Bionicoder's Blog

Windows software development and business blog

Posts Tagged ‘Freeware’

Interesting facts about OpenOffice

Posted by bionicoder on May 5, 2009

It is very interesting to see people discuss this topic. One interesting thing interests is that Sun ever considered ad-suuported model for open-office 2 years ago according to  this message.

Another interesting thing is that freeware + shareware model does not work well for all products. Sun did not make enough money from StarOffice ($34.99 per license). This can be proved by the recent acquisition. It is a failed model for Sun. If Sun succeeded on StarOffice, they should not be acquired by Microsoft. See how much money Microsoft earned from Office products. I guess maybe billions.

It is time to pay more attention on ad-supported model.

Posted in business, Software, Software Business | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Is Microsoft late?

Posted by bionicoder on May 4, 2009

There were many discussions about Microsoft ad-supported Office 14 available next year.  One point is that Microsoft is 5 years late to offer free version of products. Is that true?

I don’t see this as Microsoft arriving late. I see it more as Microsoft waiting until the right time. They will no doubt make more money selling the product, than presenting ads on it. I imagine Microsoft have been waiting for the right metrics in the market share before offering the ad supported version.

Not to go off topic, but I see this as a way of clawing back users who have moved to OpenOffice or other free office suites. Making something has to be better than making nothing.  If Microsoft can get these users back to the MS office, they will keep the leading position.

OpenOffice still can not compete with Microsoft Office from user experience and functionality perspective. They used to be an alternative if users can’t afford to or not willing to buy office products. OpenOffice has been successful because of its “free” strategy. But it will lose its advantage if free Microsoft Office available. Unless OpenOffice can make money either from ads (ad-supporte OpenOffice?) or whatever other ways to do better marketing and product improvement, I don’t know how OpenOffice can compete with Microsoft Office next year

Posted in Microsoft, Software | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Three Ways to Monetize Freeware

Posted by bionicoder on March 4, 2009

Some developers make freeware just for giving back to Internet community without considering any money back. I give my respects to those developers. For other freeware developers (maybe high percentage) who also want to make money from freeware. I summarize three popular ways to monetize freeware for your reference.

This is not for companies who use freeware to attract customers. For example, I know many security companies use free anti spyware or similar security tools to attract customer. When customer download their tool, it reports that your Windows has many malware running, if you want to remove them, you need to pay for the advanced feature.

Software as a Service(SaaS) Model

The implication of SaaS is software delivered as freeware. Your revenue comes from service provided following the software. The successful freeware or open source using this model are MySQL, JBoss, Apache and Spring. As you can see, this model better fits the freeware or open source which targets enterprise customer.

Also this model has high requirement for the development team. The team needs to be dedicated and have enough experience and skills for high quality product. The quality is the key for having ideal customer base.

Ad-supported Model

The ad-supported model better fits consumer software. The idea is simple. Software works like a media carrying ads. Software is offered for free. Revenue comes from advertising on software GUI. The ad-supported model I am talking about here is NOT equal to malicious adware. What I am talking about is like Yahoo Messenger bundle with ads on the GUI bottom.

The challenges for developers considering Ad-Supported model are:

  1. the ads inventory.
  2. It is hard for 100,000 user base software to get constant ads from advertiser

  3. ads management
  4. It is extra work to manage ads delivery

The available market solution is Younexus advertising solution for software application. What Younexus does for software is like what Google Adsense does for website. Younexus feed ads to software participating their program.

In addtion, Younexus requirements for software joining their program is software should not contain virus or any malware.

Selling traffic Model

This model requires you have enough patience because it will take longer time till you see revenue come in. The way it works is you offer software for free and wait for other website to add link to your website if they like it. Ideally you get bigger and bigger traffic, then you can get benefits from your website advertising.  This article explains how this model works in detail.

This model works for software with unique and special technique. For such kind of freeware, people like it because of its uniqueness. They can’t think of anything else once they need use the special functionality. For example, when you want to zip a file, the only one you can think of is WinZip.

How about if you wan to find out a FTP tool? They are many free FTP client tools available. It is too common.

Posted in ad-supported, Software, Software Business | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »