Open source software is not free

  • EM Quantum Technology
Is it just a different marketing strategy or is it the old shell game? More and more companies are giving away their software, known more commonly as open source. The free software is still under copyright protection but is free to be used in any way that the user wishes. The big play for software developers is to offer partially or totally free versions of their product. This way more people will try the product, where if they had to pay for the initial software they may have never tried it in the first place. Once the consumer has embraced the free version it is believed that they may pay for the upgraded version. Hopefully the developer has a convincing product that will compel the user to invest in upgrading. There may be fees for software support or there is the approach to release the code itself and leave the users to solve whatever issue they are having. Open source software can also be an ancillary tool that enhances the user’s experience with other software products. Furthermore there is the ever-present advertising sharing model which generates revenue from consumers visiting your site. But ultimately there is nothing free - someone has to build, distribute and pay for the product. As we can see there are many ways to have financial gain in the new age of software development even if it’s free.