You Can’t Depend on Free

Tim Stahmer, Assorted Stuff, Jul 07, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

After events such as the changes to Evernote or the shut-down of Google Reader we get constant reminders like this one, that we cannot depend on free. That's true. But crucially, we cannot depend on paid, either. Like when I bought iMovie from Apple and the first update eliminated the timeline view of my movies. After that, all it ever did was generate thumbnails. Or how about those people who bought WebCT and Angel, counting on continued service and support. Or closer to home, my Windows 8 was almost forceably updated to Windows 10, which obsoleted my laptop. I could go on and on about how undependable the stuff we pay for is. So undependibility has nothing to do with whether the software is free. It has everything to do with the business model behind the software, free or otherwise.

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