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A Brief History of Computers and Free Software: Where Is the Money?

Sep 27, 2008, 12:08 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tony Mobily)

[ Thanks to steve hill for this link. ]

"The software market is shifting completely towards online applications aimed at managing and sharing information. The business model may vary (revenues are generated by online advertising or by paying users), but the main concept is always the same: it needs to be online, it needs to be accessible, it needs to give something to the user, and it needs to look good. Since last year, companies can write small third-party Facebook applications which are then picked and installed by Facebook users; the applications actually reside on the third-party server, and can display anything -- including third-party ads (the revenues will go to the software maker, rather than Facebook). Only antivirus software seems to be resisting this trend, mainly because they are a tool that is so tightly related to the computer itself.

"Google's Android is about to come out. With it, a whole lot of 'big phones' or 'small computers' will invade the market (Android or not). This is already happening as we speak with the iPhone. These devices will be constantly connected to the Internet, and people will browse. Software companies today need to focus on which online applications this small army of users will want. Web applications that need a wide 19' screen in order to be usable will miss out on all those mobile users -- and that's simply not an option.

"The business model (and therefore the revenue source) will depend on the application, but one thing is sure: there is money to be made.

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