Computer Software "Technical Support".

  Kase 12:22 18 Nov 2004

When do you consider Technical Support should be withdrawn from a product?. I don't mean games but so called Utility Software and antivirus programmes in particular.

  Sir Radfordin 12:38 18 Nov 2004

At the end of it's life cycle?

  Kase 12:53 18 Nov 2004

So what is a live cycle? 1/2 years 3/4 years etc etc. or do you buy the Software and then stop using it when the Software Company stops support?,or should the product state on the box, "This product is supported for X time".

  Sir Radfordin 13:37 18 Nov 2004

Depends on what product it is. Microsoft have released life-cycles for their products though most companies don't.

Are you asking in reference to a particular bit of software?

  Kase 16:47 18 Nov 2004

No,I was trying to avoid Company names but refer to Utility Software and in particular Antivirus Software. I often read in Computer Magazines when products are reviewed "its difficult to get excited about Antivirus Software" yet every year an upgrade is announced but the reviewer states not much here to upgrade for. I just thought ok until some part of the program you have stops working. You can't get it to work you find technical help has been withdrawn so do you upgrade with the same Company or dump the Software or change Companies. As no one Company can claim a monopoly in the Antivirus market how do you obtain new users? at the risk of being flamed dare I suggest stop support but this then raises the question when can a Company respecfully get away with this action. Thus the question "when do you consider Technical Support should be withdrawn from a product". On life cycles is the definition as long as it works or as long as it is technically supported by the Company. When does the Software customer consider they have had value for thier money and its time to buy new or are we governed by Marketing. Microsoft (now I have been and mentioned a name but as far as I know do not have an Antivirus product) I am sure cannot be considered as a typical Software Company for many reasons but recently tried to stop support to certain o/s products but has had to have a re think. Is it Company size that matters?, does market share say what you can get away with?. Should a Company state after 5 years thats it, the market has moved on, sorry no more support you have to upgrade, buy new.

  Sir Radfordin 22:15 18 Nov 2004

I don't think there is a hard and fast rule for things. I know of bits of software that we as a company use that are supported but only for the last X versions. If you have an older version it is classed as unsupported (even if you are paying for support) and the answer to every problem is always "Upgrade to new version" and until that is done nothing will be discussed.

I can't remember the last time I looked for technical support on a product that I use at home. Companies like Norton will no doubt stop releasing updates for old version fo products, and I recall reading somewhere that AVG are only going to update the newest version of their free AV product.

If anything is going to dictate the lenght of time something remains supported I expect it will be price of the software and the size of the customer base still using the old version.

As for Mircosoft, I believe they did buy some small AV company raising suspicions that one day Windows will not only come with a firewall but an AV built in as well. We shall wait and see.

  Kase 17:58 19 Nov 2004

When I was in business with my own Company we not only paid for updates if and as required, we also paid for Computer support per year to keep hardware and software running but would Mr, Master & Mrs, Ms, Miss,average home user be prepared to budget for this cost?.I know friends who still do not have an Antivirus program and are running old version of o/s in the believe they will be safe from harm and state "we don't use the Net much". As I have already said if Software producers stopped making time duration of Software support such a grey area and stated the true duration of support perhaps the home consumer would consider being more adaptable and appreciate that from time to time software and in particular (in most cases) Antivirus Software comes with a cost update. With Christmas just around the corner and the new influx of Computer owners I can foresee some not to happy new Computer user days ahead. It will be interesting to see how many make it to this forum by which time they will have no doubt found out a Virus is definitely not like a cold when it comes to Computers.

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