(UPDATE – Economist link no longer requires subscription)
A very good article from the Economist on software pricing. And near as I can tell, no hysteria. A first.
Free is a compelling price to drive adoption. Best of all, it’s not subject to bizarre multipliers based on the number of cores or threads on a computer’s microprocessor.
And as much as my friend Linus helped change the world of operating systems, something tells me Postgres and MySQL are going to have an interesting blowback effect on the database marketplace – and JES (stay tuned for a momentum update) will bring the same to web application platforms.
After all, why spend money when the free stuff is setting performance records.
And to re-answer the same question: am I worried that changing the price of our software to free will diminish software revenues? No, quite the opposite: I believe it’s vital to cause software revenue to grow – based on accelerating adoption.
It’s far easier to convince a customer to pay for a product they’re already using, than one they haven’t even tried.