What’s the real reason/s why some software programs have no freeware versions?

Discussion in 'polls' started by sweater, Feb 21, 2006.

?

What's the real reason/s why some softwares has no free versions?

  1. They don't like users to know the flaws after one month trial

    2 vote(s)
    5.0%
  2. They could not really compete on those quality freeware programs

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. They spend lots of money developing it and they want a big return for their investments

    11 vote(s)
    27.5%
  4. - They?re thinking pc users are not impressed w/ freeware programs

    3 vote(s)
    7.5%
  5. They don?t have the heart to give their programs for free; they develop it purely for profits

    16 vote(s)
    40.0%
  6. Other reasons or guess?pls explain it.

    8 vote(s)
    20.0%
  1. sweater

    sweater Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2005
    Posts:
    1,674
    Location:
    Philippines, the Political Dynasty Capital of the
    I am just wondering, why is it that some software companies can provide or produce freeware version of their software programs while others could not. :rolleyes: Maybe some of these programs were great but obviously some are craps or of low quality, and trying them for only 30 days could not be possibly enough to discover their flaws. And how can we develop a “bond” or friendship to a program if we can only try/used them for a month? :p

    One thing I have ever observed and discovered was that some of the most popular software programs of the world have freeware versions available wherein full paid versions can also be obtain if we want to. ;) That is, when users are completely satisfied with the freeware versions… then there is big possibility that he/she will get the full paid version. Not because he/she was impressed with the technical function of the free version, not because the company is popular, not because it is safe to use, and, absolutely not because it’s affordable. Some software companies didn’t realize the fact that pc users, especially “ordinary people” , wants to make their software programs as their lifetime partners rather than just a material possessions residing inside their pc’s. :-* If we can really know the programs for a year or so and we are satisfied with it then obviously we can develop some kind of attraction to it and of being falling in love with it and we can’t live without it and will recommend it to others especially to our loved ones and to our friends and to anyone. :D

    In a real world, how can you trust someone to makes it as your true, tested, loyal friend if you can just know him/her (program) for only for about a month? It’s very risky isn’t it? (Not unless, it’s your soul mate…) :D

    That’s why I’m not surprised Zone Alarm becomes the world’s most popular firewall, Avast as the most recommended Anti-virus, Ewido the most in demand anti-trojan, ProcessGuard the no. one HIPS program, and Firefox becomes the most sought after browser, etc... and I also salute those high-quality freeware programs like CleanCache, Spybot S&D, EasyCleaner, SpywareBlaster, NTREGOPT & ERUNT, SnoopFree Privacy Shield, FireTune for Firefox, sysinternals.com programs, etc…that didn’t go or don’t have shareware paid version of their programs but still really good in doing its jobs, these people are very passionate and very dedicated in helping people. :thumb: These programs have captured the hearts of ordinary internet users; they know well these programs because a free version becomes a part of their daily pc lives. :) :cool:
     
  2. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,040
    Re: What’s the real reason/s why some software programs have no freeware versions?

    Hi Sweater

    I oon't know how old you are, but would you got to work and not get paid. If you do work, did you give your employer a 30 day free trial?

    One of the major reasons some companies don't maintain a free version is the cost of support. It takes man hours of peoples time, who I am sure want to get paid, to support the free versions. This can be costly.

    Spybot S&D, for sure is many people's best friend, does ask for donations. I am sure the author enjoy's what he is doing, and I suspect the donations may not pay for his time. But you also have to know if it doesn't, and his circumstances change financially he might have to abandon Spybot development.

    If you truly love a product, then paying for it is one way to ensure you still have it around. Unfortunately nothing in life is really free.

    Pete
     
  3. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Posts:
    23,873
    Location:
    SW. Oklahoma
    Re: What’s the real reason/s why some software programs have no freeware versions?

    I agree with Peter2150 and would add that the software companies that do offer free versions usually offer the free one with reduced functions of the paid ones in hope that you will like the program and want a fully functional version.
     
