Early software was written because the author needed to perform a function that existing software didn't address: either in terms of utility or quality.
The PC magnified this need, with millions being sold but only crappy commercial software to run on it. Whether the free/share-ware in question was a Windows app or a different O/S, the same voids were filled for the same reasons. (If Windows software had started out as low-cost and high quality, would freeware have become so popular? Discuss.)
The argument now is whether that phase is over. Do we have enough apps? Can we (users) do all the things that we wish to, with the software that is available to us, now? Do we prefer to spend 99 on an app that has "star" ratings, user feedback, integrated installation is (almost) guaranteed not to make our hardware die, send SPAM or steal our data - or do we prefer to download something for zero cost and then spend hours trying to configure it and bend it to our will?