Apparently a lot of today's scientific software is developed by engineers who know nothing about the scientific areas they are targeting, trying to create yet another CRUD or CRM-like application with scientific flavor. What we attempted to do with Sparklix is to bring the researchers an experience which would be as close as possible to their paper notebook, because this is the way they are thinking and this is how they expect their software would work. To get to good results our team is composed of both developers and scientists, and this makes the software fit the actual need and not remain in "thoughtland".
Regarding cost we made it simple - the product is free, and additional services (such as on-site installations) cost money. This is the direction the internet is going to, we see no reason in charging money for the basic software in today's world of Google, Facebook and Twitter.