Free UNIX for non-commerical use.
From: Dr. David Kirkby (drkirkby_at_ntlworld.com)
Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2003 03:44:04 +0100
As someone who works in a University, I am amazed UNIX vendors don't
give away free copies of their operating systems to students and home
users. If HP gave away HP-UX, whereas Sun, SGI, IBM etc. did not give
their OS releases, home users would be more likely to buy cheap used
HP kit. When those home users go in to industry, they are more likely
to buy **EXPENSIVE** new HP kit. So it's to HP's advantage to give
away HP-UX to students and home users.
The same can be said for any UNIX hardware vendor - I strongly suspect
it's in their long term economic interest to encourage people to learn
their operating systems. Once you know one commercial UNIX operating
system, you are likely to want to stick to it.
Why on earth Sun don't change the licence conditions of their
so-called free licence for Solaris on SPARC, I don't know. Solaris can
be freely downloaded, yet its illegal to use it on virtually all used
Sun kit sold. Their previous licence, which allowed for its use on
machines of up to 8 CPUs seemed more sensible.
HP have a reasonably attractive package that allows non-commerical
users to gain the latest copy of the Tru64 operating system and the HP
C compiler for Tru64 for $100. Yet HP have no such policy with their
other UNIX operating system (HP-UX).
I'd like to know HP's logic of the differing policies of Tru64 and
HP-UX. It seems very odd to sell Tru64 and compiler for $99, yet give
no discounts on the HP-UX.
One can't expect Microsoft to give Windoze away for free, as Microsoft
will never gain any extra revenue from hardware sales. But SGI, HP,
IBM, Sun etc. will gain extra sales of hardware, by allowing home
users to learn their operating systems, rather than that of their
One can't expect SCO to give away SCO UNIX, as again they will gain no
extra revenue from hardware sales, although they might have done with
software sales had Linux never existed. But I don't think any home
user or student would care less whether or not SCO was given away now.
-- Dr. David Kirkby, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Medical Physics, University College London, 11-20 Capper St, London, WC1E 6JA. Tel: 020 7679 6408 Fax: 020 7679 6269 Internal telephone: ext 46408 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org