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There's also something called "killing the golden goose." If they had more reasonable pricing, they may have been able to extract money from more clients for a longer period. I'm not sure what they current profits look like, but gouging your customers for short term gain while destroying long term profits isn't generally considered a good way to maximize shareholder value.



Agreed - though, if open source is gonna kill the golden goose regardless... maybe might as well kill it first, get all the eggs.


The other scenario is that keeping prices reasonable means there isn't as much demand for an open source version. Developers who balked at paying $150 a seat wouldn't be sufficiently motivated if the cost was a more "reasonable" $20 say.


I just remembered a pretty good example of this with the story of BitKeeper and Git, you can read http://kerneltrap.org/node/4966 for more information. It was the catalyst of losing the cheap enough/free option that motivated the work on Git.




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