« on: April 22, 2007, 12:26 PM »
I live in China. Nobody pays for software here. Well, ok, maybe someone but I have yet to meet them.
Companies, Universities, Government offices. All have Windows, all have Office. All are 'registered' to Bill Gates.
Is it because China is a poor developing country? Naaah, China has 1 trillion (that's a lot in layman's terms!) dollars in foreign reserves.
It's because nobody can make anyone here pay. What, the US is going to stop imports of cheap shoes and shirts? Ha ha ha!
Why, oh why would anyone pay for software when they can run it for free? When your competitors don't pay? When there is no penality?
Many software houses have differential pricing. I can but Kaspersky, for example, cheaper here than in the UK/US/Germany. Why? Mind you I like having cheaper prices, but it seems unfair to those in the higher price countries. Are they subsidizing my price?
What I DO mind is the price of specialized utilities. I've seen $29.95 MP3 taggers. They don't even do other formats, just MP3. Seems a bit excessive. Same for backup software. While $60.00 may not be a lot to a company, it is a fair piece of change to me. A good example is ThumbsPlus picture viewer. $49.95 for standard, $89.95 for Pro, $129.95 for a 'perpetual' Pro license. No such option for the standard license. So, is it justifiable to pay $129.95 or to use something like FastStone Image Viewer for free?
At $29, maybe $39 I'd use ThumbsPlus. So the pricing lost them a customer. Of course they can lose 6 at my price for every one at their price.
In all, if I total the cost of the software on my system it exceeds the cost of the hardware. Personally, I have taken to asking for a discount if I really want a certain app. You'd be surprised how many thoughful developers there are. I appreciate them making it possible for me to run legal versions of their software.
For the Adobe and Microsoft types, I'm refuse to upgrade past my versions. They do what I want, I'm extremely familar with them, I don't see the value in the current upgrades.
Value, that's what it comes down to for me. Is it subjective? Yep. But it is less and less frequent in the commercial software world. More often found in the shareware arena. Surprisingly I find few freeware/open source apps that I keep.