Announcement: Qubes OS Begins Commercialization and Community Funding Efforts

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Andrew David Wong

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Nov 30, 2016, 6:56:11 PM11/30/16
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Dear Qubes Community,

Since the initial launch [01] of Qubes OS back in April 2010, work on Qubes
has been funded in several different ways. Originally a pet project, it was
first supported by Invisible Things Lab [02] (ITL) out of the money we earned
on various R&D and consulting contracts. Later, we decided that we should try to
commercialize it. Our idea, back then, was to commercialize Windows AppVM
support. Unlike the rest of Qubes OS, which is licensed under GPLv2, we thought
we would offer Windows AppVM support under a proprietary license. Even though we
made a lot of progress on both the business and technical sides of this
endeavor, it ultimately failed.

Luckily, we got a helping hand from the Open Technology Fund [03] (OTF), which
has supported [04] the project for the past two years. While not a large
sum of money in itself, it did help us a lot, especially with all the work
necessary to improve Qubes' user interface, documentation, and outreach to new
communities. Indeed, the (estimated) Qubes user base has grown [05]
significantly over that period. Thank you, OTF!

But Qubes is more than just a nice UI: it's an entirely new, complex system --
a system that aims to change the game of endpoint security. Consequently, it
requires expertise covering a wide spectrum of topics: from understanding
low-level aspects of hardware and firmware (and how they translate to the
security of a desktop system), to UI design, documentation writing, and
community outreach. Even if we consider only the "security research" aspect of
Qubes, this area alone easily scales beyond the capabilities of a single human
being.

In order to continue to deliver on its promise of strong desktop security, Qubes
must retain and expand its core team, and this requires substantial funding. At
this point, we believe the only realistic way to achieve this is through
commercialization, supplemented by community funding.


Commercialization
=================

We're taking a different approach to commercialization this time. Building on
the success of the recent Qubes 3.2 release, which has been praised by users for
its stability and overall usability, we will begin offering commercial editions
(licenses) of Qubes OS to corporate customers. We believe that the maturity of
Qubes, combined with its powerful new management stack [06], makes it ripe
for adoption by any corporation with significant security needs.

Commercial editions of Qubes OS will be customized to meet special corporate
requirements. For example, two features that might be particularly attractive to
corporate customers are (1) "locking down" dom0 in order to separate the user
and administrator roles and (2) integrating our local management stack with a
corporation's remote management infrastructure. These are both examples of
features that our developers are capable of implementing now, on Qubes 3.2.

We plan to partner with one to three corporate clients in order to run a pilot
program throughout the first half of 2017. After it has been successfully
completed, we'll then widen our offer to more corporate customers and,
ultimately, to small business customers. Our main constraint is the scalability
required to cover each additional client. Hence, we plan to focus on larger
customers first.

Let there be no misunderstanding: Qubes OS will always remain open source. We
anticipate that the majority of our commercialization efforts will involve the
creation of custom Salt configurations, and perhaps writing a few additional
apps and integration code. In the event that any corporate features require
reworking the core Qubes code, that new code will remain open source.

We considered many other ways of attempting to commercialize Qubes before
arriving at this model. One possibility that some of our users have inquired
about is that we sell dedicated Qubes hardware (i.e. laptops). However, there
are a number of challenges here, both in terms of making the hardware
trustworthy enough to merit our "seal of approval", and from a business and
logistics perspective. For these reasons, we don't plan to pursue this option in
the immediate future.


Community funding
=================

Unfortunately, the financial necessity of shifting our priorities to commercial
clients will mean that we have less time to work on features that benefit the
wider, security-minded open source community, which has been our focus for the
past seven years. This deeply saddens us. (We all use Qubes on our personal
computers too!) However, the reality is that ITL can't afford to sustain the
open source development of Qubes for much longer. We're running out of time.

