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Culture

Proprietary vendors race to the bottom

Proprietary software is getting its license fees kicked around. Sob.

It's starting already. Actually, "it" has been in play for several years, as proprietary software vendors have been forced to chop their ridiculous license fees in order to win deals that their software hardly justifies.

CMS Watch reports on a deal it saw recently wherein the proprietary vendor staged a "fire sale" of its software while keeping maintenance prices high. Indeed, it's arguably the case that the only value proprietary license fees provide anymore issetting a bar against which 18 to 25 percent in maintenance fees can be set.

The 75% license fee reduction smacks a bit of desperation, although note that Vendor Y does not so heavily discount its ever-beloved maintenance.

Every now and then, an established vendor panics (this time in the face of a looming recession?), and cuts prices in an attempt to go down-market, even though the tool itself is far from a commodity. They usually regret it. In any event, you the customer will still pay dearly for its customization.

Ah, the sweet smell of proprietary panic. We open-source vendors are ecstatic to help stoke the fire of your panic, because either way we'll help customers through lower prices alone (if they stay with you, poor souls) or lower prices and more flexibility (if they go with us).

As near as I can tell, there's only one loser in the equation. That would be the proprietary vendor. My heart bleeds for you.