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5 Tips For Free Software Advocates

Dec 08, 2008, 22:34 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ryan Cartwright)

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[ Thanks to steve hill for this link. ]

"Beware price comparisons
"With the current economic climate there has been a fair bit of rhetoric regarding the opportunities for free software to gain some "market-share". I think any argument which primarily advocates a cost advantage to free software is flawed. I've gone on enough in this column regarding free software and market share but in short proprietary software sales is measured in ways that free software installations cannot. It's also been said by a few people -- some of them on here -- that advocating free software on price alone is a dangerous business; although the temptation to do so increases during an economic downturn, the danger does not diminish. Why? Well, if you set out your stall built on the lowest price, somebody will almost always come along and beat it. They'll use (often deliberately) confusing terms like "Total Cost of Ownership" and "lifetime costing". The point is that if a punter switched sides once because of price, chances are they'll do it again. If you are going to use an argument to win, make sure it's harder to beat later."

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