Subject: RE: Wal-mart drives software industry
From: "Larry M. Augustin" <lma@vasoftware.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2002 06:49:49 -0800

>    Buyers don't want to be locked in, and buyers want
>    competition for their dollars, and free software may
>    or may not have an important role in this, but this is
>    not the same thing as buyers wanting software to be
>    freed.

Sorry, I lost track of the attribution for the above in this discussion,
but it prompted to share an observation about large companies and
expensive software.

Some buyers consider expensive proprietary software a good thing.
Consider:  a large company can afford to spend millions of dollars to
buy a large piece of proprietary software (e.g. ERP, CRM, ECAD).
Smaller competitors cannot afford that software.  Therefore, smaller
competitors can't offer the same quality or level of customer service as
the big company.

The buying company gains competitive advantage because the software they
are buying is NOT free.  Big companies are not interested in seeing a
free ERP package because the benefit to them is small (a few percent of
their IT budget), while the benefit to much smaller competitors is huge.

Larry