I disagree that there is no sense of value for software in this country. I do agree that I seem to be buying less software than before, but I ask what factors might have caused this change? Microsoft contributed, but there are other factors involved.
I do pay for software. I would pay for more software, if there was quality software out there worth paying for. I think I’ve said it before, but free / open-source software entering a market won’t ipso-facto kill commercial software, but it certainly will raise the quality bar. If the only means for a commercial product to survive in a marketplace is to monopolise it, then it probably doesn’t deserve to survive. I bought The Bat, not because there are no free (or indeed pre-installed) email clients, but because it was sufficiently better to warrant its price. If a product takes a team of 50 a year to develop and costs tens of thousands per cpu, should it really have anything to fear from a competing OSS alternative developed in a few months by 3 or 4 people who’ve never met working in their evenings and weekends? And if it does, does that say anything about its true ‘value’?