The general idea in IT nowadays is that most things are ‘free’. People download (mostly illegal) movies & series for free; install free apps and programs like Libre Office with word processor, spread-sheet, etc. Some even expect support and training to be free. However the notion of ‘freeware’ was not meant to be ‘without cost’ but to give users freedom. Freeware is a viable alternative to proprietary software that is mostly, but not always, free of charge for regular use.
“Free software is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of free as in free speech, not as in free beer." —Richard Stallman
The birth of the Internet in 1969 can be attributed to the collaborative process of the 60’s Researchers who shared information (not due to business who kept their code and ideas secret). The GNU Project, The Free software movement (FSM), Free/Open Source Software Movement (FOSSM) and Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s had the goal of obtaining and guaranteeing certain freedoms for software users, namely the freedom to run the software, to study and change the software, and to redistribute copies with or without changes. This caused global collaboration and improvement of software which benefited all of the users. All users could be responsible for the security and privacy of their own systems. Open source software gives every person equal opportunity to utilize the software and adapt it if they are capable. Social change is affected (and even directed) by the advancement of technology, so is it ethical to hold these technologies from certain people? This is the on-going argument between Freeware and Proprietary software developers. On the one hand, companies need to cover costs and make profit, on the other hand, community projects hide nothing and the best advancements are made there.
Contrary to expectations open source software became the leading software for servers. Linux is the trusted enterprise solution for the vast majority of high-end servers which run ‘freeware’ software (not because of cost, but because of quality). Linus Torvalds was the creator of the Open Source Linux operating system kernel, the basis of probably 90% of Internet/cloud servers today.
If you’re interested in the topic, have a look at these Sources:
Watch this video: History of Gnu, Linux, Free and Open Source Software (Revolution OS)