Computer software is big business, with the most successful titles making their developers very wealthy people. Software titles can be made to work across different platforms and in multiple languages, meaning that they can be marketed and sold to a potentially enormous market. Even grabbing a small market-share can see developers make huge profits, meaning that niche products can also do very well. Such is the profit that can be made by developing and selling software, some of the most successful developers are among the wealthiest people on the planet.
Some do complain that the cost of buying software can be too high however, and they could have a point. The high price of a lot of software means that it is unaffordable to some people, while others complain that they are paying a lot of money for something without being completely sure it’s what they need. Software development is a very competitive field though and some developers offer products at lower prices to help them to get a foothold in the market, while others charge nothing at all.
What is The Benefit in Charging Nothing?
With so many developers making vast profits from their products, you might ask why some others are willing to release their products for nothing. Of course their intentions are no entirely altruistic, and there is often profit involved even when giving away a product for nothing.
“Many developers make their software available to download for free to help others to become aware of their products. This can help the end users to become familiar with the brand, making it easier for them to pay money for future releases that are made available for a fee. This aspect is a marketing ploy that can be very effective in the medium and long-term. You will also find that a lot of freeware comes with the opportunity for you to donate financially if you wish to do so, and donations help to finance the developers for their current and future products. Particularly successful products can see considerable profits made through voluntary donations alone.”, says Tomli Jones, IT Engineer
Although fully functional as it is, a lot of freeware comes with some functions unavailable unless you pay for them. One such example is with free anti-virus programmes that work just fine for most users, but businesses that need more advanced functionality will need to pay to unlock the more advanced options. Some games are also made available for use to anybody completely free of charge, although you will need to pay for certain boosters and upgrades if you wish to use them.
When it comes to freeware, you might be forgiven for thinking that it is free because it is poor quality or out-dated, but this is generally not true. Freeware is usually very much up-to-date and of a very high quality, and is available for free because the developers are taking advantage of certain marketing tactics, or just trying to get a foothold in a competitive market. If anything, freeware is more likely to be of superior quality because the developers know that they need to create a good impression if they are to become a success.