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From Michael Hartle <>
Subject Re: Open support vrs. Company support (long!)
Date Fri, 19 Sep 2003 09:21:01 GMT
Hi all,

> When is commercial (or 'professional') support desired, compared to 
> the "free" kind? 

some companies have established a "blame game" culture where any 
decision-maker has to have his back covered every possible way he/she 
can. In these cases, when deciding in favour of a product, the career of 
that decision-maker is likely linked to its success (or failure). The 
availability of a commercial support based on a legal contract provides 
some kind of calmness that upcoming problems will be solved (otherwise, 
the company would sue), no matter how ugly the corresponding hack is or 
which problems it might cause in the long term. The last time I 
demonstrated an open-source-based concept, it took some time working 
against this stance.

I think, for these companies, commercial support finally boils down to 
have someone else bitten in the "blame game". You can hardly sue 
"loosely coupled" members of a mailing list who developed free software, 
but you can sue a company that entered a legal contract on full 
commercial support for not doing so.

My 0.02€ so far,
best regards,

Michael Hartle

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