Subject: Re: Apache chairman: Days numbered for commercial software
From: DV Henkel-Wallace <gumby@henkel-wallace.org>
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2006 12:26:46 -0800

 Fri, 24 Mar 2006 12:26:46 -0800

On Mar 23, 2006, at 21:35 , Brian Behlendorf wrote:

> On Fri, 24 Mar 2006, Seth Johnson quoted Greg Stein:
>> Eventually, a free software project will overtake a commercial
>> effort in functionality; there are almost always more developers
>> in the open source community, Stein said.
>
> Cool, I look forward to OpenPageRank.

I don't know about you but I already use PageRank as a free-as-in- 
beer web service, which I think is what he was talking about in the  
three paragraphs before the part you quoted:

> "All of your software [will be] free. It means that over time,
> you arenít going to be paying for software anymore" but will
> instead pay for assistance with it, Stein said.
>
> He estimated that in five to 10 years, most software used today
> will be free.
>
> "The notion of packaged product is really going to kind of go
> away," Stein said.

As for the part immediately following, which is the subject of your  
message: I think that's a mixture of wild-eyed enthusiasm and a  
truism.  If something exists that is gratis and good enough it is  
highly unlikely that a free software "fast follower" will appear.   
But I think we've learned that the inverse is increasingly the case.

I also believe (and sincerely hope I'm right in my lifetime) that  
being available online, with open interfaces, will be a sine qua non