Red Hat, Canonical, and Suse will sell you support licenses.
Which are obviously intended for business enterprise, not home users.
Canonical is very plain about catering to the home user. (http://www.canonical.com/consumer-services
Red Hat Desktop and Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop still work pretty well.
They aren't any different then Apple, except they believe in open systems, free software, freedom of choice, and they aren't trying to cash in on a buzzword. Ok, so they may be totally different from Apple.
Apple believes in making software/hardware that individual home users actually want to use, not promoting some social cause that is all-but-meaningless to the vast majority of people.
Incredibly, this has worked out rather well for them. Who knew!
FOSS is just part of their corporate culture, just like design is part of Apple's. It's not really a social cause with them as much as it's the way they do business. They believe open code and open standards makes their product more valuable then the next product, and they are right. The ability to build off of their base creates incredible value and a vibrant ecosystem.
Apple believes in exploiting other people for it's benefit. Apple opens its code when it's a benefit for them to do so. Not because it adds value, but because they don't want to hire more developers.
Last time I checked, Android and Windows had more market-share, and Apple was resorting to patent trolling to try to protect it's iPhone cash cow. Oddly enough, both Android and Windows are open systems. Not FOSS, and I concede that point, but more open then iOS and OS X.
Openness is working out much better for Microsoft and Google. Open systems win.
Stallman is correct.
Stallman is a publicity-seeking zealot.
He is, but he's still correct.
Apple is throwback to when software was the fudge and cherry of the banana split and hardware was the ice cream and banana.
I have no idea what that metaphor means, but if you think they're a "throwback" you obviously haven't been paying attention to the market. Apple's vision for the future is trending, not Stallman's.
You need to read up on computer history, if you don't know what I'm talking about. In the beginning, every computer manufacturer sold hardware, and they included software for free so the hardware would actually, you know, do something besides take up space. It wasn't until IBM created the Personal Computer and Microsoft started selling DOS for the PC clones that people realized money could be made selling software. From there hardware became a commodity, and software became expensive.
It means you pay for the banana and ice cream, and you get the cherry and fudge for free. What you really wanted was the hardware (banana and ice cream), and you get the software for free (fudge and cherry). You could argue that the fudge and cherry really make the split, but that's not where the cost is.
The vertically integrated computer companies always trend with new technology. Then the technology reaches the general masses, and everything goes back to commodity hardware. Remember the general consumer is price conscious and will buy the cheaper product that is good enough. Look no further then Google and Android for evidence of this cycle repeating. As I said earlier, open systems win.
The core Apple belief is one of vendor lock in. This creates a very well manicured lawn, but it also limits you to Apple's tyrannical vision of the world.
People seem to really
like manicured lawns. There is something to be said for them. If that's what they want, who are we to say otherwise?
They do, and that's fine. Some people like the Suburbs and other like the City; to each his own. This is really besides the point. Which is, Apple is a "cool jail", and RMS is correct when he points that out.
But, he keeps the FOSS movement on course
No, no he doesn't. People spouting Stallman's zealotry are one of the reasons linux advocacy is so counter-productive. People just want to use computing devices, they're simply not interested in enlisting in some esoteric social cause that is entirely irrelevant to them.
He does. The FOSS movement with, say, Miguel De Icaza in charge wouldn't be the FOSS movement we know now. It would be a crippled hybrid.
Yes, RMS is crass and ultimately anti-social. That's why the moderates/pragmatists are important. They can put a friendly face on and sell FOSS as a viable alternative, and they know when to push and when to compromise. Hardliners like RMS keep the moderates focused on the ultimate goal of a world where proprietary software and proprietary standards are a thing of the past. Ideologically, RMS' position in the FOSS movement is really not unlike what Jobs' position in Apple was. He constantly pushed Apple and kept it focused.
FOSS is not irrelevant to them. Just because they don't know it's relevant to them doesn't diminish it's importance, and it's up to those who do know to advocate for a better world. It's called being a socially responsible member of society.
FOSS is more then the GPL and Richard M. Stallman. It's about open standards, open systems, and enriching the world by freeing information. We live in a Golden Age of interoperability where it is relatively easy to move our data between systems, and we can thank the FOSS movement for that. Free information and open systems allow people to create even better systems since they don't have to reinvent everything, and they both lower the barrier for companies trying to compete with established players. This is the thing Apple, Microsoft, etc. don't want. They want to keep their information in a silo, and only allow those who pay a toll and those who they deem worthy access to it.
Also, FOSS software goes back to the beginning of the computing, and most of what makes the modern world tick is based on that free code and open standards. That's a little more history for you.