Corporate and Professional support for Linux and OSS products

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| A program has finally been launched, thanks to Holonyx Inc. (which acquired
| Ruffdogs earlier this year), to provide professional support to resellers
| offering Linux and Open Source solutions to corporate and small business
| customers.


The top Linux support weaknesses, then and now

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| In 2003, visited the Linux support landscape
| with a list of Linux support weaknesses. A lot has happened over the
| past four years, as is evident in the success of Red Hat and
| Novell's subscription-based support models and the meteoric
| rise of commercial-grade Ubuntu support, to name a few.


Which is better for technical support

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| I have found in general that with open source support you often get
| more than what you pay for but with closed source support, by some of
| the biggest names in software, the support is often lacking in the
| value department. With open source asking for support has generally
| resulted in a solution within a week and I have never paid for it.
| However with closed source companies I have open tickets that have
| not been resolved in months. With open source I can communicate
| directly with the author(s) of the program and work closely with
| them to find a solution. Closed source on the other hand has just
| requested information, verified the bug and then informed us that
| the solution may be available in the next release of the program.

Microsoft's Genuine Advantage

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| A lot of managers are afraid to use Open Source Software, because it
| doesn't come with any support. Of course that isn't true. It is a classical
| piece of FUD. And then again, how much is support worth?
| [...]
| MS: * Microsoft Support. Good morning, sir. Can I help you.
| IC: * Windows displays some strange message on my screen.
| MS: * What's the message, sir.
| IC: * ReadStringFromInf: UpdSpGetLineText failed: 0xe0000102; Microsoft
| Windows is Not Present
| MS: * May I have your product key, sir.
| IC: * [gives completely valid product key]
| MS: * Ok, sir. Can you please reboot your PC?
| IC: * Will that solve the problem?
| MS: * Please reboot your PC, sir.
| IC: * Ok, ok, wait a minute.
| MS: * Please call us again if you eXPerience any more problems. Have a
| nice day, sir. [click]

I work for MS but even I struggle to get a hot-fix

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| The problem took 260 minutes to resolve from start to
| finish and an estimated 90 minutes of Ledgard's time,
| not including the time it took to write-up his problems...
| Still, the frustrations experienced by Ledgard give
| a salutary lesson that Microsoft's online product
| support is mediocre, at best, and will surely strike
| a chord with many long-suffering sys admins.