ZDNet's Chris Jablonski provides this interesting post on the potential of microcommerce. Chris speculates that as software is broken down and componentized, vendors will see greater sales of small, specialized increments at a few dollars per implementation.
Chris cites an article from MoreBusiness that speculates that "software developers could offer small unbundled components, such asupdates, patches, templates, dictionaries, Java applets and ActiveXcomponents at a profit, instead of giving them away free or waiting tosell them after several are collected in expensive mass packaging."
MoreBusiness goes on to opine that "revenue models available to software developers and distributorscan be combined in any number of ways. Developers can sellsubscriptions to regularly updated applications or applets or offertiered levels of service, giving upscale users preferred access anddownload priority. Basic users would be charged a lower fee for regularaccess. Advertisers can offer rebates to users who view ads posted ondevelopers' sites, and developers can give out 'loyalty points' tofrequent customers."
Is the era of big software coming to an end? We are becoming both producers and consumers of software, thanks to Web services and SOA. One need only browse through StrikeIron's searchable Web Services Business Network directory to see all the types of Web services that can be licensed for $10-$25 a month, and see the potential of microcommerce in this space.