Is Open Source software a race to zero?
A developer is concerned: “Over time we’ve seen our business model eroding as other open source projects produce free versions of the same extensions and utilities that are our bread and butter. Something that was worth $5K last year is suddenly worth $0 because the free version is just as good as the paid.”
Microsoft switches to Free for its security suite
It’s been selling OneCare as a subscription product, but now it’s going to offer a similar product free. OneCare only got 2% of the market, and Microsoft would rather people have some security software than none, because they’re less likely to have trouble with their computers. Free ensures blanket coverage. BTW, I use OneCare and don’t like it. But I don’t like the...
Plenty of Fish founder gets second thoughts about...
Plenty of Fish is a personal ad site that have been a commonly-cited case study for free (its only revenue stream is Google Adsense). Now the founder has doubts: “The problem with free is that every time you double the size of your database the cost of maintaining the site grows 6 fold. I really underestimated how much resources it would take, I have one database table now that exceeds 3...
Jupiter says Europeans will start paying for music...
“While free content will continue to dominate, as overall online audiences for all content categories continue to grow, so the number of European users willing to pay for content online will grow at an even greater rate,” mostly driven by music, says Jupiter Research. PaidContent reports: “Though freeloaders outnumbered paying listeners by 53 million to 6.9 million last year, by 2013,...
Google's Schmidt says cellphones can be free
Now they’re “fake free”—the phone is free but you pay for the minutes. But Google thinks that more effective mobile ads can cover the subsidy themselves: “”Your mobile phone should be free,” Schmidt told Reuters. “It just makes sense that subsidies should increase” as advertising rises on mobile phones.
Why cloud computing enables Free
Nick Carr has a typically thoughful piece on the economics of cloud computing, pointing out that it make computing much cheaper by combining the deflationary effects of bandwidth, computing and storage at unprecedented scale.
Why charging for Facebook would be a disaster
Mike Masnick atTechDirt, who’s been consistently doing the best day-to-day coverage of Free, has a good piece explaining why those advising Facebook to start charging its members are wrong. Social networks live and die on critical mass (I want to be where everyone else is), and the fall-off in membership if Facebook charged would be lethal.
MySpace plans to sell virtual gifts
Facebook, the free social network, makes an estimated $30 million each year by selling members virtual “gifts” that they can give each other. Now MySpace, the other big free social network, plans to do the same. It’s a classic freemium strategy—selling upgrades to the most dedicated free customers.
Labels turn to 360s as music goes free
Edgar Bronfman, who runs Warner Music, is requiring all new artists to sign “360 deals”, which means the label will represent the artist in all markets, including concert management and licensing. TechCrunch says “Bronfman, an outsider to the music world until recently, sees the writing on the wall - music downloads will eventually be free, and will serve as little more than...
If you can't beat Free, join it
Microsoft releases BizSpark, its program to give small and startup businesses (less than three years old, less than $1 million in revenues) free acess to the hosted versions of its business software. Once they grow up, they’re expected to start paying.
Vote today and get free stuff!
CNET reports: Krispy Kreme is offering a free star-shaped donut (with patriotic sprinkles, no less) to anyone who shows up wearing an “I Voted” sticker. Other freebies you can score using that all-powerful sticker: A free tall coffee at Starbucks A free ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Some Chick-Fil-A stores are reportedly offering a free chicken...
Book deadline met!
I just delivered the book, all 16 chapters and 70k words. This one came together nicely and was a lot easier than the Long Tail. Now comes the editing process. Expected pub date: July 6th. Needless to say, the digital forms will be free ;-)
RyanAir does it again: 10 Euro flights to the US
Our poster child of non-digital Free, RyanAir, now says it will offer flights to and from the US for ten euros ($13). The usual array of cross-subsidies will apply, including expensive business class and very expensive sandwiches!