IBM ??? OK They're a HARDWARE company...

Story: Why No Billion-Dollar Open Source Companies?Total Replies: 2
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Jun 11, 2010
1:07 PM EDT
The Article overlooks IBM, but of course IBM is a Hardaware company, not a software company.

I also would like to have seen more about the "fortune destruction" issue as it relates to how these "destroyed" companies put back into the economy. For one, M$ had amassed an enormous cash reserve (still???). That money, except for the bankers that monitor it, does not get put back into the economy. At last I heard, the number of M$'s cash bankroll was $37.19B. That's roughly $122.34 for every one of the roughly 304M men, women and children in the USA (& ironically, even with, more or less, the cost of Win7 Home Premium). So in essense, M$ is sitting on the money that it gets from its consumers.

With open source, that money would be still in the hands of those consumers, or spent on other things. I can think of a better use for the $489.36 that my immediate family represents in terms of those figures (& I have put my open source savings to good use, in buying more hardware).

When the Ernie Ball company eliminated M$ from their operations, they ended up saving an enormous amount of money (more than the BSA ended up costing them in fines). I, personally, have 12 up-to-date computers running in my home (3 for every person). They were largely paid for with software savings. So it stands to reason,... Is the "fortune" in the economy, stimulating economic growth and commerce with commercial software, or is it being held by a greedy few, who hold it back to weather against the financial back-lash they will suffer when the masses realize they can get everything the commercial software vendors offer, but for free or little cost??? I say it's better in the hands of the people/businesses who did/would have spent it.

Jun 11, 2010
3:39 PM EDT
A big part of the M$ economy is based on the broken windows theory (that you should go out at night and break some windows so you can get a job fixing them tomorrow). Of course, that's not productive work. Same thing with patching Windows, rebooting, updating virus definition files, etc.

But also consider the lower cost of Linux that allows it to run on set top boxes, router - busyboxes, cell phones, netbooks, magic talking GPS's. It's fertile soil that was sitting fallow in the MS world. Steve is watching Linux's taillights go down roads that M$ will never go down.

Jun 12, 2010
2:02 PM EDT
JaseP --

IBM does indeed sell hardware, but they have always been a software and services company as well.

Now -- moreso than ever. They no longer make PCs. They no longer make Thinkpads. They still make Unix servers, but not so many. They still make mainframes, but the price of those puppies is way down.

It's a commodity world, and that has greatly affected the kind of company that IBM is.

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