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From Ben Laurie <>
Subject Re: Market Share
Date Sat, 16 Sep 1995 12:00:29 GMT
> /*
>  * "Market Share" by Ben Laurie <>
>  *    written Mon, 11 Sep 1995 13:02:11 +0100 (BST)
>  * 
>  *
>  * Being a newbie, it probably isn't my place to butt into this
>  * particular conversation, but I couldn't let the stuff about market
>  * share pass by without adding my comments:
>  *
>  * Freeware (or whatever-apache-is-ware) may not be _directly_ about
>  * market share, but it clearly matters; without a largish market
>  * share, you don't get the programmers interested in maintaining and
>  * improving it, and without the programmers, there is no
>  * product. There's a kind of Keynesian Multiplier in effect, more
>  * market share means more programmers means more market share.
>  */
> Popularity and exposure to the right people does not equate to market
> share. How many of the total machines out there are running Linux? A
> fairly large number, but it's dwarfed by most of the other systems
> available. If a commercial product had the kind of market share Linux
> did, it would be getting slowly killed like OS/2 is. 
> I contend that free software isn't about finding the right number of
> people. It's about finding the right people.

Whilst I tend to agree, I contend that the only indicator we have for this
(currently) is market share. A more accurate indicator would be "market share
amongst the 'right' people", but that one isn't available. Another aspect
is that market share is an indicator of the product's suitability (and
therefore functionality).

I can't help noticing that a philosophy of discounting noncommercial servers
wouldn't do Netscape's marketing any harm  :-)

Ben Laurie                  Phone: +44 (181) 994 6435
Freelance Consultant        Fax:   +44 (181) 994 6472
and Technical Director      Email: (preferred)
A.L. Digital Ltd,         (backup)
London, England.

[Note for the paranoid: "fear" as in "Fear and Loathing
in Las Vegas", "demon" as in Demon Internet Services, a
commercial Internet access provider.]

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