"free as in beer" - some further thoughts
I have been thinking more and more about this sentence that we proposed to put on the front page:
"free as in speech, and often free as in beer".
This is a particularly powerful statement, that, for the average Windows user, requires a lot of explainations. "Often free as in beer" implies that you may pay for GPLed software. But then you have the right to redistribute it. So there is no exclusivity on the distribution, contrary to a music piece for example.
So then you have to justify why people actually bother selling it. It's because access might be more convenient (shipped DVDs) or because there are combinations with non-free software or associated support (ex Novell SLED).
All of this makes a tremendous amount of information for the reader to assimilate before s/he can understand the first sentence on the website!
I re-read the "What is Linux" page and for now, it does not answer this properly and fully. I also re-touched the FAQ post on freedom, but this is way down into the site (so not necessarily/immediately read by the user).
So, despite this sentence being true (and certainly truer than "free as in beer and speech" as is now displayed), I suggest that we do not put it up. At least untill we improve the "Linux" page, but I honestly do not see how (without burdening it too much).
What do you think?