I think the bright future of software (and hardware) is in the open development and free sourcing of the code, while paying attention to portability to multiple platforms.
To make money with open software you get paid by servicing the software (or maybe not so… but still…). This will make people use your software (because it’s free) and they will pay you to add features to it.
Anyway, here’s some of open software that I’ve been (really!) impressed with… I call it Cool Open Source Software or COSS:
- http://maxima.sourceforge.net/ (computer algebra system)
- http://www.gnu.org/software/octave/ (instead of Matlab)
- http://www.sagemath.org/ (mathematics software)
- http://www.scilab.org/ (replaces Matlab and Simulink)
- http://sourceforge.net/projects/free-cad/ (3D CAD/CAE program)
- http://www.blender.org/ (3D modeling, instead of Maya or 3DS)
- http://www.gimp.org/ (instead of Photoshop)
- http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ (audio editing)
If you have open sourced software that you use and you feel it’s heading somewhere please send me a tweet @spacemig. Let the COSS movement begin! :=)