In an attempt to keep the open source development of Qubes going, we've teamed
up with Open Collective [07], which makes it easier to donate to the Qubes
project. Now, in addition to our Bitcoin fund [08], we can also accept
donations via credit card. ITL will not benefit from of any of the money donated
through Open Collective. Instead, the funds will be paid directly to individual
developers who have been hired to work on the open source edition of Qubes.
With the help of our community, we hope eventually to build a nonprofit
organization that will ensure the long-term future of Qubes as an open source
operating system that is freely available to all -- one of the few operating
systems that places the security of its users above all else.

If you are a user of Qubes and want to help us continue working on it, please
donate now [07]. Those who have contributed will be publicly recognized on our
Open Collective [07] page (if they so choose). Organizations that support the
Qubes project will be publicly recognized on our Partners page [09]
(again, if they so choose). If you are interested in supporting Qubes with
significant resources, whether as an individual or on behalf of an organization,
we ask that you please contact us directly [10], since donating through
Open Collective entails significant administrative overhead.

Thank you for your continued support. Together, we can ensure that Qubes is
around to secure our digital lives for many years to come.

--The Qubes team


[01] https://blog.invisiblethings.org/2010/04/07/introducing-qubes-os.html
[02] https://invisiblethingslab.com
[03] https://www.opentech.fund/
[04] https://www.opentech.fund/project/qubes-os
[05] https://www.qubes-os.org/counter/
[06] https://www.qubes-os.org/news/2015/12/14/mgmt-stack/
[07] https://opencollective.com/qubes-os
[08] https://www.qubes-os.org/news/2016/07/13/qubes-distributed-fund/
[09] https://www.qubes-os.org/partners/
[10] <busi...@qubes-os.org>

You can also view this announcement on the Web at:
https://www.qubes-os.org/news/2016/11/30/qubes-commercialization/

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JPL

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Dec 1, 2016, 2:57:05 AM12/1/16
to qubes-users, qubes...@googlegroups.com
>Commercial editions of Qubes OS will be customized to meet special corporate
>requirements. For example, two features that might be particularly attractive to
>corporate customers are (1) "locking down" dom0 in order to separate the user
>and administrator roles and (2) integrating our local management stack with a
>corporation's remote management infrastructure. These are both examples of
>features that our developers are capable of implementing now, on Qubes 3.2.

>We plan to partner with one to three corporate clients in order to run a pilot
>program throughout the first half of 2017. After it has been successfully
>completed, we'll then widen our offer to more corporate customers and,
>ultimately, to small business customers. Our main constraint is the scalability
>required to cover each additional client. Hence, we plan to focus on larger
>customers first.

Does this mean that Qubes will somehow become networkable or will it still only be for a single device?

Ilpo Järvinen

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Dec 1, 2016, 2:41:03 PM12/1/16
to Andrew David Wong, qubes...@googlegroups.com, qubes...@googlegroups.com
On Wed, 30 Nov 2016, Andrew David Wong wrote:

> Commercial editions of Qubes OS will be customized to meet special corporate
> requirements. For example, two features that might be particularly
> attractive to corporate customers are (1) "locking down" dom0 in order
> to separate the user and administrator roles

I suppose this implies there is unlikely to be support for multi-user
environment for a shared computer any time soon except for commercial
users (e.g., within a family with one of the user effectively having
a sort of "administator role" and the other users would have less
priviledges)?

If yes, are the core devs/maintainers going to actively oppose
inclusion of feature(s) which would make the multi-user case
easier/feasible if it is provided by somebody from community?
I suppose it could be seen overlapping functionality and
therefore rejected on technical grounds (or it might be even
thought to deincentivize from getting the commercial version).

I understand the economical realities, so please don't take this
as complaining of any sort, I'm just asking what is the expected
position here.


--
i.

Franz

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Dec 1, 2016, 5:33:44 PM12/1/16
to Andrew David Wong, qubes...@googlegroups.com, qubes...@googlegroups.com
The people able to donate enough to maintain this project are hardly on this mailing list. They are elsewhere and probably do no even know that Qubes exists at all. But they have the money and want to use this money for some good purpose before they die.

