Software, shouldn’t be free. At least we have to find a model where developers get paid and are properly incentivized. But neither should it enjoy all of the protections that currently subject it to some major abuses and market distortions. Apple did something surprising recently that may produce some positive changes or at least ripples in the market:
Traditionally, PC and software makers have made significant revenue from either licensing OS software or using it to attract new customers to purchase hardware upgrades. Whereas mobile software has typically been offered for free–there\’s no charge to upgrade from iOS 6 to iOS 7, for example–Apple and Microsoft have long charged fees for upgrades to Mac OS and Windows. The previous iteration of OS X, Mountain Lion, cost $19.99; Microsoft\’s Windows 8 can cost anywhere from $119.99 to $199.99.
Will this change have ripples that permanently change the software market for the better? Time will tell.