Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 07, 2016, 08:34:41 AM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: Morals, free market, and what you can expect when you pay for software  (Read 2195 times)

urlwolf

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,797
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Has this happened to you? You bought a piece of software, and thought it was a very good deal. You used it and were satisfied. Then, suddenly, you find that there is a piece of Freeware or opens source software that competes with the commercial app. You bought… and does the job much better.

How often does this happen? Should you feel bad about having paid for a license that you will never use for a good reason? Should you get refunded if you are still about the time the demo license would have expired? Is freeware/OS soft setting the standards for commercial software?
Do companies have the moral obligation of providing value over and above what freeware/OS soft provides?

Let's assume they know they provide an inferior product. Is the market stupid enough to let the company exist?

Thoughts?

PS: We have a post here about how companies can inflate reviews by paying people. If this practice is common, I can see how a very good sourceforge project may go unnoticed having more value than a commercial one.

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,408
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Morals, free market, and what you can expect when you pay for software
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2006, 10:35:29 AM »
yep, it happens, probably quite frequently.
and some people do more research than others when searching, so its more likely to happen to some people.

i try not to worry about it too much - this kind of stuff happens - don't obsess over having wasted the money is what i say.

btw, there is absolutely no question in my mind that paid market has a dramatic (perhaps dominant) effect on making a program popular.  the issue is scary, depressing, pervasive, and stubborn.

one of the things we can all do about it is use our voices to overcome marketing hype.  if you know of a superior program that can't afford marketing, tell your friends, post it here, post reviews on sites. let's make DC a place where people can come to find the best tool for the job and not get unduly influenced by marketing money.  we can be part of the chorus of voices that helps people cut through this stuff and find those rare gems in the software desert.

mrainey

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 436
    • View Profile
    • Website
    • Donate to Member
Re: Morals, free market, and what you can expect when you pay for software
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2006, 01:25:19 PM »
I think if you have a reasonable opportunity to evaluate a program, then choose to buy it because it does what you need (or close enough), it's yours and it's fair.  I don't see that it's up to a commercial developer to make sure that he/she duplicates every feature found in a similar free program.  There are plenty of other ways to add value - support, speed, ease of use, documentation.

I think we're all smart enough to know when a program works well, and what it's worth compared to the competition.
Software For Metalworking
http://closetolerancesoftware.com

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,408
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Morals, free market, and what you can expect when you pay for software
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2006, 02:46:45 PM »
i also like to view things in terms of supporting good developers.  i have seen how hard it is for most software authors to get by and make a living.

so if you buy a good program, and then discover a slightly better one, just think of it as you gave a bit of funding to the company to finance the improvement of their program :)

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Morals, free market, and what you can expect when you pay for software
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2006, 05:19:26 PM »
I don't feel that bad about having purchased a *shareware* app and finding some free thing that does it better. If I've purchased something, it's because I like it and want to support the author. Which, in the case of shareware/donationware, is important IMHO.

For a big commercial product... things are different :)
- carpe noctem