October 11, 2006

Paying for something when you can get it for free

Filed under: Business, Software Blog — marcstober @ 3:22 pm

Are companies rejecting open-source software because it’s free? I don’t think so.

Companies (and non-profits) like to cut costs. They do not pass over free (as in dollars) anything if it will meet their needs. Getting companies—particularly small companies—to pay for support on something that’s not broken is a hard sell.

I just read in the Register about SpikeSource, whose business is to charge a subscription for “certified” versions of software you can download for free. The article says this will be valuable to “SME end users,” but I wouldn’t bet on it. Small businesses will find more valuable uses for their cash.

There’s a myth that companies don’t use open source software because it’s free. In my experience, the commercial competitor actually needs to offer some additional feature or service. If there’s a company that will pay for something they can get for free, I’d like to know about it.