There have been free programs that are strong in the mass market. Firefox is one. OpenOffice is another. Linux is a third. But in each case we’re mainly talking about altruism motivating the provider, and we’re not talking about big market share. The folks who get value out of such products don’t need support. We muddle through on our own.
Read Open source and the mass market from ZDNet’s Open Source blog
This is the biggest problem open source faces. Soliciting help, filtering offers so you only repeat accurate help, and disseminating that help so it is truly useful is hard. Proprietary companies pay people to do this stuff. Open source projects can’t.
Read The Achilles Heel of open source? from ZDNet’s Open Source blog