[sf-lug] OLPC to become more like Microsoft...
GoodWriter2548 at earthlink.net
Tue Mar 11 12:08:29 PDT 2008
I presume that one of the things that will always differentiate
open-source / FOSS software from commercial software is the fact that
FOSS isn't compelled to artificially create "features" on order to pad
out an upgrade list.
Most users quickly tumble to the fact that in order for a software
manufacturer to maintain its expensive stable of captive software
developers, the company needs to put its user base on an upgrade
treadmill. Indeed, in enterprise situations the upgrade treadmill is
so important to a company's economic health that the company will,
practically speaking, give an initial installation of software away
(a.k.a. "buying the business") as a way of enticing a new corporate
customer to step on to that treadmill.
The need for regular upgrade revenue also explains why so many
feudally-minded software vendors are now trying to establish
subscription models. They're trying to establish alternative
packaging schemes for the functional equivalent of those regular
Alas -- most programs quickly reach a level of features maturity
wherein additional features are at best superfluous, and in some cases
actively interfere with the ability to use the program productively
(Microsoft Word, anyone?)
My point being that FOSS is, at least in theory, immune to the need to
cram superfluous features into a program simply to pad out features
list that's too short to justify an upgrade fee.
That offers two possible benefits: reduced direct expenditures, and
fewer if any superfluous and potentially productivity-sapping features
crammed into a program simply to pad out an upgrades list.
Sounds highly desirable to me...
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