Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Computing for free ?

There is a big gap in the need for software to run and manage computer systems and the ability of the user to be able to afford it all. There was a time, when even the computer was unaffordable. But those days are long gone. Today the hardware is within the reach of vast majority of people. The software is not. Typically each piece of software you want to add to your computer comes in the range of $39.99 to $69.99. Rarely is it priced below or above this range. So if you need to add, about 5 to 10 pieces of work that you would like done using the computer you are looking at adding another 150-400$ to the investment.

There is a big space for free, shareware kind of software. I am big supporter of the shareware software. I have purchased about 4 softwares as shareware, which cost me about 10$ a piece, to add the toolset on my computer. Most other software i try to acquire are freeware or opensource. I would have loved to have been able to add to the collection of software in this space, but my brains are getting rusted each passing day.

I think there is a big market for 'Rent-a-software'. The kind i can use, on an as-needed basis. Of course, then again, the developers will quickly price it beyond the reach of many. Yahoo and Google can be serious players in this space, not to forget or ignore Microsoft.

Also then there is Sun Microsystems, who was trying another concept of server farms. Sun would build large sets of huge servers that can be rented by corporates for use during critical phases of their project. I am not sure where they are with this whole thing.

Taking this a step forward, what if the server farm is available for me to use. You know, like the good old days of Unix server, where we login and do our work and get out. I use my cheap and powerful laptop and connect to a big mother-of-all-server, to do my work. Wonder if someone is listening ?

BBC NEWS | Technology | India lays down 'open' challenge

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