Last Tuesday Robert Lange a/ka Vector announced the release of Vector Linux SOHO 5.9.1, a bugfix release to SOHO 5.9 with 52 updated packages (applications). Perhaps even more significant was this note:
"We have released SOHO-5.9.1-DELUXE! To complement it we have released a standard version, free for download!!
After long consideration we determined that this was just to darned good and we wanted everyone to see just how good this is. We are confident that after trying the free version you will want to come back and purchase the DELUXE version."
After stripping away the marketing hype the net result is that SOHO is once again free. While I don't doubt the sentiments Mr. Lange expressed above I also have to wonder if there was some push back from the community when SOHO, which was free for download when version 5.8 was current, was moved to a paid-only status. The newly free version won't include the second CD with the Multimedia Bonus Disc and SOHO Extras, and based on the announcement the first disc isn't quite the same either. The Vector Linux folks still had to have some added value for paying customers and that certainly is understandable. Users who bought SOHO Deluxe 5.9 will also receive an upgrade to 5.9.1 at no cost.
I do think it's more likely that Vector Linux will attract more paying customers after people try the free version.