold.

      Nonsense. Since Linux is a free alternative to a much spendier product (Windows), it's "value" is the money saved when you choose it over something that would have cost you. In other words, Linux has tangible value because it has less opportunity cost than Windows, even though you can't buy it and you can't sell it.

      Also, I don't think you used post hoc ergo propter hoc correctly. That means "after this, therefore because of this," or

    • Value can only be attributed towards things that can be bought and sold.

      In most everyday cases, this is true. However precise monetary value can also be assigned to things which cannot be bought or sold, or which are illegal to trade. Consider the life insurance policy taken out on a spouse, for instance. A precise monetary value is attached to the loss of the spouse. This cannot be the replacement cost to buy a new spouse, since buying and selling spouses is not legal.

    • You can't sell the Linux ecosystem, and if you believe you can buy it

      It's been tried before ... http://www.dwheeler.com/essays/linux-kernel-cost.html [dwheeler.com]

  • Air (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday October 20, 2008 @12:03PM (#25442005) Homepage Journal

    How much is air worth?

    It's sad that there are so many people who worship the almighty dollar that they have to put a price on everything.

    Linux, like air, is priceless. Saying it is worth $n devalues it.

    • by pilgrim23 (716938)

      Well if you had 30 lawyers form a trade group, and sue every user a standard 5-6 grand per use then multiply by how many.....oh wait, it is licensed as free.

      Humm well then! Get an advertising firm. Have them work for a powerful software company that makes superior products, design a slick ad campaign staring has-been comedians and zillionaire CEOS and...oh wait, their products suck and aren't Linux anyway. humm...

      Looks to me like Linux truly is priceless in the one true coin of the realm:

    • So valuing something devalues it?
      You must be using a newfangled quantum valuation system.

      • Re:Air (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday October 20, 2008 @12:27PM (#25442337) Homepage Journal

        Putting a price on the priceless devalues it. "Priceless" means it has infinite value, and any dollar amount put on your infinitely useful object/endeavor/material brings its value DOWN.

        There is more to life than money.

        • I beg to differ.

          We have to be accurate when applying a term like "priceless," and certainly not make a false analogy of Linux to air. (Why not compare water to Linux? You can pay for both of them, just as you can get air and Linux for free.)

          Currently, air is available to all at no cost, assuming no special circumstances. Thus it not priceless but free, as in having a value of $0. Its value goes up quite quickly when one ascends into the sky/space or underground/water, which is due to its being a necessi

        • ""Priceless" means it has infinite value"

          Your argumentation being?

          Water is colorless; does it mean "water has infinite colour"? Snails are footless; does it mean they have an infinite number of feet?

          Priceless means "without a price tag"; nothing more, nothing less. If anything, putting a price tag on something that can't have one (not that I'm saying Linux belongs to such category or not) is a nonsense, not a devaluation.

          • by mcgrew (92797) *
            The dictionary disagrees with you.
            • "The dictionary disagrees with you."

              I don't think so. And semantics surely don't. That a word can have many connotative meanings doesn't mean any of them are applicable within context. Within this context Linux is priceless because you can't apply a price tag to it (it holds value not money related), certainly not because it has a price tag and it says "infinite"

    • I'm sure I've read this story and this comment before. Ah, yes - Four years ago [slashdot.org]
  • Simply Put (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DaMattster (977781) on Monday October 20, 2008 @12:07PM (#25442075)
    Linux is priceless in value precisely because it is F/OSS
    • by aztektum (170569)

      Exactly what I was thinking, hence why I tagged the article "whocares?"

      I use Linux daily because I can get things done in a way that works best for me. That makes it far too important a tool to put a dollar figure on, IMO.

  • by Hikaru79 (832891) on Monday October 20, 2008 @12:12PM (#25442129) Homepage
    Even let's say that the $25B value is accurate and represents something meaningful, it seems to be a pretty depressing number for the entire ecosystem, isn't it? Microsoft as a publicly traded company alone is currently worth $216.11B and I'm sure we can all agree that the entire Windows "ecosystem" is worth at least that much over again. So the Linux ecosystem is worth, what, 5% of Microsoft's value? And this is at a time when Linux is at a historic "high" while Microsoft is in a pretty firm slump...

    Not that I think this is an accurate or meaningful number.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by glop (181086)

      25 Billion $ is a lot of money.

      Additionally, if we follow your reasoning, many companies that have products that could be sold for Linux will think : Linux = 5% of Windows. They will conclude that they could increase their sales by 5% by supporting Linux.

      That could sound like an interesting deal for many companies.

    • by gad_zuki! (70830)

      Except Microsoft is not just windows. Xbox, office, etc.

  • Like the mortgage backed securities embeded in bank asset portfolios, there's no market for "Linux" so anybody naming a price is spreading fairy dust. Maybe they can get the US Treasury to make a bid.

  • But technically, so is everything else I download.
  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Monday October 20, 2008 @12:27PM (#25442335)

    25 Billion? That's nothing. Have you seen how much just one of RIAA's infringed songs is worth???

  • This is how much it would have been if it was for sale. But it is not and neither does it function as a sellable entity...

  • Vista cost $6 billion to develop, according to Wikipedia
  • What would that be if we had Microsoft's market share?

  • Juniper's JunOS is FreeBSD based. It wouldn't make sense to count most of Juniper's revenues as part of the Linux EcoSystem. While they have acquired a small number of Linux-based startups, the vast majority of revenue is from is FreeBSD JunOS software. Oh, and all that hardware...

    How do you separate out the difference between the two anyway?

  • For example, it is a bit of public knowledge that Amazon runs on Linux. Amazon is what, 30B business? I know about the whole bunch of other first-tier companies that have their entire infrastructure on Linux as well.
  • Lets pretend that you could actually buy the Linux ecosystem. I believe MS would pay over $50 billion just to get rid of it, let alone to aquire some of the tech.

    I often hear that the value of an object is whatever someone is willing to pay, so I say - the Linux ecosystem for $25 billion undervalued!

  • It's fucking software, not life. It's not an ecosystem. Stop reassigning the definitions of words.

    • by mikael (484)

      It makes sense. In an ecosystem, every species depends on certain resources and produces others. The net result is to form a network of interdependent links.

      With Linux, there are a large number of corporations, companies and self-employed consultants/contractors who exchange services for money. Application developers depend on GUI and API developers who in turn depend on device driver developers, who depend on kernel developers. All depend on compiler developers who depend on development tools.

An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it. -- James Michener, "Space"

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