The continuning collapse of the consumer software utility market

Well here it goes — BetaNews | AOL Offering Free Antivirus Software — your basic PC utilites are all going to be free soon, supported by ad and sponsorship dollars. PC productivty software for consumers is headed the same way. Why will consumer OSes not follow?

Basically consumers will end up paying directly for hardware (though in many cases this will be subsidized — consider the xbox or entry level PCs), for the pipe, and for entertainment (and again a lot of this will be subsidized by sponsors).