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Do people actually buy software?

I am a computer science student from a developing country. Here, software is supposed to be free and software development is supposed to be cheap. The entire effort goes into completing projects outsourced from the developed countries, especially USA.

I don't like doing contract work and I am more sort of interested in selling commercial software. I know I can sell software to small-to-medium business - i.e. I can target vertical markets.

But, at the start, I'll need to sell software on the Internet so that I can at least purchase *unpirated* software, set up a small development shop and hire developers. So, I was wondering whether software on the Internet really sells? What about the web applications? When I go to some website such as, I can find hardly any reviews for most of the web applications. Do people actually buy web applications for their websites? How much can I earn in a year to start my own development shop locally (and buy *original* development tools, of course)?

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Some older, but now famous Internet-based success stories to perhaps investigate how they started:

WinZip, Homesite, ZoneAlarm, mIRC, ACDSee, wsFTP, Omnihttp.

Joe Hendricks
Sunday, April 18, 2004

So you want to use pirated software to write an app that you can sell? You won't get mad if people steal your software, will you?

Anony Coward
Sunday, April 18, 2004

Did I ever say that?

Ever heard about Microsoft ISV Empowerment program? Now, that's affordable.

By *unpirated* software, I meant non-Microsoft tools that won't be available through the ISV Empowerment program. Till then I can live with free software or trial versions. Does that make you a bit happier? :)

Sunday, April 18, 2004

", I was wondering whether software on the Internet really sells? "

Do you mean using the Internet as a marketing channel or a technological delivery platform?

(I.e., the latter means an ASP or web app).

One problem with using the internet as your only marketing channel is that your company doesn't have "wheight" or "substance".  You could be some kid with a website.

That may not matter if you've got cutting edge software.

HOWEVER, in our case we do not have cutting edge software.  We have found that we have to have a paper catalog to give us a sense of "being a real company".  The internet is a great source of sales leads, but it takes a PHYSICAL deliver for the customer to feel like they're getting something they should pay for.

If it has now physical wheight (just bits in the ether) then it may be seen to have no value by inexperienced (non technical) users.

Mr. Analogy
Sunday, April 18, 2004

Amazon, EBay, Google. I don't buy their software directly but I pay a little each time I use them. 

Actualy, I often pay a lot when I use them. Amazon is very effective at extracting cash from me.

fool for python
Monday, April 19, 2004

Yes it is possible to sell software on the internet but it is bloody hard! Expect it to take a number of iterations to get it right, expect to spend more of your time marketing than coding, expect people to try and defraud you, expect people to crack your software and offer your hard work for free, don't expect to get rich quick.

As to how much you can make and whether you can sell web app's I have no idea.

Tony Edgecombe (
Monday, April 19, 2004

Why do you have to hide your identity and country, alien, and leave no contact info.  Afraid of being arrested because you admit to using pirated software at the moment?  Come on!

Seun Osewa (
Monday, April 19, 2004

Seun, not once does the Alien suggest that he is pirating software.

Instead what he wants to do is develop some app, make some money off it, and then use said money to set up shop, hire developers and buy commercial tools.

Like he said, he is willing to go through the pain of using freeware until then.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

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