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Re: Enterprise/Consumer support debate

>bfox redhat comOn Wed, 26 Mar 2003 20:36:11 -0500, you wrote:

>Most of the complaining that is taking place about the recent changes
>in the Enterprise versus Consumer line pricing and support policies
>seems to boil down to this:
>   "Y'know, before, it was great.  I could download Red Hat Linux for
>    free and install it for free, and Red Hat would support it with
>    bugfix and errata updates for free for years and years.  I
>    convinced my bosses and/or customers that Linux was free and
>    well-supported, and that we should abandon Windows for it.  But
>    now, either I have to pay for Enterprise support, which is more
>    expensive than Windows over the long term, or I have to upgrade
>    all of my Consumer line machines every year.  This sucks."

Almost every complaint regarding the changes is about the price jump
from $40/$150 to whatever the appropriate Enterprise level system cost
is.  No one is saying it should be free, but rather that all of a
sudden Red Hat has abandoned all those customers who needed an
affordable alternative and for whom the level of service offered by
the Enterprise line is overkill, and as such cannot justify the price

>If Red Hat is wrong, then some other company will step in and start
>providing free (or extremely low-cost) support for Consumer line
>releases which Red Hat no longer supports.  But personally, I'm not
>holding my breath.

No, because Red Hat (either deliberately or accidentally) is changing
the consumer line so that free/low cost support is not possible.  The
fact that the "consumer" line will likely be having significant
changes each month means no individual release will have the
opportunity to reach a big enough installed base.  This is why the old
system of having 2 or 3 releases being extremely similar worked so

>Regardless, any business which defines "cost" as "purchase price" is
>foolish.  The important factor involved in purchasing decisions is the
>total cost of ownership (TCO).  The flexibility and low TCO of Linux
>is a direct consequence of it being free as in freedom, regardless of
>whether it's free as in beer (Red Hat's Consumer line is; support for
>the Enterprise line isn't).

TCO is regarded as many as being important, but few can agree on
whatmakes up such costs leading to the claims by almost every software
vendor that they offer the lowest TCO.

However for many no matter how valid the TCO arguement is all that
matter right at this moment is what they can afford this year.
Planning and budgeting for future years is one of those things that
gets ignored when you are simply trying to survive for the next 6
months like many companies and people are right now.

>Do you want Red Hat to provide support for release [x] of their
>product for years and years?  Fine; run the Enterprise line, and pay
>Red Hat the money they want for supporting your Enterprise machines.
>(Enterprise support can cost as little as $29 per server per month;
>the vast majority of businesses can afford that.)

Given the sorry state of the econonmy in the US, and the hit that it
is taking thanks to the war (the reports are already coming in of
consumers staying home and watching TV instead of spending money),
assuming that most businesses can afford the new Enterprise level
pricing is pushing it.

What we want is support for at least a 2 year period without having to
pay for the additional baggage that the Enterprise line brings with

>In fact, not only do I not begrudge Red Hat the money they want for
>supporting Enterprise machines, but I'm in fact happy to send some of
>my organization's money to line Red Hat's pockets.  I've been

And many of us were also happy to send Red Hat money, but can't afford
the new pricing that Red Hat wants.

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