"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."