An aim of any company is to make money. So why is it that they give away any software for free at all?

Lets take Sun, they put in the money to develop java, but anyone can use it for free without using any of their paid products for it. Sun even has a free java ide NetBeans which i can use to develop java apps. So no money is going into Sun's pockets by me developing java apps.
On the other hand by doing so they even get competitors like IBM, which can utilize java and compete with sun on the commercial products part without having to pay anything for the development of java itself.

As an another example you see companies now in a race to release 'desktop search tools'. Now these tools will be free. So why do the companies invest in their development when they gain any profits from it?

Why does MS give IE for free (or Netscape give away Navigator)? How does it make them any money?
Posted on 2004-12-18 17:06:56 by clippy
MS gave IE away for free to crush Netscape, the company.

They basically wanted the internet to behave as they wanted it, as a giant locked in and proprietary platform where only 1 platform would be usable: windows (Avalon is such a ploy as well if it gains much support :/ )

Never trust the corporate world to actually do something in anything else but their own interest.

the java thing idem dito, never forget that sun controls java from top to bottom and they can change licenses in a flick if they want to. However, they need market-share so they just give it away (and tried to hype it as the end all tool).

Search engines is different and on a certain level even more devious due to the impact they could have. Information is power, if you have it then you're in a good position. If you can choose how to present that information (order, relelvance) to a seeker then your position with regards to people that belong on the seeker getting certain information (the whole concept of advertising basically) rises astronomically. (provided you can do it unnoticed/in such a way that it not upsets the seeker)

that's my take on it anyway :)
Posted on 2004-12-18 17:22:30 by Hiroshimator
Internet Explorer is an integral part of Windows. Well, technically, it was... Anyway, an operating system without a browser is laughable. And to ask extra money for the browser separately isn't really going to make them popular. So they got no choice but to include it 'for free'.

About Java... It has popularized Sun a lot. One way or another, it must have attracted investors, and buyers. They sell operating systems, servers, workstations, and maybe most of all support and training. Unless you've learned all there is to know about Java at school, learning things from the creators is very effective.

Serving free meals is a very good way to get free advertisement!
Posted on 2004-12-18 17:34:22 by C0D1F1ED
MS gave IE away for free to crush Netscape, the company.

They basically wanted the internet to behave as they wanted it, as a giant locked in and proprietary platform where only 1 platform would be usable: windows (Avalon is such a ploy as well if it gains much support :/ )



the java thing idem dito, never forget that sun controls java from top to bottom and they can change licenses in a flick if they want to. However, they need market-share so they just give it away (and tried to hype it as the end all tool).


What i dont seem to get it is how does the ability to define the standards help you in making money? The W3C defines all the standards but doing so doesnt make them any money. Same goes for stuff like ISO.

So even if ms defines standards for the web or Sun defines Java how does it make them any money? Its the tools/books which they sell is going to make them money. And those tools/books can be made by anyone else too. Then why invest so much money in just having the power to define the standards.


Search engines is different and on a certain level even more devious due to the impact they could have. Information is power, if you have it then you're in a good position. If you can choose how to present that information (order, relelvance) to a seeker then your position with regards to people that belong on the seeker getting certain information (the whole concept of advertising basically) rises astronomically. (provided you can do it unnoticed/in such a way that it not upsets the seeker)
that's my take on it anyway :)


That really doesnt answer my question. And i am talking about 'dektop search' anyway. Not the search on the web. How does giving away stuff like that make any money for the companies?
Posted on 2004-12-18 17:52:29 by clippy
Erhm the point is not that you define standards... MS weren't doing that. The point is that you lock it in. MS only joined the went with the W3C in the end because they saw they couldn't kill the competition (close but not total enough) and could not get away with their proprietary solution because HTML and other pseudo-standards were already too wide-spread to change.

If you get into it fast and wide enough then you are the standard, screw the others, and you determine everything.

ISO9001: so that you can do it wrong on a consistent basis :P

exposure, if they know your brand, they'll use you which in turn makes you interesting for advertisers (which is their whole business-model)
Posted on 2004-12-18 18:10:21 by Hiroshimator
If you control the standards then your product can be compliant ( or getting there) before the new standard is even published.
Supose microsoft wanted to start using a new web technology, this could be integrated into internet explorer which microsoft is giving away for free but they could charge other venders to include it in there prduct.
Posted on 2004-12-18 18:52:07 by QuantumMatrix1024
Anyway even if Sun gives away free IDE, I would not use it. I think Sun coders are lousy. :-D

There is no such things are free soup in the coporate world. These freebies are definitely part of stratergy to earn more money, like for instance free ad.
Posted on 2004-12-18 20:45:51 by roticv
most of your device drivers were weriten by MS in exchange for NDAs from the OEMs
to lock out other O/Ss from useing that deviice
on a lot of things even apple gets locked out
(unless apple buys the driver from MS)
it may look free but some one else pays the price for this

thats how windows only devices get to be windows only
( I got this from the cannon help line )
Posted on 2004-12-18 20:58:57 by rob.rice
exposure, if they know your brand, they'll use you which in turn makes you interesting for advertisers (which is their whole business-model)

The business model is what i want to know about more. Can you explain a bit more about it?

I agree with you that they lock the standards and whatever they define goes. But then they have to sell something. What do they sell? or can sell that other companies cant?

How did ms profit from making IE the top browser? How would their profits have been different if netscape they allowed netscape to dominate the web browser?
Posted on 2004-12-19 22:19:24 by clippy
Internet Explorer is an integral part of Windows. Well, technically, it was... Anyway, an operating system without a browser is laughable. And to ask extra money for the browser separately isn't really going to make them popular. So they got no choice but to include it 'for free'.


Coding an HTML browser takes a lot of effort, time and money. I don't know why you can't ask money for it. Well, I know: the browser wars. Formerly, Navigator (at least Navigator 3) was sold. When Microsoft tried to get rid of Netscape the usual way (giving IE for free), Netscape had to do the same thing. But, before that move, MS didn't have any need to include a browser for free with Windows. The fact that IE is an integral part of Windows was made on purpose, to avoid judges making them strip it off for monopoly. But we all know Windows doesn't really need IE to run, even if they don't let you deinstall it.

BTW, the EU has recently told MS that they can't include WMP as a part of Windows, I'm not sure how that story will end, but I bet MS 'integrates' WMP with the next Windows version so you need WMP installed in order to run Windows XD
Posted on 2004-12-20 04:23:46 by El_Choni
The thing is that support for HTML is required for Windows to run properly. The shell uses it extensively. Microsoft's argument was that this functionality which was critical to running Windows depended on IE. This may or may not be true but it would not have been the first time that Microsoft has allowed a functionality while limiting it's scope. Microsoft wanted to control the direction of the Internet in order to fulfill it's dream of online applications. They have had the vision for some time of providing only the desktop and everything else is run from an internet server with the minimum possible actually machine resident. This is the goal of .NET and almost every other initiative of Microsoft. It facilitates liscensing and has the potential of wiping out piracy while at the same time allowing them to lease software for specific durations. Originally JAVA was to be the engine that did this for MS but they don't like to share and could not work out a suitable agreement with Sun so have all but dropped support for it in favour of .NET. By giving them away for free they provide an instant user base for those developping apps for that engine.
Posted on 2004-12-20 07:05:58 by donkey