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LinuxFocus May 2000 issue

cover image Everyone goes free! Major operating systems vendors are releasing their systems for free. Free does of course mean different things here. When BeOS says free (www.be.com/products/freebeos) then that means free of charge. For the Realtime Operating System QNX free is more than free of charge. Their OS is now open source (www.qnx.com/news/pr/apr24_00-openpl.html). At Sun Microsystems it was since some time already possible to get a copy free of charge (solaris 7 for free) they will continue that and make also the source code for solaris 8 available (see www.sun.com/developers/tools/solaris). Apple seems also to have plans to open "a very small" part of its code (see e.g Darwin Open Source SDK).
Is this a new way of "selling" software? .... or is it just a fashion? Are these firms really hoping to improve their code by making it available to the public or is it a means to get new customers? In any case this new "free" is certainly a result of the growing importance of Linux.

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