Why free

  carolineann 14:06 17 Oct 2004

Software and freeware. We know that we can get a

lot of stuff free on the net if we look hard

enough. But what about the people who write these

programs how on earth do they make a living if

they give them away free?

  Belatucadrus 14:54 17 Oct 2004

A lot of different answers to that, many commercial software houses like Serif and Borland use an obsolete version as bait, download the free version then hopefully you'll give in to their blandishments and pay for the current edition. Anti Virus companies like alwil and Grisoft are a variation on a theme, it's partly a marketing exercise, they don't have the distribution network or advertising budget of McAfee or Symantec so are using word of mouth from satisfied free home users to introduce their products to those commercial users who will pay for the full licence. They also will expect a percentage of free users to upgrade to the full license, just to get those extra embellishments that could make life complete ( I don't see much point, the advanced features lost in the free home versions are not necessary for home use. )
Others are simply posted by programmers who don't expect payment, they just want to share their efforts. Some of these programs stink others are as good as the commercial equivalent, best way of getting them is through sites like Snapfiles click here , where they have evaluated and rated the available downloads.

  CurlyWhirly 16:39 17 Oct 2004

I have often wondered this as well.
I am thinking about classic programs like SpyBot where the author provides the program for nothing and leaves it up to people to prick their conscience and send in a small donation.

I wonder how many people like me have REALLY sent in a donation?
I know the donation I sent was only for £5 but I feel that if NO ONE was to do this the author wouldn't be able to continue developement of this excellent anti-spyware tool.

  Forum Editor 17:33 17 Oct 2004

is that someday they'll come up with that killer ptogram - the one we all find indispensable - and that a company like Microsoft will come along, buy the rights, and make them a millionaire overnight.

It's happened on quite a few occasions, and it's just happened again - take a look at
click here

  Mozarella 20:04 17 Oct 2004

I agree with Belatucadrus (whew) and thanks for the link FE I`d lost the original.

  Danoh 02:15 21 Oct 2004

I can't remember how much my donation was as it was so long ago. But I like to think that I helped that product stay around and improve to where it is almost the defacto compression software. There are neat features which are only available if you'd paid (at some point in time) but unfortunately so many do not and just hobble along with the freeware version, probably as they never ever discovered what they are missing for so little money.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

The Evil Within 2 review-in-progress

Photoshop CC 2018 released with new Curvature Pen and better brush tools

Camera tips to take better iPhone photos

Les meilleures applications de covoiturage 2017