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[seul-edu] Revisiting: Asking Commercial Companies for ports from MAC/WIN to linux

I was cruising through the thrift store yesterday with my wife.  She
found a handy piece of software called Teachers Toolbox.  I loaded it
onto this Windows partition and looked at it.  It is a nice and handy
product that she likes.

I checked the company out, and made a call to HQ.  They do not see Linux
as a platform large enough to port to directly, but are planning a Java
version that is intneded to be x-platform.  

I furthur inquired as to the possibility of porting it's look and feel
to Linux independently of thier effort.

Two questions came up very quickly.  Would we License it from them. 
What kind of revenue would they be able to expect.  

The notion of "giving away" the product was a terrible fear, how would
they produce revenue if we gave away a competing product.  As I recall
from the CUE conference last fall, there were thoughts by several
companies to port to Linux, but there was no commitment.  A problem is
seen in the business model they follow: they see Linux as destroying all
potential profits.

What should we say?  Should we ask cool companies to port, should we
"borrow" the look and feel, should we just ignore what the teachers
using the product like?

Just food for discussion.