It is worth looking for them. But this is professional work. It is something difficult to do in an amateurish way. Professional work need to be paid. So it is an investment hoping to get a result.  But it may be worth for some reasons:

1. Once you get a commitment it may work long term and this is obviously interesting.

2. Our quest for security is something easy to understand and sell, particularly to rich old people. Anyone seeing a video of a Joanna's conference would be impressed even if unable to understand technical details.

3. You already got a financing from Open Technology Fund and this is an authoritative card confirming that somebody obviously very expert endorses you.

4. You probably have many other distinguished  endorsements that confirm that your efforts are worth substantial help

5. The problem of hackers and governments stealing data is so obvious and well known that everybody already understands it with no need to convince.
 
To have an idea of a possible professional partner to get this done, or simply to understand better what it means, please look at this google search:

https://www.google.com/search?q=donation+marketing&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

good luck
Fran

 
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pixel fairy

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Dec 1, 2016, 6:15:36 PM12/1/16
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So this is basically support contracts with some custom coding thrown in? The next step, probably scary to some users, is corporate channels. Have you contacted dell and hp yet?

either way, im happy for this and hope it works!

Marek Marczykowski-Górecki

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Dec 1, 2016, 7:27:57 PM12/1/16
to Ilpo Järvinen, Andrew David Wong, qubes...@googlegroups.com, qubes...@googlegroups.com
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On Thu, Dec 01, 2016 at 09:40:58PM +0200, Ilpo Järvinen wrote:
> On Wed, 30 Nov 2016, Andrew David Wong wrote:
>
> > Commercial editions of Qubes OS will be customized to meet special corporate
> > requirements. For example, two features that might be particularly
> > attractive to corporate customers are (1) "locking down" dom0 in order
> > to separate the user and administrator roles
>
> I suppose this implies there is unlikely to be support for multi-user
> environment for a shared computer any time soon except for commercial
> users (e.g., within a family with one of the user effectively having
> a sort of "administator role" and the other users would have less
> priviledges)?

That's right. We (as core Qubes OS team) don't plan to work on this
anytime soon in open source version.

> If yes, are the core devs/maintainers going to actively oppose
> inclusion of feature(s) which would make the multi-user case
> easier/feasible if it is provided by somebody from community?
> I suppose it could be seen overlapping functionality and
> therefore rejected on technical grounds (or it might be even
> thought to deincentivize from getting the commercial version).
>
> I understand the economical realities, so please don't take this
> as complaining of any sort, I'm just asking what is the expected
> position here.

I think both use cases still differ significantly. One is mostly about
protecting system configuration (maybe with addition of remote
attestation, or sth like this?), the other one is about protecting data
of other user(s). Some technical means may be the same, but I think not
all. And I think it's ok to accept contributions about one use case,
even if somehow overlap with the other. Of course if done properly.

Also note that the above mentioned examples are just examples. Actual
features will depend on customers needs.

But to answer more generic question: we can't stop anyone from
implementing the same features as in commercial version, and announcing
it anywhere. This is how open source works (which is great that we have
this freedom!). But we'd like to ask the community to not compromise the
business model - as explained above I think the use cases are different
and this shouldn't conflict with the goals of Qubes OS as the open
source project.

- --
Best Regards,
Marek Marczykowski-Górecki
Invisible Things Lab
A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
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Kopimi Security

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Dec 2, 2016, 2:17:15 PM12/2/16
to qubes-users, qubes...@googlegroups.com
On Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 12:56:11 AM UTC+1, Andrew David Wong wrote:
> Unfortunately, the financial necessity of shifting our priorities to commercial
> clients will mean that we have less time to work on features that benefit the
> wider, security-minded open source community, which has been our focus for the
> past seven years. This deeply saddens us. (We all use Qubes on our personal
> computers too!) However, the reality is that ITL can't afford to sustain the
> open source development of Qubes for much longer. We're running out of time.
>
> In an attempt to keep the open source development of Qubes going, we've teamed
> up with Open Collective [07], which makes it easier to donate to the Qubes
> project. Now, in addition to our Bitcoin fund [08], we can also accept
> donations via credit card. ITL will not benefit from of any of the money donated
> through Open Collective. Instead, the funds will be paid directly to individual
> developers who have been hired to work on the open source edition of Qubes.

I'm excited about this, and wish to support Qubes.
My first thoughts are "How can Qubes reach a broader community", and "Can the HOWTO's be made more approachable?".
For example, the section 'assigning-devices' on the /doc/, didn't get into how to actually use a mouse with a sys-usb qube, before at the very end.
And there, the way it was written gave the impression of giving the answer almost as an afterthought, as if it should have been obvious to everybody.
As such, it reads as it was written by somebody "too close to the problem".
Somebody being so familiar with the system that outsiders' inability to grasp the "obvious", escapes him. Or her.
This is not a unique issue for ITL though, the same problem pops up everywhere when highly technical minded people try to convey something to people who just wants to be *users*!

So that's what I'm thinking, maybe it would be good for the "evangelization" of Qubes to make some very simple, brief, and to-the-point videos and howto's?


Andrew David Wong

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Dec 2, 2016, 6:13:35 PM12/2/16
to Kopimi Security, qubes-users
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Yes, certainly. Would you be willing to help us with that? :)

- --
Andrew David Wong (Axon)
Community Manager, Qubes OS
https://www.qubes-os.org
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pixel fairy

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Dec 2, 2016, 6:55:18 PM12/2/16
to qubes-users, kopimi....@gmail.com
On Friday, December 2, 2016 at 6:13:35 PM UTC-5, Andrew David Wong wrote:

> > So that's what I'm thinking, maybe it would be good for the "evangelization" of Qubes to make some very simple, brief, and to-the-point videos and howto's?
> >
>
> Yes, certainly. Would you be willing to help us with that? :)

theres already a nice one in english linked from the front page of the qubes-os site.

pixel fairy

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Dec 2, 2016, 6:55:56 PM12/2/16
to qubes-users, kopimi....@gmail.com

and one in french. now we just need more languages covered.

Message has been deleted

Grzesiek Chodzicki

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Dec 3, 2016, 8:07:46 AM12/3/16
to qubes-users, qubes...@googlegroups.com
This is a wonderful idea, there are about 20k Qubes users out there, if we al give you guys an equivalent of Windows license price you should be set for a millenium. I'd also love to see some Qubes merchandise available to buy so I can up my swag game while simultaneously contributing funds.

Also, you forgot to post this to qubes-announce Andrew.

Kopimi Security

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Dec 3, 2016, 9:14:34 AM12/3/16
to qubes-users, kopimi....@gmail.com

Absolutely!
Would it be okay if I started with some of the /doc/-articles?
I've noticed that some of them could benefit from an update, as an example the one on Kali (https://www.qubes-os.org/doc/pentesting/kali/).

Please let me know if this is something that I could help out with.

raah...@gmail.com

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Dec 3, 2016, 10:46:39 PM12/3/16
to qubes-users, qubes...@googlegroups.com
Just don't get corrupted! haha But really I think this is great! I wish all the success in the world. I still think its the future. I would for sure by merch(I still want a sticker) too like an above user, and i'm look into credit card info.

But ya, If you got a good sales guy to go to some small to midsize companies and give a presentation, how can anyone refuse!!!??? This sounds exciting to me.

raah...@gmail.com

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Dec 3, 2016, 10:47:49 PM12/3/16
to qubes-users, qubes...@googlegroups.com, raah...@gmail.com
On Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 10:46:39 PM UTC-5, raah...@gmail.com wrote:
> Just don't get corrupted! haha But really I think this is great! I wish all the success in the world. I still think its the future. I would for sure by merch(I still want a sticker) too like an above user, and i'm look into credit card info.
>
> But ya, If you got a good sales guy to go to some small to midsize companies and give a presentation, how can anyone refuse!!!??? This sounds exciting to me.

oh and like Fran said don't be ashamed to name drop everyone and everything right off the bat.

