The opening-up of programming to non-professionals</string>
Hobby computing was triggered by cheap computers with basic compilers in the early 1980s, many years before internet access became commonplace.
It's getting easier to produce software
I would argue that if anything it takes more effort to code a game than it did ten years ago. Why? we expect so much more from 'a game'. The same is true in commercial computing. Ten years ago a payroll system would have been COBOL and green screens talking to DB/2 - now it's a multi-layered architecture with an HTML, Java, application servers, stored procedures in databases ...
Economic forces dictate open-source
There are economic forces at work here, but I think Nicholas Carr was closer to the true cause and effect in his notorious Does IT Matter article. Once software becomes a commodity, then price becomes the dominant factor. Does your word processor give your organisation competitive advantage? NO - ditch MS-Word, use OpenOffice.org Writer.
Finally, it is worth remembering that the biggest supplier of the biggest commodity software - the desktop operating system - is still very healthy financially, thank you...