The opposite side of “free” is another business model I strongly encourage for certain types of consumer software:
I understand those who say “I would have preferred it to be universal”. Sure, sounds reasonable. I would have preferred my iPhone 4S to come for free in the mail, too, but it didn’t. Stuff isn’t free in this world (even when they give you the illusion of free, you’re the one being sold). What I can’t accept is people getting angry and offensive at third-party developers that decide, you know, to make people pay three bucks for an app that’s been in the works for months. Unfortunately, the App Store doesn’t allow for paid upgrades, so if these people’s rhetoric is that it’s not about the price, it’s about the convenience of a universal binary, well, there isn’t much developers can do about it. Ask Apple.
Maybe the term “free” is clouding our discussion. But I think the “illusion of free” is key to understand users' perception of free.
Matt Alexander had a great take on “change” and “fear” back in February.