Zbigniew Łukasiak

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Dec 4, 2016, 3:08:04 AM12/4/16
to qubes-users, kopimi....@gmail.com
On Friday, December 2, 2016 at 6:13:35 PM UTC-5, Andrew David Wong wrote:
> > So that's what I'm thinking, maybe it would be good for the "evangelization" of Qubes to make some very simple, brief, and to-the-point videos and howto's?
> >
>
> Yes, certainly. Would you be willing to help us with that? :)

I am new to Qubes - just installed it on my computer. I can note the problems that I encounter. Where to send this?

Z.

Andrew David Wong

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Dec 4, 2016, 3:37:01 AM12/4/16
to Grzesiek Chodzicki, qubes-users, qubes...@googlegroups.com
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On 2016-12-03 05:07, Grzesiek Chodzicki wrote:
> This is a wonderful idea, there are about 20k Qubes users out there, if we al give you guys an equivalent of Windows license price you should be set for a millenium. I'd also love to see some Qubes merchandise available to buy so I can up my swag game while simultaneously contributing funds.
>

Thanks! The merchandise ideas has been discussed internally, but we've decided not to pursue that option at this time.

> Also, you forgot to post this to qubes-announce Andrew.
>

Didn't forget; qubes-announce is strictly for QSBs and new releases:

https://www.qubes-os.org/mailing-lists/#qubes-announce

- --
Andrew David Wong (Axon)
Community Manager, Qubes OS
https://www.qubes-os.org
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Andrew David Wong

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Dec 4, 2016, 3:37:55 AM12/4/16
to Kopimi Security, qubes-users
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA512

Yes. Please take a look here:

https://www.qubes-os.org/doc/doc-guidelines/

- --
Andrew David Wong (Axon)
Community Manager, Qubes OS
https://www.qubes-os.org
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Andrew David Wong

unread,
Dec 4, 2016, 3:42:01 AM12/4/16
to Zbigniew Łukasiak, qubes-users, kopimi....@gmail.com
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA512

Please take a look at this page:

https://www.qubes-os.org/doc/reporting-bugs/

- --
Andrew David Wong (Axon)
Community Manager, Qubes OS
https://www.qubes-os.org
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Andrew David Wong

unread,
Dec 4, 2016, 5:46:33 AM12/4/16
to Zbigniew Łukasiak, qubes...@googlegroups.com
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA512

On 2016-12-04 02:27, Zbigniew Łukasiak wrote:
> On Sun, Dec 4, 2016 at 3:41 AM, Andrew David Wong <a...@qubes-os.org> wrote:
>> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
>> Hash: SHA512
>>
>> On 2016-12-04 00:08, Zbigniew Łukasiak wrote:
>>> On Friday, December 2, 2016 at 6:13:35 PM UTC-5, Andrew David Wong wrote:
>>>>> So that's what I'm thinking, maybe it would be good for the "evangelization" of Qubes to make some very simple, brief, and to-the-point videos and howto's?
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Yes, certainly. Would you be willing to help us with that? :)
>>>
>>> I am new to Qubes - just installed it on my computer. I can note the problems that I encounter. Where to send this?
>>>
>>> Z.
>>>
>>
>> Please take a look at this page:
>>
>> https://www.qubes-os.org/doc/reporting-bugs/
>>
>
> Well - this is not about bugs but about surprises. From my experiences
> with other OS projects I learned that people quickly forget what was
> difficult at the beginning. It is seasoned developers who make
> documentation who have already internalized many details - so the docs
> often lack information. It is useful to include the newbies in
> writing the docs. - surely they cannot write the answers - but they
> can note the questions :) And they can also mark the areas of
> difficulties. This is the kind of feedback that I had in mind.
>
> Cheers,
> Zbigniew
>

