Well, yes, there you hit on something I must comment on.
The history of what you call free software is a bit more complex. And the words "free software" really weren't intended to imply no-cost software - it really means that open source software code must remain available to users to review, modify, improve, and redistribute. Open source vendors are perfectly free to charge for their software, or support for their software (can you say Red Hat Linux?). And open source isn't necessarily the best choice. You really do get what you pay for. Or as my Econ 101 teacher might have said, "There's no such thing as a free lunch." Linux, after all, was someone's homework, that has turned into an urban legend of sorts. And Google has turned Linux into their own OS that - guess what - they make money selling. Lots of money. App Store? So much for free software.
You found a piece of software that worked for you and helped you create your company. Not faulting any of that, so please don't take this diatribe as a critique of Schiit in any way. I am commenting on the concept of what is commonly considered "free software."
I've spent many years using many, many software products, both open source and proprietary. Open source software relies on the effort of software developers acting on their own free will, on their own time, with their own resources, out of the kindness of their hearts, using their own skill, expertise (maybe), and ethics (if any), to produce what people call "free software." It's really not free - someone paid to create it, with their own effort, their own personal computers, electricity bills they pay, computers they purchased, and so forth.
I also spent many years making my own software. Yep, I'm a former shareware author. Back in the mid 90's, I spent a handful of years making software, all by myself, and putting it out there on the Internet. I started out releasing free stuff. I learned that you can't make money giving things away, because people just won't pay for stuff you give away for free. In the end, my shareware business never made more than a few thousand dollars a year, but it got me a real paying job. One day I was hired into a big software company, on the reputation of the shareware I had created. So, in the end, I didn't become the next Internet whiz kid - but I got a darn good job.
Today, it is my belief that this is what drives most people to continue to create open source software: they hope they'll get hired by a real company to make proprietary software, that people actually pay for. Most Software Engineers don't end up inventing the next Facebook. There are about a million of us, if you believe the government reports. We bust our butts to make your computers do productive things. There is a tremendous amount of Software Piracy out there in the world. Yeah, more than half of people don't want to pay for software, so they steal it. What's the result? Lost jobs. Businesses can't pay programmers to create software, if they can't get paid.
That's the real issue: getting paid to make software. You don't go to a Dentist and expect them to clean your teeth for free, do free root canals, or throw a few gold crowns in your mouth, out of the kindness of their hearts. Try getting a plumber to unclog your toilet for free. Try getting a car repaired for free. Why should you expect people to make you free software? Why is there this prevalent notion that computers should just do what you want, for free? Why should software engineers toil and labor over their products, only to have most of the world steal their work, or expect them to make it for free?
Software is hard to make. It takes a long time to learn how to do it right, just like it took you a while to learn Electrical Engineering. Software Engineering is no different. And there is a wide variety of skill levels out there - some people really shouldn't be Software Engineers. In my opinion, there really should be a licensing exam. If the industry insisted on a minimum level of competence, we'd have better software, fewer bugs, and fewer opportunities for hackers to break into things like Target, etc.
I also spent most of a decade teaching Software Engineering at the collegiate level. So, yeah, I tend to be a little passionate on this particular subject I didn't teach for free, either.
Microsoft hasn't been "routed" by open source. Last time I checked, they still had a viable business, despite the best efforts of the morons in charge of the company to screw it up. Heck, even IIS still holds nearly 20% of the web server market, and that amazes me. But Apache has always been out front. That's an amazing product. I've set up Apache web servers, and they are absolutely amazing.
Some of the folks at M$ are still operating on the idea that they're the only game in town. To some extent, they are, because there are plenty of businesses who refuse to bet their businesses on open source. There is some logic in that: how do you rely on software built by someone you don't know, that gave it to you "for free", who may one day decide they don't care to support Product X? You can't. Really, it's a dangerous bet. So, Microsoft survives, and probably will, for a long time to come.
Bill Gates created a product that has produced millions of jobs for people all over the world (myself included), and supplied technology to quite literally billions of people. Yeah, he was at the right place, at the right time, with the right product, and he sure did hit the lottery. Think of him what you will, but there are lots of people making a good living today, thanks to this man. And his stuff isn't free.
So. Yeah. If you're using a computer, someone put time and effort into making software that runs it. The best software isn't free. Nobody is putting food on my table for free. I have to buy it.
That being said, I am happy for Schiit. Really. I am and will remain a customer.