I heard on the main Gitter that JuliaBox is set to go commercial at the end of the year.
I don’t think that (as it stands) this strategy would work in the best interests of the creators.
However I think that the following modification would work very well:
Continue to make the basic service free, but CPU cycles per second and cycles per week are capped on the free version. One can purchase computing power (a bit like Amazon EC2).
I think it’s important that the basic JuliaBox remains free. Because academics have for many years used Matlab code to support academic papers. And it is a bad situation as Matlab is a commercial product (and an expensive one at that).
It is in everyone’s interests (apart from Matlab’s) that academia switch to a free available alternative platform. In the new-age individuals are able to contribute to scientific progress without any University affiliation.
Julia looks set to step in and take the reins.
If JuliaBox it Is kept free and builds the functionality to exchange Julia notebooks via a http://juliabox.com/myNotebook style URL, I’m sure Academic papers will start using it as a supplement (maybe even as the main paper one day!). And that will advertise it. The more people that use it, the more people will pay for extra compute-power.
I personally love the idea of developing an algorithm on my home machine, loading it up on JuliaBox, loading up 50 bucks of compute power with PayPal and picking up the results the next morning.
You could even tier the compute-power, so top tier would claim priority, lower tier would wait until low load. A bit like booking seats on planes: look further in advance and it’s cheaper.