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    Wednesday, April 26, 2006
    Freeware equals to "I-don't-care-about-you"?
    I need to get it out from my chest, fast! Freeware software authors (not all) are not going to take care of your computer or give you their helpdesk address too.

    Almost all freeware i've tried, it's clearly stated "As it is". What was that about? Moving to the next text, they stated "Not responsible for any damage...". Both indicates that you're own your own if your computer gone in smoke.

    The real question is, is it true freeware really that good? Looking at other freeware (in open source code) like FireFox, Thunderbird etc, the authors are willing to give our supports and fix any bugs found in their softwares. Maybe i'm wrong but most freeware that don't care about you are closed-code softwares. Bump in the head? Not really.

    A good example of close-code freeware is w.Bloggar. The author took some time to setup a forum for users and most of the users are glad about the support forum. by the way, wBloggar is a great blog publishing software.

    I know freeware don't have to provide any support or help to users because it's free. But, at least setup a help forum so that users can entertain one another. Most authors will say "I don't have time to check the bugs because i'm to busy playing PSP" and that is not a good impression. Maybe one day the freeware became a huge hit and Google decided to buy it. Look ahead into the future and your future boss/buyers.

    Once, i received an email from a freeware author saying that he's busy with collage. I'm okay with that and i gave him my suggestion; open the code so more people can help you fix any bugs. Then he replied back with such a not-so-clever answer "People will copy my code and made their own". True, people will rip his code but his freeware will grow even further.

    Take Firefox for example, they gain so many exposure by giving out the code. Yes, human interest is the best strategy on internet. Software or non software, human interest can boost your popularity in days. By using this rule of thumb, you can release a shareware version to gain some revenue. But first, take care of the human interest first by taking care of the freeware.

    Do you think a wild yak in Nepal will download your freeware? Or do you really think Elvis is torrenting your freeware from Maldives? Not at all my friends. Both are not going to use the freeware. That's why it's important to take care of the human interest part.

    My suggestion to freeware authors that still hanging tight to "As it is" policy, release the code to the public so that others can improve the code. If they ( the authors) don't have the time to fix the bugs, releasing the code can cut your time into half. Yes, there are still honest coders out there willing to help.
    posted by Jamloceng @ 11:11 AM  
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