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Hi :)
I guess it depends what you mean by "pay" and "free".  A vast amount of people get sucked into the 
Free Software World and then start helping people or programming or putting their valuable time 
into the projects in other ways that benefit the project.  

The pay-off is that they tend to reduce their outgoings so there is less need for them to spend 
money on things they would normally have to spend a lot of money on.

The Free Software Foundation are very clear in their GPLs and such how people can legitimately earn 
money through Free Software.  The ones i noticed were through providing technical support and 
selling the software on media such as Cds/Dvds/Usb-sticks.  For the devs i guess that means tier3 

A lot of devs are paid by the company they work for to work on FOSS projects.  The pay-off for the 
companies are things like NOT paying a rival competitor vast sums of money for license fees.  Also 
being able to target specific issues to suit the company rather than waiting for a rival company to 
get around to it (whatever "it" happens to be that month).  Helping produce something that 
undercuts their rivals products is an off-shoot.  

Copenhagen hospitals are apparently set to save millions by moving to LibreOffice.  If they spent a 
fraction of that saving on developers time then they could end up with something practically 
purpose-built for their precise needs.  A small boost to the local economy rather than having that 
money disappear off to a foreign country.  

Regards from
Tom :)

--- On Thu, 26/4/12, Robert Ryley <> wrote:

From: Robert Ryley <>
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-marketing] Article on Datamation website: "How Microsoft Office Tops 
LibreOffice: 11 Features"
Date: Thursday, 26 April, 2012, 16:04

Interesting article.  With regard to the bibliography tool -- what is
he talking about?  The professional writers I deal with all use
something like Endnotes.  The bibliography issue isn't all that hard
to fix.

All of those things mentioned are arguably outside the scope of office
productivity software, and responsible for the bloat people complain
about.  They could be available as *paid* extensions for those who
need them.

I'm switching topic here a bit, but this needs to be discussed.  From
a marketing POV, I'm a bit concerned that this concept of "free"
software is having the opposite effect of conditioning people into not
having to pay for things.

I like free things too, but the developers have to eat.  I can't see a
scenario where a developer will make more revenue via donations than
via a straight up trade of cash for functionality, so it seems to me
that some functionality must be released *after* payment is made.
Likewise,  software with source code is more valuable than software
without it.  But unless there are opportunities for add on services,
simply releasing the source code reduces the profit potential for
developers.  I'm sure there is a happy medium somewhere.

Free and Open Source software will explode when people actually value
freedom enough to *pay* for it.

The true LO selling point should be unlimitted ability to customize to
individual and industry.  The free portion of the LO codebase should
focus on the most essential and frequently used features, while
experts develop and sell extensions for particular user groups. Of
course, the free application should be usable by the vast majority of
people, as it is now.

For example, I'm a member of the American Medical Writers'
Association.  I've helped someone use LO yesterday to edit a PDF.
Specialized extensions for this would include a medical/bioinformatics
dictionary or style sheets for formatting for professional journals.
This is something that people are willing to pay for.  But simply
releasing it freely is not a viable option from a business POV, unless
enough money is raised to make such an act attractive from a profit

This makes LO unattractive to many in this field, as they don't see
how to get support.  They don't understand how to function in an open
source world, and it will require time, money, and effort to teach

I suggested that he say things like "MS Office is sexily vulnerable to malware and stable enough 
that it doesn't fix such issues
too  fast.".
Regards from
Tom :)

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