Friday, October 24, 2008

The Value of a Linux Distro ?

Whitepaper: Estimating the Total Development Cost of a Linux Distribution · October 2008
"we estimate that it would take approximately $10.8 billion to build the Fedora 9 distribution in today’s dollars, with today’s software development costs. Additionally, it would take $1.4 billion to develop the Linux kernel alone. This paper outlines our technique and highlights the latest costs of developing Linux."
According to this paper, the Linux ecosystem is worth $25 billion. As far as I know, Linux market share, both Desktop and Server, amounts to around 1.77%. But adoption is showing and upward trend with some optimistic reports predicting it to be 20% by the end of 2008. Therefore, even though the paper is sponsored by the Linux Foundation, the value does sound right. Note that they are also talking about the complete distribution (the kernel alone is worth $1.4 billion), which often includes the Openoffice productivity suite, an E-Mail Client and the Firefox browser.