Sun banking on open source Firm to offer more software free, earn revenue on support
This article describes Sun's change in business strategy to offer its Java Enterprise System software for free, hoping to monetize the product through services and support. This decision follows the company's overall strategy of embracing open source principles, indicated earlier this year when they made their operating system Solaris available for free.
By giving away their software for free, Sun is hoping to gain a lot of new customers that were wary of spending the money for Sun's products in the past. By allowing potential customers to look at and use the software at no cost, there is a better chance that those potential customers will feel more comfortable relying on Sun's products. This decreases the cost of switching from another software system to Sun's, which means that customers will be less locked in to proprietary software systems like Microsoft.
Sun plans to make up for the lost revenue in sales of software by increasing the amount of revenue they gain from complementary services and support. This is a great example of making a complementary product cheaper (free in this case) in order to increase demand for your main product. Sun hopes to increase its market share in terms of number of users of their software as well as increase IT managers willingness to pay for support of their products since they won't need to purchase the software.