Have you ever thought about “Free” Open Source with commercial support vs. commercial software? We have and we found that the following is true:
Free Open Source Software with commercial support
… is the best business model for companies selling services for very complex OSS software where customers might lack skilled personnel. This includes things like
- Linux, or other OSS operating systems
- PostgreSQL / EnterpriseDB, or other OSS databases
- Spring, JEE, or other comprehensive OSS stacks
The above systems can cause terrible pain to your productive environments when they crash. You want to have extremely skilled fire fighters ready when your system goes down. Some of the above systems have been said to be deliberately complex in order to be able to pursue this particular business model.
Commercial software or dual-licensed software
… is the best business model for companies selling very simple, easy to use software where customers do not rely on skilled personnel in the event of a crash. This is particularly true for
The above software are so easy to handle and to maintain, their vendors would hardly make any money with support. Granted, support is always included in the license fees. That’s just part of the service quality.