I read an interesting article on Free in October's Fast Company. What do you think?
The main comparison the author gives is that Windows is trouncing Linux as a PC/Laptop OS. I don't think that is a fair comparison. Most people use Windows because it is what they learned on, primarily because it came on the computer they bought. Linux, used a lot for servers, is preferred by many IT folks.
When it comes to Free, the main model is to use it to help sell something else: service, upgrades, another product entirely. Charging something gives you credibility, but will it give you enough sales to sustain the business?