Why does a Landscape-managed deployment of Ubuntu cost US$250 per seat per year? For my 7-seat deployment in our new China-based subsidiary, that would cost us US$1,750/year. Compare to the Microsoft Partner Program's Actionpack Subscription at HK$2,792 (~US$350) per year. The Actionpack Subscription even provides 10 seats worth of internal-use software. That means 10 Vista licenses, 10 Office licenses and 1 license for an entire back office set up including Windows Server, Exchange and many other products. 10 seats of Ubuntu with Landscape would cost a staggering US$2,500 per year!

To put the cost difference in perspective of the local market price levels, the difference in cost is more than our entire month's payroll. That US$2,150 could pay a freshly graduated software engineer from one of China's better universities 4 year bachelor programs for 6 to 8 months.

Now of course, to be fair, the cost of Landscape also includes support from Canonical, but even if support was something we wanted, being only available in English and French, it is hardly something we would be able to make use of in China.