My Opinion – The Future of Freeware

FFR-WP-logomy-op1No review this time. Today, I’m presenting my opinion on how to improve the Windows freeware industry. I’m not a developer, just a user. In short, I propose saving the freeware business by destroying it ; charge a small amount ($.99 or $1.99), rather than giving it away. This is a successful model for phone apps and I believe that it could work for Windows software.

Why is this necessary?  Users love free stuff, but freeware developers need to be paid. In recent years, these two opposing positions have been satisfied by loading more and more crap into otherwise decent software. Users must tiptoe through a virtual minefield of “special offers” and spyware toolbars to install a simple utility. It is now common to see 2 or 3 pieces of crapware in the typical installer.

My solution – Remove all the garbage from the installers, offer the software with a short trial period and then charge a small license fee. Another possible solution could be subscriptions. When developers feel their work is worth more than $.99, charging $.99 per year may work. When the application is worthy, users are willing to pay a reasonable amount annually. Developers wanting the income stream to continue, will continue to improve the software. Everyone wins. Users get better software and developers get paid.

Will this happen? I doubt it. But, I want the developers to consider getting paid by their users, not the crapware marketers and being able to continue development on quality applications. This makes sense to me, but toolbars are so much easier.

If you have an opinion on the matter, or just think I’m full of it, you can leave a comment below.

Dan Kostecki

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

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