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The Value of Freedom: Linux Kernel Worth $1.4 Billion

Oct 28, 2008, 06:02 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sean Michael Kerner)

"In tough economic times, it's always a good idea to know what you're worth -- especially for a product potentially worth billions, even if it's often given away for free.

"In a study that aims to take stock of the value of the Linux kernel and a typical Linux distribution, the Linux Foundation estimates the Linux kernel to currently be worth $1.4 billion, based on a metric that calculates lines of code, effort and developer costs per hour.

"The kernel itself is just one part of a larger collection of software that makes up a Linux distribution, however. Using Red Hat's Fedora 9 and its application code as the base for estimating the value of a typical Linux distribution, the Linux Foundation found that it would take $10.8 billion to develop Fedora 9."

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