I understand. Please feel free to help us by contributing to the
documentation by following these guidelines:

https://www.qubes-os.org/doc/doc-guidelines/


P.S. - Please keep the mailing list CCed, unless there's a need for
privacy:

https://www.qubes-os.org/mailing-lists/#specific-rules-and-notes

- --
Andrew David Wong (Axon)
Community Manager, Qubes OS
https://www.qubes-os.org
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Lorenzo Lamas

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Dec 4, 2016, 11:04:16 AM12/4/16
to qubes-users, qubes...@googlegroups.com
It's a bit saddening to hear priorities are shifting to commercial clients, but for the rest it's great news, a good way to keep Qubes going!

> In an attempt to keep the open source development of Qubes going, we've teamed
> up with Open Collective [07], which makes it easier to donate to the Qubes
> project. Now, in addition to our Bitcoin fund [08], we can also accept
> donations via credit card.

Good to hear, but I would recommend adding more payment options like Paypal so it's easier for users in other parts of the world, where credit card is not a widely used, to support you.

Patrick Bouldin

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Dec 4, 2016, 4:50:44 PM12/4/16
to qubes-users, qubes...@googlegroups.com

Andrew,

I'm very willing to donate - and well noted that you all will continue to update the core changes in the public domain. I do understand the why, the what and the dollars for the change - however, will there be anyone left to work on the core, for the sake of the core? Just wondering where the donation dollars will be going. I ask because I agree with the person noting 20,000 current licenses. If we all sent in $100 US each then that's $2 million US.

Is it possible to set up some separation of funding to ensure each group is getting what they want? Set up the public funding better with separate marketing, and let that fund improvements for the public domain (not just maintenance and slight core improvements) - and then fund your corporate goals using the methods you mentioned.

As a relatively new user I'm concerned about investing more time in this and it not progressing.

Thanks,
Patrick
Dallas, Texas

Andrew David Wong

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Dec 5, 2016, 3:53:05 AM12/5/16
to Patrick Bouldin, qubes-users, qubes...@googlegroups.com
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA512

On 2016-12-04 13:50, Patrick Bouldin wrote:
> Andrew,
>
> I'm very willing to donate - and well noted that you all will continue to update the core changes in the public domain. I do understand the why, the what and the dollars for the change - however, will there be anyone left to work on the core, for the sake of the core? Just wondering where the donation dollars will be going. I ask because I agree with the person noting 20,000 current licenses. If we all sent in $100 US each then that's $2 million US.
>
> Is it possible to set up some separation of funding to ensure each group is getting what they want? Set up the public funding better with separate marketing, and let that fund improvements for the public domain (not just maintenance and slight core improvements) - and then fund your corporate goals using the methods you mentioned.
>
> As a relatively new user I'm concerned about investing more time in this and it not progressing.
>
> Thanks,
> Patrick
> Dallas, Texas
>

As mentioned in the announcement, all donations made via Open Collective will be paid directly to developers who have been hired to work on the open source edition of Qubes. ITL will not see or benefit from any of that money. All from donated funds should be transparently visible to everyone on our Open Collective page.

Does this address your concern?

- --
Andrew David Wong (Axon)
Community Manager, Qubes OS
https://www.qubes-os.org
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Patrick Bouldin

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Dec 5, 2016, 12:18:31 PM12/5/16
to qubes-users, qubes...@googlegroups.com
On Wednesday, November 30, 2016 at 6:56:11 PM UTC-5, Andrew David Wong wrote:

Hi Andrew, ok - after reading it a couple more times I got the total gist. Not sure who all was hired but hopefully there will be sufficient marketing efforts to get them funded long term.

Thanks,
Patrick

Dallas, TX

Grzesiek Chodzicki

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Dec 5, 2016, 5:01:53 PM12/5/16
to qubes-users, grzegorz....@gmail.com, qubes...@googlegroups.com
My bad then.

