Is Trial Software Shelfware?

In a comment to my earlier post, Matt asked an interesting question: “It is true that trial software is just shelfware?

It depends on whether I have asked for it or not. If a vendor shipped a CD contain a trial of their software to me without me asking for it, it would end up on a shelf and I would install it when I had the time and/or need for it, if ever. In such a case, yes, it becomes shelfware.

But if I have asked for the trial then I already have a need to evaluate it and would do so at the first available moment. A typical example would be a downloaded trial. I have download tons of trial software and cannot remember a single occassion wherein I have not installed the trial software that I have just spend my time and bandwidth downloading. In such a case, hell no, trialware certainly does not become shelfware.

At SYCODE, we offer 10 day/run fully functional trials of all our products. Before we upgraded to Visual Studio 2005 (the software required to develop plugins for AutoCAD 2007/2008 and Rhino 4.0), we first got hold of the trial, built a test plug-in, tested it and when we were satisfied with the results, we went ahead and upgraded. It seems like a logical thing to do and we believe that most of the world thinks this way.

I cannot recollect a single occassion wherein I have purchased a piece of software before trying it out with my data, not some pretty samples that come bundled with the trial. And I have certainly not purchased any software by simply looking at flashy demos or attending webinars.

And neither have I bought a car before test driving it.

  • Josh

    I completely agree Deelip. I think the adobe model is one of the best out there. you would think others businesses would copy that.

    I’ve been in a reseller position, but still want to download.

    and think about it. the first link you look for on an open source program site is DEMO.

    peoplem by nature, like to try things out.

  • Josh

    I completely agree Deelip. I think the adobe model is one of the best out there. you would think others businesses would copy that.I’ve been in a reseller position, but still want to download.and think about it. the first link you look for on an open source program site is DEMO.peoplem by nature, like to try things out.