I think that "free" can not be used to classify any software or item (meaning quality or not).
Most big companies (software distributors) now have free versions - PLE's or demo's - out, and most of them are crippled in one way or another.
That is quite ok, because they must make a living out of selling software.
But, so do others, too. Others that offer free software just for the benefit of a certain communty or a circle of dedicated users.
So we have another kind of advertising on the one hand, and on the other hand - hard to put it the right way - people with enough compassion to hand out items for free that might as well earn them some profit if they would just sell them.
And now ask to whom of them I would turn.
I have purchased enough software that should have been "free" because it had been low quality, and/or unreliable. But I have seen some free items, that had been top notch. Free for everybody to get.
"Does buying software feel like buying the cat in the bag?"
I can remember days when you purchased a package of software, installed it, and started to simply work.
Nowadays you purchase the program of your choice, and even while installing you are looking for the first bug fix (nicely called "update" or, even better: "service release").
And, you have to be glad if this "service release" comes free as it rightfully should be.
There are exceptions to the rule - Xfrog (one example) has not updated for years. They crafted the program some time ago, and they did it the right way, so it seems.
What I mean is simply - crafting software has degraded over the yeas. Not in general but far to often.
If you go and get one of them "backup versions" (called crack) you are called a cheater or even worse a criminal.
Releasing high priced software in a premature state should be illegal just as well.
No ranting, just what happens day by day.
So for me there is no question where my personal support should go - because I strongly believe that every bit of generosity should be answered by an equal amount of support.
Ok, this post is done only to show that a German can write as much bad English as any Russion fellow possibly can