Let me clarify, I only mean the legal, licensed type: downloaded, or hosted on a website.
Examples of those I use: Google Apps - for my office mail, Google Analytics - online analytics of my website, Deskaway - Online Project management, Mikogo – FREE Online meeting app, PollDaddy - on which the poll below was created or TwtPoll. And, a bit of self promotion here: we do eat out own lunch; we use our own product Salesgenie CRM++ , a hosted Customer Relations Marketing product: also available for FREE for up to 2 full-functional users.
Why are these free? They follow, what is called a FREEMIUM model of pricing for their products and service. They address various customer needs of try before buy or not needing to use the full-feature set of a software.
Why do you use free software? What’s your need? Please take this poll
All the recent surveys on the Indian software market I have read point to its enormous growth potential. The Zinnov Study commissioned by Nasscom on the software products market and the more recent on the opportunities in the SAAS market both forecast huge numbers in domestic sales. Where is this going to come from?
A disproportionate amount of this growth needs to come from SMEs; manufacturers, retailers, exporters, healthcare services, law-firms: many of them almost first time users of IT beyond the obvious MS-Office.
What needs to happen to make the adoption faster? As someone who runs a SME in the software products domain, here’s what I think.