Adam Rifkin said (in the evhead quote at end):
> For non-web applications, there isn't such a dilemma. You can release
> your software for free (or shareware, or whatever) and put it out into
> the world without such the responsibilities or potential burdens of
> success. Of course, prior to widespread Internet use, it was difficult
> and/or expensive to get your software into many people's hands
> quickly. So, as more application move to the web, it's kind of like
> we're moving back to a time when distribution for software is an issue
> for software companies, where, for a while there, it wasn't so
> much. Kind of.
IMHO Ev's wrong here -- in my experience, free software (or shareware or
whatever) requires a hell of a lot of upkeep and support -- just in a
different way: instead of requiring server upgrades and paying for
bandwidth, you provide email support and try to work out why the user
can't get it to work.
At one stage, maintaining plp (UNIX printer software), I spent about 1/3
my week supporting it. (my then-employers didn't know that though ;) You
can always walk away and say "install it if you can, I don't care." But
that's no way to treat users ;)
Commercial companies are in even more trouble with support, because they
really *HAVE* to have a good support service, otherwise what did the users
pay the $$$ for in the first place?
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Apr 27 2001 - 23:18:22 PDT