With the recent trend towards open source software I have my doubts if customers would
still be willing to pay for a license for closed source software.
Whow, I was not aware that all the companies selling licenses are now bankrupt. How comes?
MANY companies make a LOT of money with closed source software.
Actually, I would prefer not to use closed source software myself because I usually
consider open source software of better quality and it avoids vendor lock in
Both hogwash arguments, sorry.
First, nothing in open source says it is good quality PER SE. Many are, but then many commercial software offerings are good quality also. Yes, open source gives you the code, but so does some closed source (you can get the code as part of the license, I have that here for some libraries) and vendor lock in you also have with open source because IF it gets abandoned, then sorry, I am NOT going to maintain that on top of my work, I replace it.
Someone else could just take the code base and start offering support for it and most
users would just use the code without ever paying for support or
Are you that bad or so crappy in your requirements? Normally, if you are the developer, you are the person knowing your code base best. There IS an advantage, some projects make good money with that. You can also dual license - viral GPL for free, paid commercial license which does not require the user to share HIS code with the world if he sells it. That is something many open source projects do, too.
In addition, I wonder if the traditional 'paying for a software license' business model
consulting. is not disappearing altogether because of the trend towards open
source, saas, and advertising based business models on one hand and
piracy on the other hand.
Ah, sorry - you can not sell a pirated copy here. If you build a product and use a pirated copy, that is nasty - this is not copying for your own use, you are betraying your customer. So, that is out.
Otherwise, sorry, I am not aware of Microsoft, Oracle etc just giving their revenue away right now. There is a free model for people that are not valuing their time or have limited needs, and there is often a quite expensive commercial offering for users with high needs. In the last project we paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for licenses and it was irrelevant - we burned about 800,000 for people every month, for way more than a year, some hundred thousand did not even show up.
The model is NOT going away, it is valid. Whether it is valid for you depends a LOT on what you are talking about. I personally have quite a lot of commercial stuff simply becase it is better than possible open source alternatives I could get my hands on and I am willing to pay money to make money. I live in the .NET world, but my commercials (outside MS) are things like Infragistics (UI control framework, with source provided), MemProfile and other tools.
BUT: You know little about the world works, I think:
users are paying for a license for a closed source library which allows them to use the
library for a certain period.
This is not "the traditional way", there is not a single purchase offer I am aware of that works like that.
ALL licenses are perpetual. You are allowed to use as long as you want, for libraries often with redistribution rights (90% of the cases). What you are NOT getting forever are UPDATES, but if you get a version, and CAN technically use it in 10 years, you are free to do so. Not a single library I know of has limited time usage rights.
Your main problem is that while closed source gets you better cash (which is good), you still must know how the world works (doubts here) and - well - get sales channels set up. That is a LOT of work. A LOT. It depends a lot on WHAT you are talking about, and you do not say, except it is "a library".