Non-techie types: please read this, I value any and all input on this.
It's been a while since I discussed anything Informix-related on this blog. But given that it's quite a dramatic change to pricing, I wondered what people's thoughts are.
IBM has radically reduced and simplified the pricing of one of their products, it happens to be the one I work with most of all. In addition, they are giving it away on the Windows and Mac platforms, free to develop and, more importantly, free to deploy. There is a maintenance charge, but it's quite low considering what you're getting for that money.
My take on this is that they're hoping to a) eat into SQL Server's market share and b) buy the Apple market by offering seriously high-end technology at a very competitive price: free. By reducing the price of the software on the more traditional platforms, I guess they're hoping that the existing user base won't migrate away to either of these free platforms.
But aside from that, it looks to me like IBM is finally starting to pull its finger out when it comes to selling Informix by adopting a more aggressive market strategy.
In general, what would you think of someone adopting a strategy where they give away their product (but you have to buy support) in a market where they don't have much presence? Do you think it will work?