Originally Posted by Drek
Well, since the freeware alternatives to antivirus are already superior I'd say yes, they are quite capable of being better than the established standard.
And if the free options did get too big for their britches you can be sure another freeware alternative will rise up to knock them down as well.
The only thing that keeps overpriced software the standard is people refusing to try the alternatives. Look at Windows as an OS. It's been jank for years, everyone complained, but everyone used it. Now that compelling options are appearing on other formats (iOS and Android, most notably) we're suddenly seeing MS scramble to keep Windows alive with declining sales numbers.
Instead of just tolerating a single product's hegemony people were willing to try the alternatives. End result - market turnover leading to innovation and competition. That's good for us end consumers.
Well the AVs are a different ballgame. I'm asking about the big things, though. For a long time, all the open source OSs were just nerds wanting to go against the grain. For all intents and purposes, they were not serious competitors with anyone.
Are the other programs going to ever be better than the expensive programs? Are these substitution programs going to overtake Office, Photoshop, etc, in quality?
Not trying to justify downloading anything at this point, just curious if these big dogs stay big dogs because they are the big dogs or if they're just still popular due to marketing and name recognition.