There is an interesting commentary over at Dave Winer's blog called Who Will Pay for Software? (part 2). This echoes some of the issues that have come up with pricing of our products, and those of other Notes/Domino ISVs. While most companies buying Midas or COEX! Links are corporations, and find the prices fairly reasonable, a certain number have been swayed by the vast numbers of free or almost-free software packages available. As much as I like the open source movement for its shared efficiencies, it too has led to an idea that software can be free. Software is never free. Even if you don't pay for it, the software was not free. Even if it is open source and developed by volunteers, somebody gave time and effort to create that software. On occasion, it was an IBM or other corporation that has something to gain (see Joel on Software's analysis), but often it was not. In any case, most companies can't develop software for free for long before they go out of business. We have been selling, and supporting, Midas since 1997. That is right, since 1997, when it was running on Notes 4.1. We would not be supporting it today, and adding features such as our new SmartRefs technology, and adding support for Notes 6 features such as layers, except that we have continued to sell it, not just give it away.
Next time you wonder why you have to pay "so much" for software, try to imagine how much you'll appreciate that price two years later when you are still getting free updates and support, and need help with a problem that couldn't have existed when you bought the software, since that version of Notes hadn't been released. That is when you should appreciate, not merely accept, that software isn't free.
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