Is the media telling the wrong story on open source?

The media keeps reporting on open source software, but Google Trends demonstrates that "free" may trump "open." Are vendors paying attention?

Michael Tiemann just sent out this link which tracks search query trends on Google. As you can see (red = free software, blue = open source), while the media is reporting "open source," the world apparently wants "free software."

Now, let's be honest. Many of these "free software" searches are almost certainly designed to locate "free as in beer" programs, not "free as in freedom" programs. Still, with cost being such a primary driver for interest in new software, a business model that gives people what they want up-front, with added value (and cost) down the road, surely this would be a model worth pursuing...?

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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