Re: Cost is the smaller concern
"Have a look at the work being started by https://www.coreinfrastructure.org/, an advocacy group in the Linux Foundation, that is looking for sponsorship from big industry players to pay developers to work on essential FOSS code, because there aren't enough competent volunteers who want to do it."
Remember that Linux has from its earliest days attracted contributions from companies who find it to their commercial advantage to do so. From last year's report at: https://www.linux.com/blog/top-10-developers-and-companies-contributing-linux-kernel-2015-2016
Company Changes Percent of total
Intel 14,384 12.9%
Red Hat 8,987 8.0%
None 8,571 7.7%
Unknown 7,582 6.8%
Linaro 4,515 4.0%
Samsung 4,338 3.9%
SUSE 3,619 3.2%
IBM 2,995 2.7%
Consultants 2,938 2.6%
Renesas Electronics 2,239 2.0%:
"None" is the category which covers volunteers. The biggest contributor continues to be Intel. Are you saying their employees aren't competent?