Well, while doing a bit of work, I happened across this page:http://www.altools.c...rticleIdx=59&m=3
August 22, 2012 - We appreciate to everyone who have been using ALTools products. For your big interests on us, we are now able to start a big project to renewal products of ALTools.
There are a lot of changes going on in the informational technology world. Smart phone, tablets and their mobile apps are being widely used, and we realized that the current ALTools products' model is not perfectly fit to this environmental changes. Thus, we decided to renew ALTools.
Since we will not be very supported for the time, we will provide the serial numbers of ALZip, ALSee and ALFTP for you to use for free. The free serial number has the same rights to be used as you have purchased the products.
* Note: The following license cannot be used inside of Korea, Japan and Southeast Asia territory. Personnel in each country should visit the country's ALTools website for the proper use of ALTools - Korea: www.altools.co.kr, Japan: www.altools.jp, Southeast Asia: www.asiasoft.co.th.
Thank you again for using ALTools!
I used to work for the company, and know them very well. I still have friends there.
If anyone remembers a number of years ago, there were furious debates about the future of the desktop, blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda...
Now, while I firmly believe that the desktop model is best for most people, it seems more and more apparent that the attractiveness of the Web 2.0/3.x/#.# SaaS cloud storage cloud computing subscription proprietary enslavement we own your data and usually let you use it while you hope and pray that your Internet connection is good enough to actually access it... Ooops... I drifted there. (I'm sober! Honestly! Though I could use another coffee or 3...)
Anyways, the business models for more and more software companies seem to be drifting into the service model.
I haven't talked to anyone at ESTsoft about what they're planning for ALTools, but when they say "renewal", I'm pretty darn sure that they have some major paradigm changes in mind. Which only makes it more interesting to see what they come up with. They have a huge amount of existing technology to draw upon...
To be clear, I do not think this is a technology issue so much. Internet connections are currently ok for basic computing, but painful anything where significant file sizes are involved, e.g. Do you really want to work "in the cloud" on a document that's 5 MB, when you know that you have to save every few minutes "just in case", and the program stops responding while saving? (I sometimes work on files where it takes 10 or 20 s to save, on an SSD, and THAT drives me bonkers already.) So, other than purely bandwidth related issues, well, whatever. Doesn't matter. Tech is tech, and either can work.
But it seems that the BUSINESS models for online software are simply much more attractive. You can make more that way, which makes sense for the author/company. Not sure that it makes sense for the users so much though...
Anyone else got a different take on it?
Are we seeing the desktop in its death-throes?