Here's an interesting article that covers one company's experience selling shareware software:
I bet it's very, very rare for a sharware company to actually succeed. It's naive to think "why don't we give a free, easily copyable release of my product and hoe that they pay me out of the goodness of their heart." You'd think that it wouldn't take so long for the trends of reality to sink in to some of these companies.
I think it's uncommon for any company to succeed.
It's possible. ButtonWare (the originator of the shareware concept) did quite well back in the DOS days. I'm pretty sure Nico Mak Computing (WinZip) has made a reasonable amount off of shareware as well. There are others.
Spiderweb Software makes shareware RPGs in the classical vein (read tile based overhead view). It seems he is doing well enough. I hope to emulate his model with my own game (3d nethack type).
I wonder what the difference in revenues would be between the nagware approach of Winzip versus trialware that times out, versus software where the free version is a cut down full version like City Desk.
That was an interesting article.
The term "shareware" is part of the problem. Shareware still seems to be confused with "free". "Independent software developers" need to experiement with different ways to configure a "free" and "pay" versions of software and make it really easy to purchase. From a consumer perspective, FogCreek seems to be doing this weel with both CityDesk and FogBUGZ. I don't however know whether or not this is working from a business perspective.
CityDesk and FogBUGZ are shareware - at least by the current meaning of the term. At the beginning, the Association of Shareware Professionals - http://www.asp-shareware.org/ - decided that it was only shareware when you distributed the full version - no 'cripleware' or 'extra-features on registration' software need apply.
Exactly. But FogCreek would never *call* it shareware. The issue isn't some organization's definition of "shareware". It's that users associate "shareware" with "free".
I'm confused about ambrosia's attempt to stop piracy..
I think his argument is that you can never stop the hardcore, but if you make it inconvenient for the majority they can easily be discouraged.
To prevent piracy, you must bind your software to some information customer does not wont to spread, credit card number beeing the most obvious choice.
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