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From: sjon
Subject: MT Promises
Date: Tue, 18 May 2004 02:56:59 -0700 (PDT)

{quote}If anything, the history of software indicates just
the opposite. I mean, most programs OpenSource or not, aren’t
around very long. {/quote} For a few programs that are
crucial to business I agree with you. For others I agree more
with Mark. These days -almost- no business survives without
spreadsheet. So for spreadsheets there will always customers
ready and able to pay. Same goes for text processing, web
serving, fire walling etc.

Blogging software -for example- is not a crucial tool. I
bet you can go back to notepad/vi if everybody puts a $500+
price tag on their software.) As you mention most programs
aren’t around very long (except some bug ridden DLLs in
Windows of course -EvilGrin-) so when a free program comes
along for a noncrucial task all the non-free programs get
priced out of the market, not overnight but after a time. At
the same time the market grows enormously because lots of new
users jump in, free is a good introduction price. When the
free program disappears most people either switch to another
free program or just stop the activity -blogging- and move on
to other things. The result is that very few people use the
commercial program which means it either has to raise it’s
price to survive -downward spiral- or drop the price to
-almost- free. Neither strategy will pay the bills. Thing is
once people get used to having something free it’s difficult
to make them pay for the same thing again.



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