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Freeware Products (computer software)

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On 11-05-1998 Bill Polhemus wrote:

>............. some of the most respected software in this day and age are
"freeware > products" which the developers use to get a foot in the door for a
chance 
> at "added services."  Such high-quality offerings as the various Linux
>>distributions, Netscape and Internet Explorer, Outlook 98, and Corel's
office 
> suite for Linux, are examples.

Hi, Bill:

For type of companies you mentioned above, the "freeware products"
distribution might be the right way to enter the market as they have other
software products (or other sources) they can live off. They can survive (see
Bill Gates' $67 billion personal wealth; Netscape has large cash surplus;
Corel, very definately is not going to file for bankruptsy). For companies
developing specialized computer programs (example: engineering, health
research, astronomy) where there is a limited market for the software, the
method of "freeware products" distribution is a "high technology suicide".

I wonder whether you as a young engineer would be able to offer YOUR FREEWARE
PRODUCT (your engineering services) for no compensation, just to "get the foot
in the door". It would be interesting to know who would take care of your food
bills, your shelter and your new blue jeans (because the old one's have too
many holes in the derriere part of it) while you are trying to enter the
market of your dreams - that's why, I assume, you went to engineering college
so you can work in the profession you like and make decent living designing
structures for the rest of your life, if possible. 

I never heard of a small or medium size consulting engineering firm doing "no
compensation work" since Christopher Columbus landed in Plymouth.