Human perception has never ceased to amaze me, and in the context of this article, it is the perception of value, and the value of contribution that I want us to think about.
It is yours in title, deed and asset
A common miss perception with Open Source software is the notion of free. Many people associate free in its simplest form, that of no monetary cost, and unfortunately this ultimately leads to the second conclusion of ‘cheap’ and low quality. Proprietary commercial vendors, and their corporate marketing departments know this and use that knowledge to focus their audience on ‘perceived value’. In some ways free of cost in the open source software world is a significant disadvantage, because it means there are no funds available to pay for a marketing machine to generate ‘perceived value’.
Think, for a moment, how much of a disadvantage that is when trying to develop a customer/user base.
Kubuntu is completely and whole contributon driven. It is forged from passion and enthusiasm, built with joy and above all love. Throughout our community; users use it because they love it, supporters help users, and each other, maintainers fix issues and package improvements, developers extend functionality and add features, bloggers write articles and documentation, youtubers make videos and tutorials. All these people do this because they love what they’re doing and it brings them joy doing it.
Today Linux is cloud native, ubiquitous and dominates wholesale in the internet space, it is both general purpose, and highly specialised, robust and extensive, yet focused and detailed.
Kubuntu is a general purpose operating system designed and developed by our community to be practical and intuitive to a wide audience. It is simple and non-intrusive to install, everyday it continues to grow a larger user base of people who download it, install it and for some, love it! Further more, some of those users will find their way into our community, they will see the contributions given so freely by others and be inspired to contribute themselves.
Image from Wikipedia
Anyone who has installed Windows 10 recently, will atest to the extent of personal information that Microsoft asks users of its operating system to ‘contribute’. This enables the Microsoft marketing teams to further refine their messaging to resonate with your personal ‘perceived value‘ and indeed to enable that across the Microsoft portfolio of ‘partners‘!
The story is identical with Apple, the recently announced Silicon M1 seeks, not only to lock Apple users into the Apple software ecosystem and their ‘partners‘ but also to lock down and isolate the software to the hardware.
With this background understanding, we are able to return full circle to the subject of this article ‘Kubuntu is not Free, it is Free‘ and further more Kubuntu users are free.
Free from intrusion, profiling, targeting, and marketing; Kubuntu user are free to share, modify and improve their beloved software however they choose.
Let us revisit that last sentence and add some clarity. Kubuntu users are free to share and improve ‘their’ beloved software however they choose.
The critical word here is ‘their’, and that is because Kubuntu is YOUR software, not Microsoft, Apple, and not even Canonical or Ubuntu’s. It is yours in title, deed and asset and that is the value that the
GNU GPL license bequithes to you.
This ownership also empowers you, and indeed puts you as an individual in a greater place of power than the marketeers from Microsoft or Apple. You can share, distribute, promote, highlight or low-light, Kubuntu wherever, and whenever you like. Blog about it, make YouTube videos about it, share it, change it, give it away and even sell it.
How about the for perceived value ?
About the Author:
Rick Timmis is a Kubuntu Councillor, and advocate. Rick has been a user and open contributor to Kubuntu for over 10 years, and a KDE user and contributor for 20