This software exec says the days of paid software are numbered:
Software becoming is increasingly commoditized, Stein said during his keynote presentation, and more of it is available free and it is easy to get.
He cited the OpenOffice office automation package as an example of free software to replace Microsoft (Profile, Products, Articles) Office. “As the [open source] stack grows and grows and takes over more areas, there’s less money available in packaged products,” Stein said.
… He estimated that in five to 10 years, most software used today will be free.
Five years sounds ridiculous, but the world is certainly moving in this direction. I’m going to load OpenOffice on my laptop. I’ve heard it’s awesome.