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SJS's Journal: On Selling Software

Journal by SJS

I spent some time today looking for spreadsheet and word-processing software for my new MacBook. I figured I'd look to see if there was anything worth spending money on.

I had mixed results.

Some vendors offered a trial version, others, not so much. I found this astonishing... there are free-as-in-beer alternatives out there. Why for the love of ladybugs would I pay to check out some software? Because the marketing hype is so convincing? I think not!

But, that simplifies the process a bit. No trial version? Move on to the next product in the list.

Some vendors would offer to give me a trial version, but they wanted contact information first. I'm just browsing, folks; I do not feel like providing you with a name and email address. I get enough junkmail as it is, I don't need something more to ignore (or directives to go to a website to unsubscribe from something that I never wanted in the first place). Move on to the next product in the list; I'll come back if nothing else can do the job, but otherwise no go.

Now we're cooking with gas. I happily download several .dmg files (I have become a heavy user of tabbed browsing, and will often take actions in parallel). I mount each of 'em in turn to start evaluating the products.

Some of the programs are installers. They want to splatter themselves across my system for a trial version. Sorry, no. Move on to the next product in the list.

But some... some products let me run them straight from the .dmg -- drag-to-where-you-want-it kind of installation. These I can evaluate. Some work better than others, of course, but that's why I'm doing the little evaluation dance.

These vendors deserve a biscuit.

However, that's not the point of the ramble. I'm concerned with the reasoning behind those vendors who made it difficult (or at least annoying) for me to evaluate their product. How does this happen?

And why?

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On Selling Software

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