The Value of Software in Our Daily Lives

Written by Bill Platt

Long, long ago when I was in high school duringrepparttar early 1980's, personal computers were just coming into existence. Back then, I had taken on Basic programming as a high school student. In those days,repparttar 133565 PC of choice wasrepparttar 133566 Radio Shack TRS-80 --- this was just a couple of years beforerepparttar 133567 introduction ofrepparttar 133568 first Apple computer.

In those dark days beforerepparttar 133569 Internet and before Microsoft, repparttar 133570 only software choices we had were retail programs that could cost hundreds of dollars, or cheap video games that were offered as Shareware.

Believe it or not, in those days, we computer nerds would pass around software on floppy disk. These days, there simply are not too many programs that can be loaded onto a single diskette.

I mention this now as I contemplaterepparttar 133571 various ways in which software is now distributed. We consumers are always playing a cat-and-mouse game with software developers.

Inrepparttar 133572 early 80's,repparttar 133573 companies who had deep pockets were repparttar 133574 ones selling their software at retail. The ones who were struggling to find traction inrepparttar 133575 marketplace wererepparttar 133576 ones offering their software as Shareware.

If you doubt this conclusion, then let me ask you a question. Which Microsoft products are available torepparttar 133577 public as Shareware packages?

You just proved my point.

Being an individual who has played both sides ofrepparttar 133578 software fence as both a consumer and developer, I am in a position to tell this story so that you asrepparttar 133579 consumer can really appreciaterepparttar 133580 quandary ofrepparttar 133581 developer.

Nag screens arerepparttar 133582 storefront ofrepparttar 133583 shareware developers. See,repparttar 133584 challenge is that it really does cost money to develop software. Yet,repparttar 133585 public is still ofrepparttar 133586 mindset that they want all of their software for free.

Understandingrepparttar 133587 free mindset ofrepparttar 133588 consumer, software developers have tried various schemes to get paid for their time and efforts. These days, you will find Shareware, Trialware, Adware and Retail.

See,repparttar 133589 retail boys haverepparttar 133590 best advantage. They can afford to dump millions into advertising to buildrepparttar 133591 interest in their products. Funnier still,repparttar 133592 consumer does not expect to get retail products for free. For some reason, it is okay to payrepparttar 133593 big boys retail for their products, butrepparttar 133594 little guy is supposed to give away his work for free!

So, why is it that we consumers treatrepparttar 133595 small companies differently? We will pay $100 to $175 for Microsoft Office XP, but we would not pay for Sun Office! Sun Microsystems Office product is considered by many to be a much better product than Microsoft's, but Sun had to resort to offering their version for free to get market share!

What is wrong with this picture?

Ironically,repparttar 133596 difference is easy to see from my chair. As a marketer, I am always watchingrepparttar 133597 marketplace horizons to see whererepparttar 133598 next advantage might be found.

We consumers have a need for one thing only. We want value for our money --- real value.

With Microsoft's deep, deep pockets, they are able to sell us onrepparttar 133599 idea ofrepparttar 133600 value of their products. Additionally, Microsoft can afford to put their software into pretty boxes and onrepparttar 133601 shelves of thousands of retailers, adding to their carefully crafted perception of value. Because Microsoft can afford to paint a solid picture of value to us, we do not hesitate to cough uprepparttar 133602 hundreds of dollars required to own Microsoft's products.

What Makes Apple so Delicious?

Written by Mike Banks Valentine

Trade shows will naturally draw those with high end interest andrepparttar technical knowledge that leads to that jargon spewed by keynote speakers. Enterprise-speak vendors display their wares and attendees at break-out sessions are full of techno-geeks seekingrepparttar 133564 latest knowledge enhancement for their narrow interest area. InternetWorld 2002 was no different.

But I've made a couple of interesting trade show discoveries. 1) Privately funded companies who are themselves small businesses are more likely to create applications for small business use, NOT applications that may promise to make them millionaires in a rapid initial public offering of vastly over-rated stock.

2) Privately funded small businesses are run by Apple Mac owners! The start-ups often bloom from existing businesses as a further development of existing privately held companies. Those small business developers offer software that works on EVERY operating system, not just one.

Windows, Linux, OS2 Warp, Sun Solaris, other Java platforms, Mac OS9 (Classic) and Mac OS X! Did I hear you say, that would work for anyone? So rule number one for small business use is affordability and flexibility -- those overpromised and underdelivered qualities listed on every news release ever written for software solutions.

This second discovery sort of slowly dawned on me while I've wandered show floors overrepparttar 133565 course ofrepparttar 133566 last year searching for valuable tools forrepparttar 133567 little guy. I find a worthwhile small business solution and there's a Mac onrepparttar 133568 booth demo display! I quickly learned to reverse that 2nd phenomenon in my favor to make it easier to find valuable small business stuff on vast convention center show floors.

I no doubt noticed those Macs because I own a couple of them myself. I'd like to makerepparttar 133569 corollary that Mac users are successful business operators who run reasonably profitable businesses. The Mac test proved effective at InternetWorld when all but a couple ofrepparttar 133570 most valuable eBiz discoveries made were being demonstrated on Macs. ALL ofrepparttar 133571 Mac's I discovered prominently displayed were demonstrating worthwhile small business tools, and each of those Mac users provided software that would run on a Mac. I may have discovered a way to avoidrepparttar 133572 frustration of finding unusable or overpriced tools at internet trade shows!

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