29 May 2005

A Microsoft Office replacement - for resellers?

The news aggregator that everybody loves to despise is running a story on Using Computer Stores to Spread Open Source, but what caught my attention was a post asking:
How does the local computer guy, FireFox, GIMP, etc differentiate themselves not among the geeks, but among the general population? Being a marketing guy (hold the hisses) with a good dose of liberalism and technology I'm all for F/OSS, and I be happy to offer a few hours a week to good software I believe in. So, is there an opening on the F/OSS world for the marketing guy as well as the coder?
You see, each copy of MS Office (standard) sold wins the OEM AU$60, and MS Windows XP netts them $75, which means that if they just made $120-$150 selling a basic $1000 system, then they make twice as much if they then sell MS-Windows and MS-Office with the machine.

So... if you want to get them to distribute FOSS with the machine instead, you have to replace half of their profit as well. Showstopper?

I think not.

But is the answer better to implement as an Open-Source-style “community” response or as a commercial enterprise?

If commercial, perhaps this is something for those arch-CD-confettists, Canonical?

Read the post, read my answer, tell me what you think. Go ahead, post as an Anonymous Coward even — you know you want to! (-:

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