When You’re Getting Software or Other Stuff on the ‘Net for Free, what are the Costs?

by on June 19, 2009 · 8 comments

freeCome one, come all. ACT will be hosting a lunch event next Tuesday (June 23) at noon on privacy, free software, and government procurement.

We’ll discuss “free” software (ie. no license fees, free as in beer). It’s a nuanced take on some of what Chris Anderson will surely be talking about in his upcoming book on Free—where does the $ come from in software that we all use for free on the web, or that we download to our computer?

To answer this question, we’ll attempt to update traditional Total Cost of Ownership analysis for ad-based software and services. There’s a lot of discussion about privacy, security and sustainability considerations of cloud based solutions. In addition, the event will deal with skeptics who think that “free” means no business model at all. We’ll describe how free software and services are usually just one aspect of a larger enterprise geared toward expanding market penetration and increasing revenues. Mike Masnick described this in a recent Techdirt post.

I’m going to moderate, and our speakers will be Rob Atkinson at ITIF, Tom Schatz at CAGW, and Peter Corbett of iStrategyLabs.

We’ll be releasing a paper on all this, so come join us for lunch and a lively discussion–and best of all, it’s FREE!!

Further details are here.

Previous post:

Next post: