Subscriptions for Software

M$ is pushing people to buy licences by subscription. There’s nothing particularly wrong with that but try doing the maths. It looks like there’s no easy answer to the cost since one can pay forever or just a few years. Then there’s inflation and taxes and…

I think choosing FLOSS just got a whole lot easier. No maths required. I wish M$ would push subscriptions for their OS. Then people would know exactly what it costs.

“Similar pricing breaks were available for multiple copies of other editions of Office 2010; they too are now gone, with similar results. Office is, for many users, going to get a lot more expensive.”

see Microsoft pushes home users toward Office subscriptions—whether they like it or not | Ars Technica.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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36 Responses to Subscriptions for Software

  1. Chris Weig wrote, “About 1/3 of all requests to the English Wikipedia do not originate from the major English-speaking countries.”

    Most of Europe know some English. English is the language of Science, Technology and Business on a global scale. World traffic to Wikipedia=451million unique visitors. China get 5.8million. Middle East and Africa gets 58million. Latin America 49million. Population of China, Middle East and Africa and Latin America is 1.3billion+more than 1 billon + 0.57billion = total of more than 2.9billion/7billion= 41% yet only gets 113/451 = 25% share. What’s wrong with this picture? Wikipedia does not represent a proper sample of the world. NetApplications does correct for regional on-line populations but that only magnifies their already bad sample.

  2. Chris Weig wrote, “You’re constructing artificial use cases for the sake of proving your point.”

    I’ve worked in schools for 14 years. I’ve seen the IT they use. There’s nothing artificial about that. It’s reality. There still exist schools where kid don’t get to use computers except by the teacher scheduling a visit to a computer lab. That’s useful but will not deliver the modern curriculums which demand students use computers the same way that real people use them outside of school, on a desk or table where they need them and when they need them. Moore’s Law has helped make ubiquitous IT in school possible. Monopoly still prevents that in most of the world. OLPC, FLOSS, and GNU/Linux are helping to break that digital divide.

  3. Chris Weig says:

    A school may have 50% GNU/Linux and 50% XP which will be counted according to page views. Let’s say the GNU/Linux machines are in the elementary lab where kids never go to an external website but the XP machines are on the web 1/3 of the time. The XP machines get counted not the GNU/Linux yet there are the same number of PCs. That’s 100% error. I know many people click twice on icons in that other OS and links on web-pages. Of course that can generate extra pageviews.

    You’re constructing artificial use cases for the sake of proving your point.

    Worthless.

  4. Chris Weig says:

    Nonsense. Wikipedia completely ignores the non-English world.

    66 percent of all page views do not originate from the major English-speaking countries (USA, UK, Canada, Australia).

    About 1/3 of all requests to the English Wikipedia do not originate from the major English-speaking countries.

    You’re very simple views don’t mesh well with reality.

  5. Chris Weig wrote, “StatCounter’s statistics are based on page views. Therefore things like all of a school’s computers having the same public IP address pose no problems.”

    Sure they do. Page views have nothing at all to do with numbers of PCs, just how many times people clicked. If I have one PC and click a million times I am counted the same as a million PCs clicking once. See the problem? A school may have 50% GNU/Linux and 50% XP which will be counted according to page views. Let’s say the GNU/Linux machines are in the elementary lab where kids never go to an external website but the XP machines are on the web 1/3 of the time. The XP machines get counted not the GNU/Linux yet there are the same number of PCs. That’s 100% error. I know many people click twice on icons in that other OS and links on web-pages. Of course that can generate extra pageviews.

    It’s not just IP addresses that are a problem. In many places User-agent strings are changed. I can see that in my log because many tweak that for whatever reason. In Brazil, a lot of cute User-agents are made up so the website has no clue what the OS is. Guess who tweaks User-agents a lot? GNU/Linux folks fooling IE-only websites.

  6. Chris Weig wrote, “Wikipedia is as unbiased as can be and should be widely accessed even in schools.”

    Nonsense. Wikipedia completely ignores the non-English world. Chinese versions and English version have similar numbers of people but 40 times fewer traffic for the Chinese. So, there’s a strong language-bias. Then there’s the fact that a lot of schools use thin clients in huge numbers so the webstats count terminal servers rather than clients. That could mean a 10-50 times undercount. That’s a huge bias. Some businesses use that other OS from thin clients but it’s less than 10%. For GNU/Linux in schools it’s probably 50% or more because LTSP minimizes costs in labs. I have never seen a lab in a school use thin clients for that other OS. Then there’s the routing. Most schools use NAT and all the PCs show up as one or two IP addresses. That could be a 100:1 bias. Where I last worked every PC had an Internet IP address. When I switched to GNU/Linux we changed to using NAT for security so all those machines likely counted as one because there was a single IP address and a single User-agent string.

