Hey, Did you know that when you want to learn IOS, you can't buy a working Cisco on Ebay? Thats a really interesting thing. The only working cisco products in the whole world on either the new or used markets can only be bought from Cisco.
What the hell are you talking about I hear you say.
Well Cisco hold that you can buy and sell Ciscos but you may not include the software. Technically, this means that the moment you buy a Cisco from anyone other than Ciso, you have just bought a worthless piece of junk unless you then go and pay for the software.
This is a great money spinner for cisco. Those old 2500 routers that we know and love can now make £1200 for Cisco each time they change hands! Lets say that one 2500 is passed between mates so they can learn IOS. Each time that device changes hands, Cisco earn £1200.
Scarey: Given that Cisco hardware only runs cisco software products, they are trying to make the captive market even more captive.
Hilarity ensues when you map the model across to the physical world: You can sell your Ford when you are done with it but the new owner has to buy a new engine. Ford engines are non transferable.
Silly billy, who would buy what is effectivly an unuseable Ford?
Okay, so the nub of this idea is that someone (alas not me, I'm too thick) should get a linux kernel running on Cisco, then make an IOS like interface. All those people that love the Cisco hardware and interface can get routers routing and those twits at Cisco Marketing that want us to buy the same software for the same unit again and again and again can go jump in a lake 😉
So the big idea is: dump Cisco: buy products which remain valuable when you've finished with them!