Blind to Bargains, part deux

I follow Chris Pirillo's blog and other writings religiously. Two recent, contrasting posts really caught my eye because I think they reflect the popular bias against software. That is, people are glad to pay a lot for hardware gadgets at the same time as they feel really unhappy about paying even a pittance for software.

Today, in "I Purchased an Optimus Maximums keyboard", Chris says:
'No matter, I’ve placed an order for what will likely be known as the most expensive keyboard in the history of the world.

“Why?!”

I keep asking myself the same question.' (from the Chris Pirillo Blog)
But just yesterday, in "Free Software vs Free Trial", Chris wrote:
"Either way, subsequent licenses should be at *LEAST* half off (if not more). Let me put it to you this way: $10 isn’t much, but it means more to me if that covers a perpetual license that’s not tied to any one computer or another. It’s the reason I switched from UltraEdit (shareware, hellish upgrade path – even discounted) to PSPad (free)."
If you are a reader of this blog you know that this is a question that I've pondered on and off for a long time. Here's one bit I wrote last year called "We make it up in voiume", where I said:

"I’ve written about this, and have spoken many times about it: Why do we all expect great software to be free? Why do people turn their noses up when they are asked for a measly $29.95 for a work that took hundreds if not thousands of person days to create? In my opinion it is because of that expectation that we are stuck with monopolies and hegemonies that are so totally locked in. No-one can afford to compete!"
(I am not the only one to notice. Jeremy Wagstaff of the Wall Street Journal has pondered it too in "Blind to Bargains".)

Posted on May 31, 2007 and filed under Technology.