  4. Wayne - DiamondCS

    Wayne - DiamondCS Security Expert

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Posts:
    1,533
    Location:
    Perth, Oz
    Q: What's the real reason/s why some softwares has no free versions?
    A: Different programs are developed by different programmers who have different viewpoints on how their particular software should be released and marketed. On top of that, some programs require more maintenence and support than others which is very expensive in terms of time, money and resources. Also, more advanced software takes a lot more money and resources just to develop, and often free versions simply cannot be justified for the work that has been put in. But it also depends very much on the main individual behind the release of the program ...

    Alice and Bob could both independently develop their own program which is similar to each others, but Alice might choose to also release a limited freeware demo as a means of promotion, while Bob could choose to require registration before even getting your hands on the software. That just simply depends on the individual behind the software.
     
  5. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Posts:
    5,116
    Re: What’s the real reason/s why some software programs have no freeware versions?

    there are different business models for software. some free software still makes money because people pay for support.

    if you program for a living and want to give away your software you have to find some other way for the software to make money :rolleyes: it's not so easy.

    if you are interested you can watch these Richard Stallman videos. just remember his view on software is only one of many.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1647626314188526128
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6390784544771380326
     
  6. Capp

    Capp Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Posts:
    2,125
    Location:
    United States
    Re: What’s the real reason/s why some software programs have no freeware versions?

    As a software developer, I agree with the above statements.

    Some of my programs come with a trial period in hopes that you will play with it, like it and want to purchase a license.

    Other programs have a version that is completely free and never expires. They may have a maximum number of users or a few limitations to what they can do, but they are free none-the-less.

    I spent hundreds of hours working on some of my software packages and lots of money on advertising and hosting fees so I can't just give it away. I will be releasing some software in the future that is completely free, but I have to charge for some of them to break even.

    I feel that is why software companies don't just give their software away. It has nothing to do with being greedy or "doing it for the money" but, we do have to pay the bills. :)

    Different companies do different things for different reasons. Most vary depending on marketing strategies.
     
  7. GUI_Tex

    GUI_Tex Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Posts:
    189
    If I was going to make software available for public I'd release it as freeware, or as open source.. But I'd want something in return, and I don't care for money.. :shifty:
     
  8. Capp

    Capp Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Posts:
    2,125
    Location:
    United States
    Re: What’s the real reason/s why some software programs have no freeware versions?

    Not to "stir the pot" but if you spent a few years punching code and doing troubleshooting, you would give it away? :blink:
    Also, if you want something in return for your years of hard work, but not money, what would you prefer? :)
     
  9. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,040
    Re: What’s the real reason/s why some software programs have no freeware versions?

    I also am curious what you would take, and could you use it to pay the rent, and buy groceries with what ever you have in mind??
     
  10. sweater

    sweater Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2005
    Posts:
    1,674
    Location:
    Philippines, the Political Dynasty Capital of the
    I understand the point being stated here by different people... but what really have made me think deeper into this thing was that some of the best software programs I've ever known were also has its freeware versions available, there is a choice. I am not saying that those companies who don't have freeware versions of their program were not good enough but what I am trying to say was that home users are more eager to test those programs for a much longer period of time rather than trying the program for only 1 month. ;)

    Zone Alarm, Avast, Ewido, A-Squared, Microsoft Anti-Spyware, BitDefender, ProcessGuard, etc...among others have done that already for a very long time, (free and paid versions are available), and they are among the best and the most well known and successfull software programs in the internet world, and the best thing is that they've given pc users a choice for what they want...that if they want more features then a full paid versions are also available. Of course, money could be the end motive of them all... but if you know how a real business world works then we have to learn from examples of this successful companies or groups. Competitions is the name of the game, and if more people could know your products then success will follow through. :cool:

    About those quality freeware programs like Spybot S & D... I am sure that if they release a paid version of anti-spyware program aside from its freeware versions.. Spybot company will rise like a sleeping giant coz its one of the most popular free antispyware program recommended by many. ;)
     
  11. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Posts:
    10,632
    like several previous posts, i would have to agree that software developers have lives and they need to make a living somehow. I rele dont mind if a software program has no free version, what irritates me is the lack of a completely function trial or no trial at all ::cough::BOClean::cough::
     
  12. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Posts:
    5,116
    Re: What’s the real reason/s why some software programs have no freeware versions?

    i'm in the middle of watching REVOLUTION OS. it's all about the history of free software Vs proprietary software.
    so far it's easily the best documentary/film i've seen about computers. Linus Torvalds, Richard M. Stallman, Eric Raymond and many more are in it; apache, mozilla, emacs and more are mentioned too. i'm going to watch Freedom Downtime next :cool:
     
  13. MikeNash

    MikeNash Security Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Posts:
    1,654
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Assume it's a business developing the software - somehow the business needs to make money, and there are a number of ways it can do it. The most usual way is to sell the software per unit.

    In such situation, the revenue of the company is tied to sales. One way to generate sales is to offer an evaluation version so that the customer can try before they buy. So, the "free" version in this case is really a marketing excercise - don't just read my box, try it, you'll like it and then you'll purchase it.

    As an additional marketing excercise, it's sometimes possible to release a free version of the program. The free program is a cut-down version, and from a commercial perpective this is designed to do a couple of things:

    1. Get hits on "free" in google :)
    2. Introduce people to your software who otherwise would not see it
    3. Prompt (either by popup, or by missing features) users to upgrade to the full version.
    4. Publicity - get the users who will never pay, you can still count them as users, and maybe they'll recommend a friend who will see value in the paid offerings.

    For example, if I wrote an Antivirus but removed scheduled scans, automatic updates and background scanning - yes, I have given you a basic antivirus - it will work - but you need to do a bit of work (manual update it, regularly, manually scan) - and there the hope would be if you like it, you'll pay for the "full" version. The same thing could be said of online scans. Run the free trend scan, clean the nasties off... wow! That product is great! I should buy it and be protected, because it got things off that %%productname%% did not.

    This is a business decision to try and find the way to get the most people to see, and ideally buy their software. Cutdown and free versions are the marketing tools.

    There is another (in fact several other) model. ZA came around in the old .com days. Boy, I miss those. One of the things VC's will discuss when they put large amounts of money in your company (and lock your testicles in their special safe deposit box) is the "Exit strategy".

    Exit strategy is VC speak for "If I give you this $10M, how will I get $100M back in 3 years".

    I'd be willing to guess that the guys who started ZA thought that software firewalls were gonna be a big thing, they wanted to become the most popular (make it free) and then they'd be aquired at some stage by a big player
    (checkpoint was it?) for a silly amount of cash. After all, Hotmail was purchased for about $200M US when they had around 13M users on board.

    So, armed with a mere few million dollars our intrepid company starts to spend it as quickly as possible developing the product, marketing it, testing it, taking "fact finding" missions to exotic locations around the world, and meeting with other VC's for the second round of financing in case they run out of cash.

    Ultimately, so the plan goes, there's a product that has 10M, 20M, 100M users. Someone says Hmmmm... I'd like that, and cuts them a cheque.

    The VC is happy, they just got even richer. The guys who started it get their family jewels returned. The purchaser then thinks "Well, we just bought a company for $250m that gives things away for free. I guess we'd better make a "plus" version"

    There are other ways, of course to make money. Google's advertising program, which most users have rejected firmly as a model for making desktop software free.

    A company called Tribal Voice made a wicked chat program called PowWow - their model was basically "When we get to 10M users, we'll charge $10 for the next version - and if we lose 50% of our customers, we're still a success". Sadly, their site is no longer available. Never did see the paid version.

    Now, some companies do have genuine free software available as well as the commercial offering. In some cases this is simply promotional as well, to give the users a reason to come to the site, see the paid stuff. It's also (usually, in the smaller companies) that the businesses want to do something nice for the users.

