Subject: Does anyone buy software anyway?
From: Martin Kochanski <slk@cardbox.net>
Date: Sat, 12 Jun 1999 17:14:06 +0100

>>Today's market is different in that there is a clearly
>>established standard (MS Word) and some highly competitive alternatives
>>(WP, AmiPro (? Still around ?), vim,...)
>
>Do you really see them as highly competitive?  From a feature perspective, 
>you'd think they ought to be, but when you look at market share, it's a 
>whole 'nother story.  Trying to out-do MSFT head-to-head at a proprietary 
>business model is an easy way to lose.  

But does anyone *buy* Word? Surely they just get it as part of Office; and they don't
buy Office either, because it comes bundled with their computer system.

This surely is the problem with marketing free software. In the perception of most users,
existing commercial software is *already* free because it comes as part of the whole
package. Ten years ago people bought a computer and then bought the software; now I
would guess that the majority of computer users have never bought software and never
will.