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Author Topic: Codeweavers - no good deed goes unpunished  (Read 7163 times)

40hz

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Codeweavers - no good deed goes unpunished
« on: November 01, 2008, 03:37:56 PM »
Did you grab your copy of CrossOver when you had the chance last week? If you own a Mac or Linux computer, you would have been foolish not to.

Especially if you  followed this earlier post ( http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=15505.0 ) about Codweavers offering their CrossOver product line free of charge on October 28th.

The giveaway was part of Codeweavers Great American Presidential Lame Duck Challenge, which posted several political and economic 'challenges' to the Bush Administration as it was heading for its final days. If any of the challenge goals were met, Codeweavers agreed to give away fully-licensed copies of their well respected CrossOver Pro and Game applications to anyone who wanted them.

The challenges were wide ranging, and although a few of them looked reachable (gas below $2.79/gal) most were so far out (get out of Iraq) that we thought it was little more than a bit of clever marketing that poked some fun at major U.S. election issues.

(For those of you who don't know CrossOver is a product based on the Open Source WINE application that allows Windows software to be used on Macintosh and Linux computers. Pro retails for about $70 and Games will set you back $40.)

But on October 28th, the unthinkable happened when gasoline prices in the Twin Cities area dipped below $2.79 - and Codeweavers opened the floodgates! It must have felt something like the City of Atlantis felt that fateful afternoon.

The following blog entry at Codeweavers says it all:

Quote
2008.10.28 - We Came! We Saw! We Burned to the Waterline!

Well, as many of you know, we gave away our software all day on Tuesday, Oct. 28th. The giveaway, despite some technical glitches, went splendidly. For the record, we project that we gave away at least 750,000 product registrations during Oct. 28th. That's a lot of software. We're thrilled that that many people became aware of CodeWeavers. And we're thrilled that that many more people will be able to run their Windows software without Windows.

That said, yes, some of you may have noticed that our server was down during periods of the past 24 hours. In fact, it melted into a tiny little pool of slag. However, through the monumental efforts of our sysadmin, Jeremy Newman, we were able to stay afloat, and at least field an interim solution that would let people put in their requests for serial codes. Our heads are above water. And we will honor our commitments to ensure that everyone who sent in their email during the offer period receives a serial code as rapidly as possible.

Finally, given the overwhelming response to our giveaway, we have decided that it is only responsible that we wind down the Challenge. After all, it's clear in retrospect that our Challenge was responsible for the implosion of the world economy that resulted in the collapse of oil prices, that in turn led to the lowering of gasoline prices here in the U.S. Frankly, realizing the sort of clout we wield, we fear to flaunt that power. One of our goals has to do with milk prices. Who knows what might happen: we might destroy the U.S. dairy industry or something. Or crush the housing market even worse. We can't have that. And so, it is with a heavy heart that the CodeWeavers Management Team(tm) has decided to declare victory in our Challenge, and move ahead. We thank you, the people, for making it fun.

Sincerely,

Jon Parshall
COO
CodeWeavers

Codeweavers originally planned to give away software each time one of the challenges was met. But with their ranks of registered customers now standing at a reported 400% of what they were before the giveaway, financial prudence and practicalities prevailed and the Lame Duck Challenge is now officially over.

And talk about a damage report! If all 750K requested serial codes are registered, it represents a potential hit of $52,462,500 to their coffers.

I'm guessing CodeWeavers has effectively torpedoed their current product. With luck, they will survive long enough to make it to the next major release.  I'm sure that many of the people who downloaded CrossOver probably never had any intention of buying it, or possibly even using it. But within that 750,000 population, I'm sure there were also thousands of actual customers (like me!) that happily took advantage of one of the best deals to ever hit the Linux and Mac camps.

Hopefully, all that happiness will translate into gratitude; and the gratitude will translate into future business for Codeweavers.

If not, Codeweavers runs the very real chance of going the way of so many other companies that held a gun to their own heads. Still, their credit, I'm pretty sure Codeweavers was the only one that ever wound up in that position because of a dumb joke backfiring.

Only time will tell how The Presidential Lame Duck Challenge will play out. It could turn out to be one of the most brilliant pieces of contra-marketing ever seen. It could also go down as one of the most bizarre ways anybody ever came up with to kill a business. Either way, it's one for the books.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to run off and enjoy these lower gas prices ($2.69 this morning when I filled up :up: :up:), content in the knowledge that Dreamweaver CS (thanks to my recently downloaded copy of CrossOver Pro) is running like a charm under Intrepid Ibex.

For some of us...Life is good!

« Last Edit: November 01, 2008, 03:47:11 PM by 40hz »

Darwin

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Re: Codeweavers - no good deed goes unpunished
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2008, 04:04:31 PM »
Heh, heh - nice post, 40hz  :Thmbsup: I grabbed a copy of Crossover for Linux and had my wife grab one for Mac (though as it turns out, the product only works on Intel based Macs. C'est la vie). I really hope that Codeweavers survives this - I like their sense of humour and style. If I find the product indispensible under Linux, I may well buy a copy to support them. Hope others do the same...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

40hz

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Re: Codeweavers - no good deed goes unpunished
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2008, 04:16:39 PM »
I may well buy a copy to support them. Hope others do the same...

I've purchased several along with upgrades over the years. :-*

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They have a slogan painted on the back of each cab. It says: Use us or lose us.

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Darwin

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Re: Codeweavers - no good deed goes unpunished
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2008, 04:23:21 PM »
"Use us or lose us"

Very apropros...