    To the original question:
    We don't give software away (yet) because we only have the one product at the moment, and it was decided that we wanted to offer support for our users. It's a complicated piece of software - how would a user (non technical) decide between the free and paid versions of it? Would they understand the tradeoff? Could we offer quality support if we had 2M people using the free version, all pounding our forums?

    We decided the answers to those questions is "No" - and so, we didn't do a cutdown, free version. That's not to say we won't ever do some free software - just why there's no free version of OA.

    Apologies for length.


    Mike
     
  14. manOFpeace

    manOFpeace Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2003
    Posts:
    716
    Location:
    Ireland
    spend lots of money on development and require a return on their product to buy the bread.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2006
  15. TonyW

    TonyW Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    Posts:
    2,633
    Location:
    UK
    They simply need the money.
     
  16. sweater

    sweater Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2005
    Posts:
    1,674
    Location:
    Philippines, the Political Dynasty Capital of the
    Only 3 software developer or software companies have stated their views...Wayne, Capp and Mike. Still...I'd like or we'd like to hear more statements from other software companies. Why such things are like this and what really are their real reasons why they have this and others don't have it :rolleyes:

    Remember that this is an International Forum and we have to think more globally. Different people from different countries are watching us. :cool:
     
  17. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,040
    Re: What’s the real reason/s why some software programs have no freeware versions?

    HI Sweater

    Old western expression. "No matter how much you kick a dead horse it ain't getting up" The views expressed by Wayne, Capp and Mike pretty well covered it. If you don't believe what they have told you the "real reason's" are I fear you may be flogging that dead horse. Besides if your favorite company doesn't provide you with a free version, what difference does the reason make. You have a simple choice buy or not and look else where.

    Pete
     
  18. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Posts:
    6,590
    Sweater,

    Precisely what more do you hope to learn? From a commercial house, free versions cultivate the market
    • As a tickler to jump to a more feature rich paid version,
    • As an enticement to try additional (paid) products that they provide,
    • As a simple exercise to keep their name in front of your eyes for a while (as in a freshly launched company),
    • As a measure of goodwill to a community that they serve,
    • etc.
    As with anything to cultivate the market, it is basically a marketing expense. Sorry to sound so crass. Like any company, they decide how funds are spent and marketing is just one pot grabbing for a limited amount of funds. In some companies the pot of money for free versions is empty either by executive fiat or dedication to alternate goals. Aren't these reasons real enough? Personally, I think you're trying to overanalyze the situation. Commercial enterprises exist to make money - there are a lot of activities that can help them accomplish this, but effective marketing is a big one.

    Occasionally a talented programmer (or group of programmers) with an alternate source of income will offer a free version as a labor of love and little more. These are rare, but it happens.

    Blue
     
  19. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Posts:
    2,331
    Location:
    West Yorkshire, UK
    At a corperate level there is no use for freeware. Its a useful marketting tool to develop product awareness, but it targets consumers.

    We need long term support contracts and gaurantees for the software (which may or may not be better than freeware and open source, but its what businesses want), things that you have to pay for. Plus the fact when forking out money, we require long term demo's/test installations to evaluate the products.
    Then theres the fact that a lot of software we have bought is not easy to install or use by the end user, requiring training to install and use correctly, which again costs and something you cant give away with freeware.

    The only freeware I have seen inside our offices is supporting tools from companies that we have bought products from (eg Microsoft) and are considered trusted companies by the Network admin.

    These are not my personal opinions but what I have observed in the last 8 years of being a developer for various companies.

    In reality I have seen many blunders (I am developing/extending suppliers product that was promised to be upgraded in 2004 and then 2005, but we are stuck with 2002 version (which was only JUST superior to freeware at the time) and falling behind the competition even against totally free, open source products) still from not looking at the little guys and only picking the big companies with big reputations, instilling a false sense of security, all because its the guys in the suits that have the final say so and have no real clue apart from what they hear about in the news or their financail times.
     
  20. progress

    progress Guest

    They don't like users to know the flaws after one month trial :rolleyes:
     
Loading...