    There’s no way web stats can be unbiased but the big guys clearly are biased in favour of XP/”7″ one way or another. For example, they show “7” having moved to 42% share but only 600 million licences have been sold, less than 50% of PCs but many were “downgraded” to XP.

    According to NetApplications, “7” has grown from 34.62% to 42.76% while XP has fallen from 48.03% to 42.52% and Vista has fallen from 8.85% to 6.15% so the share is shifting about 1/3 from Vista and 2/3 from XP. Meanwhile total share of that other OS has supposedly not changed. Are 3-year old PCs vanishing? Are 6-year old PCs vanishing? Nope, but they are disappearing from the stats. Explain that. Many millions are donated to schools and third-world nations never to be counted by the big guys. Where I live, businesses get a tax writeoff by donating old PCs. They do it in bulk. Since 1993, CFSL has donated 1.1million PCs to Canadian schools and libraries. That’s about six months of PC shipments. Many other organizations recycle PCs for charity and put XP on them. So, the numbers don’t add up. PCs are not being counted in the millions one way or another.

  7. Chris Weig says:

    Wikipedia is as unbiased as can be and should be widely accessed even in schools. Also, you still don’t seem to understand that StatCounter can have no bias, as StatCounter is a service which has to be installed on websites by the webmasters of those sites. That would mean that 3,000,000 websites’ webmasters are biased against Linux. This is unrealistic. And StatCounters statistics by and large match Wikipedia’s statistics. Note also that StatCounter’s statistics are based on page views. Therefore things like all of a school’s computers having the same public IP address pose no problems.

  8. Chris Weig wrote, “Why doesn’t it show up in the web statistics? Whether the web statistics favor businesses (as you claim) or home (as oiaohm claims in a comment to another post), it should show up somewhere.”

    They don’t show up because these helpful folks who publish web stats are biased in their samples. They show little from regions with huge populations and fondness for GNU/Linux. They show little from schools and governments friendly to GNU/Linux. Consider Brazil. They have 500K GNU/Linux PCs in schools today and manufacture GNU/Linux PCs and Walmart sells mostly GNU/Linux PCs yet there’s scarcely a blip. They are not counting schools, government offices and homes, just businesses locked in to XP and IE.

    If you look at individual unbiased sites, you see much higher numbers for GNU/Linux.

    Debian GNU/Linux has hundreds of mirrors. One I use is Debian.yorku.ca. They get 0.01% of web traffic. You can bet there are a Hell of a lot of PCs sucking on it. Page rank is Alexa 14000. 0.01% of 1000 million PCs is 100K PCs and we know many cache so downloads serve multiple PCs. 300 mirrors like that would mean 30 million PCs world-wide just for Debian and Ubuntu would be several times more.

    http://www.debian.org gets 3.5% of all web traffic all by itself. Tell me GNU/Linux has ~1% of PCs…

  9. Chris Weig says:

    Can you please fix WordPress? It’s really bothersome. You have the code. Do something.

  10. Chris Weig says:

    If Ghandi makes an appearance, you know that the Cult of FLOSS has no arguments left.

    As for you claiming now that Android suddenly isn’t Linux anymore, it’s hard to believe because you and your friends have claimed the exact opposite on this blog many times, either explicitly or implicitly. Use Google. You’ll find out.

    We have seen millions of GNU/Linux desktops sold/installed in the last few years. That’s not dead. That’s thriving.

    Why doesn’t it show up in the web statistics? Whether the web statistics favor businesses (as you claim) or home (as oiaohm claims in a comment to another post), it should show up somewhere. But there’s not even the tiniest trend. Just your senseless attempts at self-persuasion.

  11. Android isn’t Linux. It contains a Linux kernel. A car is not an engine. It contains an engine.

    We have seen millions of GNU/Linux desktops sold/installed in the last few years. That’s not dead. That’s thriving. GNU/Linux on the desktop has had good growth for many years and it was ~3% in 2003. It’s way more than ~1% today. If it weren’t you would be laughing at us instead of spreading FUD. Ghandi was right,

  12. First they ignore us.
  13. Then they laugh at us.
  14. Then they fight us.
  15. Then we win.