ruphus13 writes "The Linux Foundation's recently released report claims, ""it would take approximately $10.8 billion to build the Linux community distribution Fedora 9 in today's dollars with today's software development costs". The article states why this might actually understate the value of the distros, though, since it doesn't include the power of the brand and the goodwill value. "There were several approaches that the Linux Foundation employed to reach the $10.8 billion dollar figure, including calculating the number of lines of code in Fedora 9 (204,500,946), and using an average programmer's salary of $75,662.08--as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor--to measure development costs...On the balance sheets of Coca Cola and many other huge corporations, you find goodwill listed as a major asset. On its 2007 balance sheet, Coke listed over $4.25 billion dollars for goodwill as an asset it owned. Just as the hypothetical development costs that the Linux Foundation is measuring will rise over time, so will the amount of goodwill that Linux, and individual distros like Fedora, have. Goodwill counts for a lot.""
Link to Original Source