8/01/2007

PEGASUS DOWN BUT NOT OUT

I was sad to hear Dunedin-based software developer David Harris has called time on his formerly popular email program Pegasus Mail, which he has stopped development of and now plans to give away for free, hoping a network of volunteer developers will continue supporting and developing it.

Financial support for Pegasus has dwindled and David, who describes himself as a "creature of the old internet" has seen his business model undermined by the Freemium model I discussed below in last week's Herald on Sunday column. People don't want to stump up for internet and software services when there are so many good ones being provided free of cost.

As David says here:

"The Internet has gone from Community to Commodity, and the majority of people no longer feel any moral obligation to support free software (this sounds like a complaint, but really it's just the grudging acceptance of an inevitable fact)."

I hope Pegasus lives on - it would be a great project for some keen, young developers to take over and possibly resurrect in the same way as Firefox and Thunderbird sprung from the wreckage of Netscape. If Pegasus could also become the open-source email platform of choice for Linux users the service could enjoy a fruitful existence. Here's hoping David finds a way forward that keeps him and Pegasus in the market.

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