In a surprise move today the Linux Software Distributors (LSD)
cooperative announced that free upgrades to Linux would be made
available on the Internet at several ftp sites. Industry analysts
suspect that the group has made this move to counter recent rumors
that MicroSoft will be offering free upgrades to its sooner or
later to be released O/S, Windows '94, er '95.
We asked Software Industry observer Skip News for his response.
"Obviously these guys are on *," Skip exclaimed, "How can they
hope to compete in a market by giving away their software? Who would
want to buy an O/S that is free? How could you put a price on it?"
In fact it may be stranger than that. Not only is the O/S itself
available for free, but LSD also announced that the Source code
for the complete O/S would be made freely available as well. This
news shocked experts and sent stock prices up and down all day
after the announcement.
"Wide spread confusion," is all one broker was able to say about
the effects. "It may be related to the LSD announcement, it may
not be." said another. Concern was obviously on everyones mind.
We were finally able to reach a spokesman for the co-op to ask
what the group had in mind with such a move.
"Free Enterprise?" was the only answer we got.
We are not sure what that remark meant, but it is clear to this
reporter that Linux and LSD was going to change forever the way
software distribution is viewed.
Stay tuned for further developments.