Yeah its a tough dichotomy right now, I mean I get what you are saying... but look at it from the other perspective... say you make a bit of code that 5000 people like and pay 10$ for... that's 50,000 bucks for maybe a months worth of work.
Imagine making a physical object 5000 times and charging 10$ for it.
That is the perspective people come with when they think of software. What they don't think about is that its not 5000... its more like 500
and 6 months of work...
Ultimately one of the things Microsoft Azure taught me about the Opensource community was not actually that "free" software was bad, but that sometimes I am wasting my life trying to solve a problem that I could pay someone to solve with a team of coders, and a pyramid of codebase to back them.
I don't think there is a right answer per say, I think if you look at the Opensource world you will find that it is WHY software engineers are in such high demand, without it I would suggest that much of what we have would simply not exist. Cloud, IoT, SmartPhones, and many of the things we enjoy today exist because of that concept.
Things that without opensource would have been to expensive to create the endeavors for. However, I have also seen severe Dev Burnout in this industry because of the drive to "be brilliant" rather than better. What worries me alot more in our industry is the latest generation of workers "doing it for the money"
This is going to absolutely ruin this field, as it has just about every field. Be is legal, medical, business. When you see a hive like mentality of people who don't really care, but really like the idea of the money.... man in 10 years its gonna be ugly.
Wait your telling me that free software is impoverishing an entire generation of developers?
LOL ... uhmm no its not... developers are some of the highest paid people on the planet. Software Engineering is still one of the highest in demand jobs on the planet.
IF someone doesn't want to charge for thier software... impressive, good on them... if they do, then I will probably pay for it. If they ask for a donation or something they will probably get it.
I was curious of the differences myself, doesn't mean I won't just buy the hardware and software bundled... well actually i probably won't because I kind of like the idea of having my own version of a case for the Pi. I will probably just buy the Smartmate OS anyway, because he went thru the trouble of packaging it up and would like to make a some value from his efforts, but I too wanted to ensure its not "packageware" something that WAS a real scourge on our society years ago.