economics of Free software

Discussion in 'Software Q&A' started by bazigaar_no_1, Jul 3, 2006.

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  1. bazigaar_no_1

    bazigaar_no_1 New Member

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    I just can't understand the economics of free software. I mean how can companies like WinAmp, Opera and LimeWire sustain themselves and hire people when they sell their software for free... I mean they should be bankrupt by now.. I don't think people ever buy the PRO versions of these softwares so how do they make big bucks??
     
  2. iMav

    iMav The Devil's Advocate

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    the same way as linux or google
     
  3. amitgg

    amitgg New Member

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    I also want to know. Especially about linux
     
  4. ashisharya

    ashisharya New Member

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    any p2p gets money by advertise and their ultra versions. and as for winamp, there is too a pro version. google gets money thru various sources like adwords, adsense, ads plus the software they built(google earth pro)
     
  5. ashisharya

    ashisharya New Member

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    linux spread its version coz they want to expand their community not thru money but by its unique features
     
  6. ~Phenom~

    ~Phenom~ The No.1 Stupid

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    I also want to know that how open source community survives when all their softwares are free.
     
  7. ashisharya

    ashisharya New Member

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    When programmers can read, redistribute, and modify the source code for a piece of software, the software evolves. People improve it, people adapt it, people fix bugs. And this can happen at a speed that, if one is used to the slow pace of conventional software development.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    bazigaar_no_1

    bazigaar_no_1 New Member

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    I know Google makes money through advertising, but when it comes to WinAmp and the likes, I don't think many people upgrade to the PRO version. I know that Open Source Code evolves over time, but why do people spend their time and energy on making such software which they give for free and can't get any money from??
     
  9. amitgg

    amitgg New Member

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    things are still not clear
     
  10. ashisharya

    ashisharya New Member

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    there r thousands of people who want to support open source programme. if u make a s/w and want to spread it, will u add a tag of 10$ or will u keep it free????! i know winamp is used worldwide but they dont care for money.
     
  11. gary4gar

    gary4gar GaurishSharma.com

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  12. ~Phenom~

    ~Phenom~ The No.1 Stupid

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    I wanna know how they earn their butter n bread.
     
  13. amitgg

    amitgg New Member

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  14. siriusb

    siriusb New Member

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    I am not very much for open source myself. As far as I can gather, ppl make money not directly by selling the software, but indirectly by packaging, customer support, specialized implementation (or flavors, pro versions, enterprise editions, addons, plugins, expansions), special hardware integrating the software (like the google search server or something), consultancy, customizing, media distribution (!) etc.

    It's not extremely profitable as all these things can proceed with any commercial software. But as long as the benefits (not necessarily, but including, money) outweighs the cost, open source wins (or some philosophical stuff).
     
  15. mehulved

    mehulved 18 Till I Die............

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    Also by participating in programming Open Source software they earn a name and reputation for themselves which can get them into big software companies. Also good softwares increase their reputation amongst peers. Many projects get donations from big companies.
    And quite a few Open Source software are sold for money.
     
  16. abhishekkulkarni

    abhishekkulkarni New Member

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    Now one thing we need to understand very clearly here is the definition of the term "Open Source Community" ..

    Not only does it involve big corporations like Mandriva & Redhat but it also involves the common Linux user and programmer ..

    A majority of the Open Source community does not consider Open Source as a money making scheme . In fact , it's more of a source for deriving satisfaction from what they do .

    How do we survive ?

    Well , I'm an engineering student . I survive because my parents give me food to eat twice every day ( though , I admit I eat more than that .. :D ) .

    Someone else may be working in a banking firm , but as a passtime and as a hobby the guy may be developing Open Source applications ..

    So , the point is - we survive :)

    Now , Open Source also enjoys the support of significant donations which contributes towards it's rise ..
    For example , Redhat sponsored the Fedora Project and now , we have 5 major versions of the Fedora Core operating system .
     
  17. tuxfan

    tuxfan New Member

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    We had a long discussion on this in old phpBB Digit forum. It went on for 5-6 pages. I can't find in now. Must have been deleted now.

    But in short, the difference in economic status of Richard Stallman and Bill Gates really illustrate the economics involved in "Free" software (freeware and freedomware) and proprietory ones. They both are geniuses in their own rights and could compete with each other remarkably well if its all about knowledge and innovation.
     
  18. ~Phenom~

    ~Phenom~ The No.1 Stupid

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    ok . now I got some idea.
    Thanx.
     
  19. nitish_mythology

    nitish_mythology OSS Enthusiast!

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    Last edited: Jul 6, 2006
  20. mehulved

    mehulved 18 Till I Die............

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    yes AFAIK every free project asks for donations. And people are ready to give them too. And why not? These people are doing something good for others.
     
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