Monday, August 18, 2008

Is Free Better?

I'm a geek at heart so I take part in alot of geek-related activities. One of the ones I've gotten into within the last few years is boardgaming. Not your typical games like Monopoly, Scene-It or Risk (although I love Risk), but euro-games which, IMO, have a lot more strategy in them. It is because of this hobby I was at a LFGS the other night playing games with the local boardgaming group.

We were playing a game of Arkham Horror and in between turns one of my fellow gamers and I were talking about the laptop he had just brought and was playing with. He said it was mostly set up, but he had to go out and buy the latest AV suite to make sure it was protected. I mentioned that there were free AV software available which, IMO, were just as good as the commercial software. His response was that he had used them before, had liked them, but wanted the assurance he felt when he purchased the AV software. I was a little dumbfounded by his comment.

From his perspective, he felt safer paying $50+ for an AV suite of software than using free AV software which, to his own admission, would protect him just as well. I've seen this mentality in the corporate world as well. Corporations would rather shell out large amount o' cash for security suites or devices than use, just as good or better, free software because they felt safer paying for it. After all, if they are paying for it and it fails, they have someone to sue.

This post isn't meant to start a fight on commercial vs free software. I'm just confused by the perception out there in the corporate, or in the first case, the user world that paying for something will get you more protection that using free software. I guess I'm just surprised that this point of view is taken by end-users as well.

Has anyone else seen examples of this? Any good stories to share?

No comments: