Sunday, February 18, 2007

Open source software enthuziasts - are they communists?

Free software, software for all needs, we are all equal...

We all love the idea of free (as in "free beer"), but is that all we need? Better yet, does free software fill all our needs?
I think not. It takes a lot of resources (manpower and money) to do a good piece of software. It takes even more resources to make it stay on top of the market (aka: make it even more competitive, to fill more needs).

And how should one finance this kind of endeavour? One way is to find a way to make money out of it. So, you have to sell the piece of software to enough people to at least get you money back.

And let's get real. The best end-user software products are the ones that are not free (see Microsoft Office). By "best end-user software" I mean software that is found on almost every computer in the world.

But, from "free software enthusiasts" to "a new breed of communists" there's a looooooong walk.
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates once described copyright reformers — including people who want to do away with proprietary software — as "some new modern-day sort of communists" — which is a badge of honor from the Cuban perspective

You can find lots of free software that can compete very well with non-free products. See Open Office.

So, I think that there's a place for all kinds of software on the market. Maybe we can see fit to not use such harsh words when referring to the people "on the other side of the barrier"

Live and let live.



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