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[Comments] (1) : I stumbled upon a guy selling Linux distribution CDs on eBay ("+BONUS Ubuntu!"). It's a volume business, about 200 sold for basically nothing + $8 shipping. Similar to the books you see sold on Amazon for a penny, but sketchier since most people probably wouldn't buy the cow if they knew they could get the milk for free. Or, indeed, the cow for free.


Posted by Nathaniel at Sat Nov 17 2007 17:15

And they've been doing this a while: almost 6000 customers, with 98.5% of them very happy according to eBay feedback. (At least for a few hours after receiving the package.) At $10/CD, this is presumably quite lucrative.

Apparently there's an underserved market here -- people who want "Linux XP 2008 ~Worlds Best Windows OS". Certainly the real Linux distributors aren't targeting such people, nor can, really. The marketing copy is artful -- this "Linux XP 2008" name seems to just be a trademark-infringing hallucination, but the actual descriptions all seem basically accurate. It's like here's a guy who is willing to descend to the level of users who don't really know what the difference between is between "Windows" and "a windowing interface", and speak to them in their own, sloppy and geek-maddening and arguably exploitative, language.

A fascinating thing about FOSS is watching how it's changed the distribution of responsibilities across organizations -- distributions vs. upstream, etc. -- and now a successful company whose *only* service is marketing!

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