I was IMing with Paolo today and we were discussing his employer’s decision to migrate to open-source. The conversation took a few turns and we touched upon the concept of free closed-source software vice free open-source software. His employer had rejected a free CMS that was not open-source.
This got me into a philosophical frame of mind. I began wondering if, in this day and age, there is any reason to consciously choose to release a software product as a free, but closed-source product? I raised this question a while back with regard to ArcGIS Explorer but now I’m expanding the question. I would love to hear comments on this but I’d like to establish a few parameters:
- I’m not interested in delving into the open-source vs. commercial software debate.
- I’m not trying to criticize anyone who chooses to keep their source code closed. I’m genuinely curious about the decision process.
- I’m not referring to things like “nagware”, demo software with restricted functionality or free products that are really teasers for commercial products (which is what I consider Google Earth to be).
- Please keep it civil. We’re all grown-ups and/or professionals.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.