The Price of Free Software

Asymco’s Horace Dediu on Twitter:

I estimate the drop in OSX and iLife/iWork prices means about $450 million foregone software revenues for Q4.

It’s similar to the lack of serial numbers required for almost all of their software: Apple is aware that there will be piracy, but the user experience of precisely entering a serial number sucks. It doesn’t cost Apple nothing to make their software free, but the end user experience is entirely worth it.