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Attracting new leads to use a software product can be costly for a software vendor. One way to secure more leads is to offer trials and unpaid editions, but their use should not be arbitrary. The emerging business model of commercial open source allows a vendor to promote its software for free while converting some of the users to paid; but does the free community edition actually serve as promotion for the commercial edition? This promotional effect is measured through the user’s attitudes and cognitions towards the advertisement and their subsequent purchase intentions. Survey results from 134 users of a commercial open source vendor’s community are used to test the research question using a modified Dual Mediation Hypothesis model with premium fit, experience and price value as added variables to the model.
The results suggest that community editions of software can indeed act as promotions for their commercial counterparts and validates the single vendor commercial open source business model. The results also indicate an important distinction between freemium and commercial open source. This is the first study known to bring the context of an emerging software business model, commercial open source, under analysis through the Dual Mediation Hypothesis.
Ongaro, E. (2015). Analysing the Promotional Effects that Open Source Software has for Paid Editions: A dual mediation hypothesis approach for an emerging software business model. Masters dissertation. Technological University Dublin. doi:10.21427/D7B624