Is Linux More Secure Than Windows?

This is a discussion on Is Linux More Secure Than Windows? within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; do you mean support is the only benifit to companies? No, I mean that the benefit of open source would ...

  1. #61
    the hat of redundancy hat nvoigt's Avatar
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    do you mean support is the only benifit to companies?
    No, I mean that the benefit of open source would be the ability to change the code yourself for free. One hindsight is that you have to give it back when using the GPL. Businesses don't like that.
    But what is more important, where is the difference between a company like RedHat and Oracle ? Both offer support for their product. In both cases the user doesn't care for the code. If it's open source or not is a good thing in theory, but for the business, it's not important, because the company providing it is a black box. We provide a problem, they provide a fix. And it probably even costs the same amount of money.
    hth
    -nv

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  2. #62
    Crazy Fool Perspective's Avatar
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    >>One hindsight is that you have to give it back when using the GPL. Businesses don't like that.

    Thats kind of a broad statement. I know of a few business that do like it: Intel, Texus Instruments, IBM, QNX, to name a few.

    >>
    But what is more important, where is the difference between a company like RedHat and Oracle ? Both offer support for their product. In both cases the user doesn't care for the code. If it's open source or not is a good thing in theory, but for the business, it's not important, because the company providing it is a black box. We provide a problem, they provide a fix. And it probably even costs the same amount of money
    <<

    Its true that they essentially do the same thing, its how they do it that differs. Some companies like it and some don't, its up to them to decide whats best for their business. The price issue will highly depend on the software in question. When you talk about server OS's, RedHat is less than half the price of MS or SUN. But Im not a sales guy so I don't really know much about the specifics

  3. #63
    Banned nickname_changed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perspective
    Thats kind of a broad statement. I know of a few business that do like it: Intel, Texus Instruments, IBM, QNX, to name a few.
    That's because it supports their core business. Intel and IBM aren't in the software industry, they're in the hardware industry. They don't do it because they believe in "free as in speech", that all software should be free, or in gay marriage. They do it because it helps other parts of their business to make money.

    But 99% of businesses in the world aren't Intel or IBM's. They might write software, or get software written for them in house. In their case, they do this because it gives them an edge over their competition. So it would be stupid for them to give the source code away. In short, businesses only like making or giving back to open source software because they make money from it in other ways rather than direct selling.

    The only one that doesn't is Sun. Their core business is half software and half hardware, and they really have no idea what they're doing anymore.

  4. #64
    Crazy Fool Perspective's Avatar
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    IBM isnt in the software industry? I beg to differ... intel is as well, though they only develop software to support their hardware, so i see your point there.

    >>
    In their case, they do this because it gives them an edge over their competition. So it would be stupid for them to give the source code away
    <<

    Why? because their competitor benifits from their hard work and gets their edge... but then anything their competitor builds on top of that has to be open sourced, so the first company gets the benifit of their hard work and their competitors hard work. The result is a better foundation for the software, and an edge against the companies that don't participate. The money is in support and value add in this situation.

  5. #65
    the hat of redundancy hat nvoigt's Avatar
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    Why? because their competitor benifits from their hard work and gets their edge... but then anything their competitor builds on top of that has to be open sourced, so the first company gets the benifit of their hard work and their competitors hard work. The result is a better foundation for the software, and an edge against the companies that don't participate. The money is in support and value add in this situation.
    You can do the same thing with a closed source partnership. With the GPL, anybody can take your code and resell it without modifications or with very minor modifications. No development costs means lower prices. Not only do you have to share your business, there's also someone who can undercut your costs by simply taking your work for free. No one forces him to actually make it better and give it back.

    I can see that open source is a good thing. But I would not GPL my own businesses flagship product for someone else to legally copy, especially not in times where copyright violation even if illegal is running rampant everywhere you look. And I don't expect anyone else to do so.

