My imagination? .... or a major change?
Mostly in the past 6 months, but seems like a seachange in acessing what used to be "free" in the internet.
In cleaning up my computer for unused programs, I looked back to see why I had installed the "free" ones in the first place. Purely out of curiosity, where an "update" link was available, I went back to the sources.
While some were still "free", almost all invited me to upgrade to the "PRO" version, which in almost every case, was very little more than the original.
Many of the newer downloads have been a work in progress, as in the change to paid versions of newspapers like the New York Times. Others, not so obvious.
Utilities that were always free and without ads, are now, either loaded with advertising, or... up front... admit that the site has ads, but that you can avoid them by getting the "advanced version".
Part and parcel of this, is the change that the "geek" websites have made... (those websites that rate and offer downloads of programs). In not so subtle ways, they offer a myriad of "download possibilities" which inevitably means they have a "specialized installer"... their own program that overtly or covertly tries to install web pages or home pages, anti virus, or "PC fixit" type programs... and............
My most angrifyiing sneak.... installing "conduit A".... a leech that will drive you to distraction.
So, to end this...
#1. How did those 'Free" programs ever get there in the first place?
#2. Will we eventually have to pay for ALL programs?
... or maybe no one noticed...