Andrew David Wong

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Dec 5, 2016, 8:54:50 PM12/5/16
to Patrick Bouldin, qubes-users, qubes...@googlegroups.com
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA512

On 2016-12-05 09:18, Patrick Bouldin wrote:
> Hi Andrew, ok - after reading it a couple more times I got the total gist. Not sure who all was hired but hopefully there will be sufficient marketing efforts to get them funded long term.
>
> Thanks,
> Patrick
>
> Dallas, TX
>

Just to clarify, I'm not aware of anyone having been newly hired specifically in connection with this announcement. Rather, I think the idea is that any funds donated through Open Collective will be used to pay individual developers to work on the open source edition of Qubes, whether they're developers who are already working on Qubes (who are listed on the Team page) or new developers hired in the future.

- --
Andrew David Wong (Axon)
Community Manager, Qubes OS
https://www.qubes-os.org
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Andrew David Wong

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Dec 5, 2016, 8:59:39 PM12/5/16
to Grzesiek Chodzicki, qubes-users, qubes...@googlegroups.com
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA512

On 2016-12-05 14:01, Grzesiek Chodzicki wrote:
> W dniu niedziela, 4 grudnia 2016 09:37:01 UTC+1 użytkownik Andrew David Wong napisał:
>> On 2016-12-03 05:07, Grzesiek Chodzicki wrote:
>>> Also, you forgot to post this to qubes-announce Andrew.
>>>
>> Didn't forget; qubes-announce is strictly for QSBs and new releases:
>>
>> https://www.qubes-os.org/mailing-lists/#qubes-announce
>>
> My bad then.
>

No worries. We know that some people are only willing to receive very infrequent
messages about critical Qubes announcements, and we want those people to be able
to trust qubes-announce for that purpose. We know that if we start sending too many
messages through qubes-announce, we'll drive those readers away, so it's very
important to us to keep our promise by sending announcements only for QSBs and
new Qubes OS releases.

- --
Andrew David Wong (Axon)
Community Manager, Qubes OS
https://www.qubes-os.org
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je

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Dec 15, 2016, 10:43:53 AM12/15/16
to qubes-devel, qubes...@googlegroups.com
Hello,

1. have you thought about offering training, consulting and support for companies who want to use Qubes OS in their enterprise?
2. have you thought about developing commercial management solution which makes the deployment, remote administration and monitoring easy?

I do not believe that developing a commercial operating system based on an open source foundation will pay off on a long run. However, I agree
with you that customized tool and plugin development can provide a valuable source of income.

Andrew David Wong

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Dec 15, 2016, 11:15:46 AM12/15/16
to je, qubes-devel, qubes...@googlegroups.com
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA512

On 12/15/16 07:43, je wrote:
> Hello,
>
> 1. have you thought about offering training, consulting and support for
> companies who want to use Qubes OS in their enterprise?

Yes, this is something we've considered. We'd prefer to focus on selling
licenses rather than selling services, since this would scale better for
our small team, but we also realize that we'll want to offer support (to
some extent) to clients who purchase licenses.

> 2. have you thought about developing commercial management solution which
> makes the deployment, remote administration and monitoring easy?
>

I think the Salt management stack is meant to be this, at least to some
degree. I'm not sure if a more robust management solution than that
would be feasible for us to develop in the short-term, or whether it
would be worth the time and cost necessary to do so.

> I do not believe that developing a commercial operating system based on an
> open source foundation will pay off on a long run.

Is there a specific reason you think it will not? Just curious.

> However, I agree with you that customized tool and plugin development
> can provide a valuable source of income.

- --
Andrew David Wong (Axon)
Community Manager, Qubes OS
https://www.qubes-os.org
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je

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Dec 15, 2016, 5:46:49 PM12/15/16
to qubes-devel, j.ep...@openmailbox.org, qubes...@googlegroups.com

    > I do not believe that developing a commercial operating system based on an
    > open source foundation will pay off on a long run.

    Is there a specific reason you think it will not? Just curious.


