Will free software kill shareware?

Will free software kill shareware? – As an independent developer who relies on intellectual property rights for a living, I am somewhat resistant to the “free software” movement, though I fully support the right of any programmer to decide how to license (or not license) his software. As the author of this article points out, “free software” has only become a player in the market because it is no longer run by “the little guys,” but pushed and funded by mega-corporations like IBM and Novell. A “little guy” (not in physcial presence, mind you) like myself needs to be able to charge for his work if he is going to earn a living doing what he is gifted to do. Will there be room for shareware if “free software” takes over the world? What will happen when people become used to getting software for free? The only thing that I know for certain is that a market that exists due to the abilities of mega-corporations like Novell or IBM to fund free software will not help “little guys” earn a living from their craft unless those “little guys” want to work for those companies. And as the author concludes his post:

“I wonder — if free software kills shareware, who is going to write all the truly useful applications?”

[Post updated on 8.29.04-1.17pm]

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