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VNU Net: Startup [Moonlight Systems] to charge for Linux applications

Jun 29, 2000, 17:35 (18 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Linda Leung)

By Linda Leung, VNU Net

Linux startup Moonlight Systems has turned the open source business model on its head and decided to charge customers a licence fee for its applications software, but give them the entire source code in return.

Bobby Mukherjee, the company's founder, said: "Unlike most open source companies we don't give all our software away for free and make revenue on support. Customers can license our software and we give them all our source code."

Among its products to be officially unveiled in the autumn are tools to enable companies with large Linux-based server farms to update their software remotely, and a back-end email server aimed at ISPs. "The applications will be native for Linux and all the code and source code will be given to the customer," said Mukherjee.

Stacey Quandt, an analyst at Giga Information Group, said Moonlight's revenue model is "questionable" and "goes against the grain of the whole open source movement". She believes the products will address a need in the market, but fears the company may be misinterpreting what the open source community is trying to achieve.

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