Right then. If I can ever get xubuntu 8.1 downloaded, I'll load up Crossover and see what happens... Of course, no good reason not try it under Ubuntu 8.04... except that the machine that it is installed on limps along on 192MB RAM; trying to run anything else will tax it to the point of it being useless, I fear.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

housetier

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Re: Codeweavers - no good deed goes unpunished
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2008, 09:59:06 PM »
OK Where's the punishment?

KenR

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Re: Codeweavers - no good deed goes unpunished
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2008, 10:28:54 PM »
OK Where's the punishment?

Wap...Wap  :P

Ok, I know I should be punished for that, but I couldn't resist.

Sorry House, Ken
Kenneth P. Reeder, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
Jacksonville, North Carolina  28546

Deozaan

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Re: Codeweavers - no good deed goes unpunished
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2008, 01:24:38 AM »
Sounds to me like another person/group/entity who lies and doesn't keep their word.

The world won't miss this company.


J-Mac

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Re: Codeweavers - no good deed goes unpunished
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2008, 01:44:43 AM »
Sounds to me like another person/group/entity who lies and doesn't keep their word.

The world won't miss this company.

Huh?  A bit harsh?

Jim

nontroppo

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Re: Codeweavers - no good deed goes unpunished
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2008, 07:48:11 AM »
This isn't really a direct economic hit of  $52,462,500 right? The financial strain is in terms of the server punishment for downloads and possibly higher support requests, but they haven't had to pay for goods sent to people.

Will they offer a full support package?

As I see it they have lots of new users who even if 5% of them upgrade when the next major version is out, then they are in a financially great position.

Good luck to them, and nice to see them true to their word. In an age of corporate caution and fear to affect a bottom-line, this was gutsy thing to do.
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Dormouse

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Re: Codeweavers - no good deed goes unpunished
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2008, 08:27:15 AM »
Well, I registered etc etc.
But all I am offered is Mac downloads rather than Linux. No use to me at all.  :( Not quite sure how this happened, but it seems to have happened to a lot of other people too. I've requested a change, but am well aware that all the requests they are likely to receive from this will really overload a support system really intended for paying customers/other things.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2008, 08:49:32 AM by Dormouse »

Darwin

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Re: Codeweavers - no good deed goes unpunished
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2008, 09:02:34 AM »
Well, I registered etc etc.
But all I am offered is Mac downloads rather than Linux. No use to me at all.  :( Not quite sure how this happened, but it seems to have happened to a lot of other people too. I've requested a change, but am well aware that all the requests they are likely to receive from this will really overload a support system really intended for paying customers/other things.

That's a result of the server being hit so hard, the default was the Mac package - you had to select Linux when requesting the key. The server hit meant that often that part of the page didn't load properly. At least, that was my experience.

Sounds to me like another person/group/entity who lies and doesn't keep their word.

The world won't miss this company.

I'm having trouble figuring this comment out as well? How did they lie/not keep their word? Do you mean because they've stopped the challenge with this point? Or is it something else?  :huh:
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

40hz

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Re: Codeweavers - no good deed goes unpunished
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2008, 11:55:24 AM »
Will they offer a full support package?

Yes. The download is fully licensed, and support is available once you register your copy's serial code

Sounds to me like another person/group/entity who lies and doesn't keep their word.

The world won't miss this company.
.

I'm not sure why you felt they didn't keep their word, but OK.

We'll have to disagree on the rest of your comment. Many of us Linux users will miss them if they disappear.

This isn't really a direct economic hit of  $52,462,500 right? The financial strain is in terms of the server punishment for downloads and possibly higher support requests, but they haven't had to pay for goods sent to people.


No, you are correct. The $52M represents what an economist would call an opportunity cost, as in forfeited future revenue. I'm sure (as I stated earlier) that there were no where near 750K people that you could say with certainty would have become actual customers. But I wouldn't be surprised if they lost a very real 30-50,000 sales units over the life of this release. At $70 bucks a pop, that's still not small change.

And I shudder to think what it's going to do to their support costs since this is one of those applications that new users have a lot of questions about.

Quote
As I see it they have lots of new users who even if 5% of them upgrade when the next major version is out, then they are in a financially great position.

Agree. But the question remains what it's 5% of. Will it be in the tens or the hundreds of thousands?

Anyway, it's all over now except for the shouting and the video. I'm sure it will be talked about for a long time to come.
 8)

Deozaan

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Re: Codeweavers - no good deed goes unpunished
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2008, 12:16:00 PM »
Sounds to me like another person/group/entity who lies and doesn't keep their word.

The world won't miss this company.

I'm having trouble figuring this comment out as well? How did they lie/not keep their word? Do you mean because they've stopped the challenge with this point? Or is it something else?  :huh:

Maybe I misunderstood, but it sounds to me like they promised more stuff if, for instance, milk prices went down or other things like that, but they are ending it because they finally see that yeah, maybe milk prices are going to go down, and then they'll be obligated to hand out more free software.

So my point was that if they promised they'd do something if certain conditions were met, and are breaking their promise after only one condition was met, then they are liars and I say good riddance if they go out of business. :down: >:(

If that's not what's happening then I clearly misunderstood and I take back what I said. :-[


Darwin

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Re: Codeweavers - no good deed goes unpunished
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2008, 04:25:24 PM »
So my point was that if they promised they'd do something if certain conditions were met, and are breaking their promise after only one condition was met, then they are liars and I say good riddance if they go out of business. :down: >:(

If that's not what's happening then I clearly misunderstood and I take back what I said.

Well, it is *sort of* what's happening. Essentially (as I understand it), each time one of the conditions was met, their software was going to be free for a day. With the huge response to this giveaway, they've cancelled any future giveaways. So, really, they've delievered all of the "stuff" they were ever going to give, but have decided to make it a one time offering rather than doing it each time a condition was met. Personally, I'm OK with that, but I can see where you're coming from  ;)
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin