When is Shareware Not Shareware?

A: When it’s not!  <g>

I was reading Duncan’s blog, and he pointed to a discussion on shareware with .NET.  Sure, Nick does present a true scenario that companies like Bank’s are not so phased about rolling out .NET. Nor should they be. 
Problem with that argument is it is misleading though.  That is not about shareware!  It is true, but is also totally irrelevant.  Sometimes it’s funny to watch how discussions like that can become more political, rather than focusing on what is a real hurdle for shareware authors.



2 Comments so far

  1.   duncanma@microsoft.com (Duncan Mackenzie) on September 8th, 2004          

    actually, Nick’s comment (that I quoted) was about shareware, he then went on to comment on commercial software…

    Just to be clear 🙂

  2.   Bill on September 9th, 2004          

    Hey Duncan,

    Right, Nick’s first paragraph was about shareware, and his second about NON shareware. In the first paragraph he did not touch on the framework distribution issues. The second, talking about admin installation is really a red herring in what is an important issue.

    For example, look at XP SP2. Yes it does help to distribute the framework, but not 1.1 SP1. So the complexities of (a) how to determine what framework and service pack as user has still exists, and added to that the complexities in knowing which install they need to use. For shareware authors, this still equates to probably two hours download for a potential customer, *just for the framework*.

    I am not disputing the facts Nick alluded to, that is, there are other important factors as to whether your shareware is a success or not, and that for corporate intranet, neither shareware or the framework distribution is really relevant 😉 But for all other things being equal, if you had a non managed application versus a managed application, the framework detection and distribution is a major hurdle for the managed app.

    The only real benefit t the potential customer is the sand boxing the managed app can provide, but once again, that is neither obvious to most consumers and is overly complex for any substantial app.

    So the point in this, is that we need to stay focused on the real issues, not get side tracked by other scenarios.