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32BitsOnline: The trouble with being Corel

May 23, 2000, 01:26 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Clifford Smith)

"We may witness the collapse of a "Linux Company" - Corel - any day now. It is unfortunate that the FUDsters are going to make hay with this as proof of the insolvency of the "Linux-oriented" business plan. It's bound to happen, and it's dead wrong. Linux is not what's wrong with Corel."

"While it is true that they have a good Linux distribution and a very nice office suite that works with Linux, they are not a Linux company. Not the way Red Hat or TurboLinux are. Selling Linux for a living is rough business, and everyone seems to be finding out that the traditional models won't work for the long haul. I honestly don't know if there IS a business model in existence right now that ensures success with Linux on a grand scale. If there is, I don't think Corel is going to find it. I don't think they have enough time left."

"Don't get me wrong; I think their distribution is just fine, but they have made a couple of mistakes that might have cost them a lot of momentum in becoming a successful Linux company. It's bad business to get the license wrong while claiming allegiance to the Open Source Community when you set up shop to sell a Linux distribution, or expect to get bailed out immediately upon arrival in Linux land (after around a decade of suspect business decisions) by selling free software. Ya gotta know who your audience is. Ya gotta know your limitations, too. According to a lot of Linux users, ya gotta pay some dues, too."

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