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The Shareware Concept
Goodsol Development distributes its software using the shareware concept. Shareware is try before you buy software. You can download our games and try them out for free for 30 days. The games are fully functional during that time. If you decide that you would like to keep playing beyond the 30 day trial period, you can order or "register" the game on our web site. After ordering you will receive a registration code that you can type into your trial version to turn it into the full version.
Shareware has many benefits for both users and software developers.
When you buy software in a retail store, all you have to go on is the pretty box. The pretty box tells you how great the software is. The pretty box tells you what the software does. The pretty box tells you how much you need the software. The pretty box tells you that you should take it home now!
So you buy the pretty box, take it home, install the software, and throw away the pretty box. And, as often as not, the pretty box lied to you. The software isn't that great. Or maybe it is great, but it doesn't do what you actually want.
Wouldn't you like to test drive that software before you bring that pretty box home? That's what shareware does. Shareware allows you to test the software out before you buy it. You'll know if the software does what you actually want. You can try out all the different products of a certain type and find which one you like best, then buy it.
It costs a lot of money to get into retail stores and get that pretty box on the shelf. Shareware provides a way for a developer to get their software out to people easily and cheaply. All it takes is a web site.
But even more than that, the biggest advantage shareware gives developers is direct contact with their customers. When you buy that pretty box in a store, the developers of the software don't know who you are. And usually there is no way for you to tell them who you are and no way for you to contact them. But with shareware, you can contact the developers directly. Often, you can contact the very person who wrote the software. (That's certainly the case with us, firstname.lastname@example.org goes straight to me).
The advantage of direct contact for both you, the user, and me, the developer, is tremendous. You get a quick response for any problem you have. The developer learns what the customers actually want. A shareware developer doesn't have to guess what customers want, the customers tell him.
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