    Thats kind of a broad statement. I know of a few business that do like it: Intel, Texus Instruments, IBM, QNX, to name a few.
    Well, they GPL'd their byproducts. I'm sure I could convince my boss to open source our inhouse plant watering plan. But you will not see Intel giving their chipset blueprints to the public so everyone can produce their own Pentium. Not even if modifications have to be commited back to Intel. That's their product, their R&D costs and their profit. And they'd rather sell their CEO's mother than their profit source.
    hth
    -nv

    She was so Blonde, she spent 20 minutes looking at the orange juice can because it said "Concentrate."

    When in doubt, read the FAQ.
    Then ask a smart question.

  6. #66
    Banned nickname_changed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perspective
    Why? because their competitor benifits from their hard work and gets their edge... but then anything their competitor builds on top of that has to be open sourced, so the first company gets the benifit of their hard work and their competitors hard work. The result is a better foundation for the software, and an edge against the companies that don't participate. The money is in support and value add in this situation.
    I don't believe this is the way it works.

    Good programmers cost money. When a large resort company needs a system to manage their hotels, they pay programmers to do it. Along with testers, a full time support team project management. All up, for just a years work they're probably looking at close to a million dollars.

    Using your example, they make the system open source when they're done. ACME Corp., a competitor to the original company, gets the source and uses it. They might hire a contract programmer to spend 3 months making it work perfect for them, and they give their changes back to the original GPL project. Their 3 month contracter cost maybe 25k.

    So the first company spent a million dollars and a year of hard work. The second company spent 25k and 3 months (if that). But yay, the original company benefitted from ACME corps work, so I guess it's all even. Get real!

    Also, you're forgetting that open source != GPL. There are many open source licenses that don't require modifications to be resubmitted. The GPL is one of the only viral ones (viral because anything that goes near it becomes 'infected' with the GPL too). If they released it under a BSD license say, ACME could make changes without giving the changes back.

    I can't see why any company in its right mind would release software that it's spent millions of dollars making, to the public for its competitors to use, unless it helped them somewhere else (for instance, I believe part of the reason PC manufacturers, especially companies like Dell, are jumping in bed with open source is it means people will have more money to spend on their machines and providing support when it's needed). Hardware and IT services, not software.

    And don't kid yourself - IBM probably have a lot more programmers than most shops, but they're not a software company. They make hardware, that's what they're known for. Their revenue comes for making machines, processors for your gamecube and Mac, and research. I think they own a few companies that make software for them, like rational, but I doubt software makes more than 20% of their revenue. International Business Machines. I can see 5 IBM computers around me right now, but I've never installed a single IBM software product.

  7. #67
    Cat without Hat CornedBee's Avatar
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    The GPL doesn't require you to release anything. It requires that in case you release anything, you have to do so under certain conditions. But a company can take open-source software, extend, use and modify it, and keep it to themselves.
    All the buzzt!
    CornedBee

    "There is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be, any programming language in which it is the least bit difficult to write bad code."
    - Flon's Law

  8. #68
    the hat of redundancy hat nvoigt's Avatar
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    Thats correct. But who'd want to keep everything to themselves forever ?
    hth
    -nv

    She was so Blonde, she spent 20 minutes looking at the orange juice can because it said "Concentrate."

    When in doubt, read the FAQ.
    Then ask a smart question.

  9. #69
    Cat without Hat CornedBee's Avatar
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    Company-internal software? Why not?
    All the buzzt!
    CornedBee

    "There is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be, any programming language in which it is the least bit difficult to write bad code."
    - Flon's Law

  10. #70
    Crazy Fool Perspective's Avatar
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    stovellp: In the case of your example id also suggest the first company keep the software closed source. Im not saying open source is a one size fits all solution. Good open source projects need to be seeded, they need an initial contribution that someone can afford to give. This usually comes from acedemia or huge companies that can afford it, like IBM (such as the Eclipse platfrom, which probably tallied hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of internal development as a proprietary product before it was open sourced). After the initail contribution, other companies can come in, contribute, and benifit from the contributions of their competitors.

    nvoigt: Its true that people can grab your work and sell it without making any changes or providing any additional value. But most people are smarter than that, they won't buy their product because the same product is free somewhere else... Many companies "sell" eclipse, but they add value or charge for support. No one is going to make money selling the platform itself because the same product is available for free.

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