Yet, the software support model itself is simply a lead example of a very efficient way of organizing and allocating resources in an information economy. While it is conjecture on my part, I suspect that commercial software was one of the earliest examples of an interactive information economy. While information services such as broadcasting and telecommunication predate commercial software, they lacked the “to and fro” that is inherent in the support and update cycles of commercial software.
So instead of talking about the software support model, let’s look for a more general model. Returning for a moment to a theme in my Encyclopaedia Britannica post earlier in this series, we have witnessed the evolution of information from “scarce and expensive” to “free and accessible”. But while information is accessible and free, reliable information still has value. Yet reliable information is less valuable than knowledge, while expertise is more valuable than knowledge. Or to reproduce this graphically: