Top 20 Tech and Channel Trends of 2009
14. The "Free Way" to Expanding Market Share
Free giveaways and trial product offers have been around for a long time, but 2009 saw a surge in free bundling and the zeroing out of prices for entry-level products. The level of free product hitting the market in the last year was an effort by vendors to take advantage of economic conditions and grab market share from weaker rivals. Sophos, for instance, started giving away its antivirus applications as a bundle with new HP Integrity servers, and included free versions of its DLP technology with its antivirus packages. Microsoft entered the consumer security market with its free Microsoft Security Essentials community-based package. And N-Able, a leading remote monitoring and management tools software vendor, started giving away basic versions of its product to make it easier for solution providers to make the transition to MSPs. Free is always a hard price to beat, and became an exceedingly attractive selling point during the recession.