1. Selling a license provides a one time payment. Even if you are able to sell 100_000 licenses for 40 you would earn
4_000_000, but the same companies will not buy a license the year after that. Which means no constant income for the long run.

Most companies will stick with one version of the product till they really have a reason to upgrade.
Because, the costs for upgrading are actually higher than the costs of the license and upgrades involve the risk of causing
disruption (problems during the upgrade, which blocks employees from getting their work done. Which again means I loose money).
With other words Qubes OS will be stuck with one version for years.

2. The simple question is how can you sell a product which contains mostly GPL licensed code (Xen, Linux Kernel)
which everybody can download and compile for free?

RHEL sells support subscriptions. They offer support (10 years backporting, customer support etc.) and most important they offer a platform for other business software.
The work RedHat constantly invests in their RHEL can not be easily replicated and that is the reason why CentOS is not a competitor.

3. Security is a process and not a product. As an enterprise customer I want to have constant updates and upgrades, security bulletins and other security information.
I want to know if DirtyCOW, hardbleed or other security flaws affect my business if I use Qubes OS or not?

Furthermore, I believe that the Qubes OS team and ITL does not understand what Qubes OS could offer on an enterprise level.

Leeteqxv

unread,
Dec 16, 2016, 11:06:19 AM12/16/16
to qubes...@googlegroups.com
> --
I am working with IT strategy myself. Enterprise needs are clearly
completely different from SMB, etc., so in that sense we are talking
about two entirely different strategies and support models. I think
Qubes should pursue both, but with two distinctly different teams in
charge, with the suitable understanding of each area.

As the whole industry (and society at large) continues to mature into
various ways of readiiness for Open-Source things, I am quite sure that
we will see a growing market among SMB's that are willing to pay for
support and related peace-of-mind aspects even if it is possible to
compile everything oneself. It is worth paying to "delegate" both such
manual work and to avoid keeping up on the related competence race.

A license is one thing, perhaps even limited in time, but an
accompanying support agreement is yet another. Both are needed, IMO.

There is also a middle ground here - Take for example me:
I would like to offer entry-level services to clients, who all will pay
the license + pay for my services. In turn, I want to be a
professional-level client of Qubes support, so that I can get their
backup when there is something I run into which I cannot answer or solve
properly for my entry-level clientele. So I would be willing to pay a
professional support membership of some sorts.

I strongly believe memberships-based support services (premium
communities) is a good business model for this, atop of whatever
licensing scheme one may have.

Franz

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Dec 16, 2016, 12:01:51 PM12/16/16
to Leeteqxv, qubes...@googlegroups.com
Agree with that.
On the license side also a mixed scheme may be interesting. For example there is an obvious need of some development directed to the very special enterprise needs. This additional enterprise development may be kept closed-source for a limited time, perhaps 5 years rather than the international 50 years of copyright law. During this limited time this additional software may be available under a non-disclosure agreement for the licensee to check it or even compile it.
Best
fran
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J. Eppler

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Dec 16, 2016, 12:10:50 PM12/16/16
to qubes-users, teqle...@leeteq.com
Hello Leeteqxv,

if I understood you correct, what your clientele want's to have is constant improvements for Qubes OS. They don't want to compile or test things.

This is a subscription based model, where people pay the Qubes OS team for their ongoing work rather than for an existing product.

Furthermore, I agree with you "memberships-based support services (premium
communities) is a good business model for" Qubes OS.

However, I think that testing new features and introducing new features can be done together with the open source community and Qubes OS could offer a LTS version for money. LTS version could focus on guaranteeing backports and fixes for specific LTS version over a period of 3 or more years, whereas the community support will only be offered for a year or till the next version of Qubes OS appears.

I think the Qubes OS team should focus on getting paid for their ongoing work rather than Qubes OS as a product and the only way to do this is to offer monthly or yearly subscriptions for customers and additionally support memberships for IT professionals (consultants, IT departments etc.).

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