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The Frugal Side of Commercial Software

Sep 25, 2009, 16:02 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kenneth Hess)

"The critics of commercial software raise some interesting points concerning innovation. It's often said that commercial software isn't as innovative as its open source counterparts. I assume this is because paid developers are somehow restricted from being clever or imaginative. The paycheck they receive must be a left-brain dampener, and the only programmers who enjoy a creative spark are the exalted and righteous volunteer hackers.

"Commercial ventures seek innovation, too, but they have a product to produce, programmers to pay and customers to support. There isn't an egregious lack of innovation but rather a calculated amount of it. When it comes to innovation in the commercial software space, how many pieces of software can you name that are both commercial and absolute best-of-breed in a category? How about Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, Oracle databases, HP OpenView, IBM WebSphere and Microsoft Windows?"

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