There's a lot of criticism of freemium in the startup community, but in 2009, some of my favourite large software companies moved towards, rather than away from it.
Atlassian started their $10 charity starter packs of confluence and Jira.
Jetbrains offered their flagship IDE as a free community edition.
Fog Creek created their free student and startup edition.
IBM are also making $50k Rational tools free for small development teams.
I'm sure there are others.
These are all companies that previously did not operate freemium. More tellingly, in the Atlassian and Jetbrains examples, they took their core product, and basically gave it away for free to millions of small businesses.
What do you think this movement occured? Bad economy or great way of spreading the word and getting in at the grass roots of startups?
As a startup targetting small businesses, should this concern me? Maybe this trend is based on the fact that micro and small businesses that are emerging are just not buying software? Maybe it's an argument to be looking at larger businesses and the enterprise?