View Full Version : Open Source / Freeware

03-12-2008, 10:03 PM

Quick question that I'm sure a lot of people know the answer to...

I had a client at the weekend who was complaining of an extremely slow computer. (Taking 10+ mins to start up). After a little digging found the problem to be Norton Internet Security Suite using lots of system resources (can't belive Norton are still selling this crap bloatware). I told him that the problem was to do with Norton and recommended using Avast! or AVG which are free. To which he replied "If they're free whats the catch. A. They're not as good, or B. They must have some other way of getting money i.e. through advertising."

I tried to explain the principles of freeware but tbh didn't have a clue myself.

Could someone be kind enough to explain to me how open source/ freeware in the case of AVG or Avast! work?

Anyways to cut a short story long, I installed Avast and the computer ran perfectly afterwards and the client was very pleased.

03-12-2008, 11:36 PM
Avast and AVG both make their money by selling their anti virus and firewall products to businesses with valume license deals. The home version for personal use is free. so they make money off of company's.

open source means that the code that was programmed to build the software is "open" or available for anyone and for anyone to modify or reuse, usually under the GNU GPL license. The main code that a person originally wrote is the "source code" hence open source means that, the original code is open and available. And this makes modifying the program easier without any reverse programming witch does not always work the way you want and can be very hard.

03-12-2008, 11:38 PM
AVG makes money by selling their not-free edition that has more features than the free edition. Consider the free edition a loss leader. If you start digging around in it and try to set some features you discover that you need the pay version for that. If you can get by without (and lots of people can) you get it for free. Going further, you'll probably tell somebody that they should use AVG and how great and free it is and they'll go get and start digging around and... you get the idea.

When you look at some other open source/freeware apps the monetization comes from add-on services or there is no monetization plan and some developer who doesn't make his living on the app put it out for any number of motivations that aren't money (fame, prestige, sticking it to the man :) )

Bryce W
03-13-2008, 03:02 AM
Hawks5999 explained it perfectly. Same thing goes with Technibble. I bring users here by providing free tech/business advice, but make money though selling the business kits.

I'd say much of the point of the free version is to not only bring people to stumble upon the paid version. But to make a name for themselves. It seems to have worked :)

03-13-2008, 02:25 PM
I agree with all, but also combine the two in a different light. Think of it like a student version of something from microsoft or adobe. Someone gets very familiar with a product, and knows it ins and outs. They use it so much they become an expert on the software (or in many cases, so they think). They then go to work and tell their boss that this is what the company should use. The boss agrees, and purchases the pro version of the product. The more people that know and use a product, the more business are more likely to adapt to the common product. Avast! and AVG see this also. The more people that use this product at home, the more the word gets out of their greatness. Eventually, this will transfer to the business world, and these two companies will be up their with Norton (as a highly used business product - not talking about in effectiveness - we all know they are better!!!)