Sad

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Ed_P, May 10, 2010.

  1. Ed_P

    Ed_P Well-Known Member

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    Gad, I miss the old days when this was an active forum and we would come here and help each other resolve problems and develop skins for WW. Everything was free, the software, and the support. We had some good times here.

    :sad:
     
  2. Boofo

    Boofo Well-Known Member

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    Things will pick up again when Mike releases the new Weather Underground version, I'm sure.
     
  3. Hunz

    Hunz Well-Known Member

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    Not so sure. Time was when Ed's post would have been responded to in a matter of minutes. Now It seems to be lucky to have any replies after a month has past.

    Prediction: Weather Underground is not going to save things. It was first promised well over a year ago, it is too late. Now it's going to cost twice as much as the one I didn't want to pay for in the first place, too much.

    Mike has made some bad decisions and he hasn't learned from his mistakes. The first major bad move I remember was the bundling of adware in the original WW. Next, going to Weather Bug left too many people without a good source for weather info. Plus, many of us got burned by the Weather Cockroach many many years ago and the idea of our beloved WW being associated with that source just didn't appeal to us. However, dumping the free version and trying to force everyone to buy a WWL subscription was the killer move. Mike can't pretend he's Microsoft. There are just too many free (and GOOD) alternatives available to command the premium $$ for Weather Watcher Live no matter how good some people say it is. I only come around once every 2 or 3 months now to remind myself that there's no hope.

    BTW: The last free version of WW (v 5.6.53, still findable if you know how to look for it) is still going strong and running well on my Windows 7 system, but I've found that I get all the weather information I need via other sources for free. If and when the original WW stops working, I won't look back.
     
  4. Boofo

    Boofo Well-Known Member

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    But you also can't expect Mike to keep having to pay out for the weather on his own. He has invested quote a lot of time and money into this project and I don't see why everyone is making such a fuss about the pittance Mike is asking for registrations. Where Mike messed up was not charging for this a long time ago and spoiling everyone by keeping it free for as long as he did. If there are those that refuse to license the program and want to move on to the other free alternatives, then so be it. They will only be shooting themselves in the foot by having to put up with ads, or whatever else, until those free one decide to start charging in the future, also. That is the way the net is headed so don't expect everything to be free forever.
     
  5. msinger

    msinger Administrator
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    Hunz, since we're sharing, here are a few other things I learned:

    - The Weather Channel is not a happy camper when you give their data away to hundreds of thousands of people for free.

    - The best weather companies will not allow me to give their data away for free.

    - Giving away free weather software is very expensive -- money-wise and time-wise.

    - A lot of people don't mind paying for software if you charge a fair price.
     
  6. Hunz

    Hunz Well-Known Member

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    Weather Pulse, still actively developed, still provides Weather Channel's information in a freeware application, ad free, to hundreds of thousands of people.

    Weather Bug simply does not provide any better (in fact it's usually worse) up to date information (adware version or otherwise) for many many locations than Weather Channel.

    Weather Underground's data feed is available through any web browser, ad free, via the iGoogle weather gadget.

    For that matter, with certain extensions installed, you can go straight to Weather Underground's site and still not get hit with any ads. If you don't block the ads, what you DO get hit with is still nothing compared to what you will get if you open some of the standard maps in WWL.

    Severe Weather Alerts can be obtained from quite a few sources for no charge and no ads.

    WWL may be a little prettier but for many of us, the fee you want to charge for its use is just not worth it. Especially now that you want to increase the fee because it will be able to pull info from either Weather Bug or Weather Underground. Isn't it still only one source at a time?

    It's too little, too late, and too much $$. I believe Ed's point and mine is that your tactics have manged to alienate many of the people who used to be your strongest supporters. You may have gotten quite a good number of people to actually pay you subscription fees, but I feel confident in saying that your paying user base is only a small fraction of what your freeware user base once was. I still have the old WW installed and it still works, but I hardly ever look at it anymore. I've found other sources; I've moved on. I'm done playing this game. I really don't expect anyone (that's really still here) to listen. Perhaps you (or more likely Boofo) will say "good riddance." Whatever. I don't care. Bye.
     
  7. Boofo

    Boofo Well-Known Member

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    I disagree as I think Mike's strongest supporters are the one who stuck around and realize that he has invested a lot of time and money already into the program and deserves some recuperation. And WWL will only get better as time gores on and Mike adds the things he wants to add to it. Sooner or later, the other Weather programs are going to start charging, too, you can almost bet on it. The online newspapers are heading that way now. Then you will see that the pittance Mike charges now is nothing compared to what the others will be charging. I'd rather stick with a sure-fire winner than take my chances on what the others might end up doing. Just my 3 1/2 cents worth.
     
  8. msinger

    msinger Administrator
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    Hunz, I'm not so sure that Weather Pulse has hundreds of thousands of users. I suppose if they ever do hit such a number, either The Weather Channel will force them to stop using their weather data or they will stop offering the software because they are not able to handle that many non-paying supporters.

    I think many people use WeatherBug's software because they like their real-time current conditions. Most weather companies do not offer that type of data. They have been in business for many years, so they must really have many users located near their weather stations.

    Almost every weather company offers their data for free via a website. Websites do not compete with the power of desktop software. I guess that's why most of those same companies also sell desktop software.

    I also offer free, ad-free weather extensions.

    Weather Watcher Live for Chrome:
    https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/migekhbneabjkfadmgpimohcoclbbcfp

    Weather Watcher Live for Firefox:
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/11194

    My paying user base is in fact much smaller than my freeware user base. That's great for me though. I now have enough revenue to cover my expenses. If the number of users was all that mattered, I suppose Microsoft, Apple, etc. would be giving away all of their software for free.

    The only point you are making is that you and hundreds of thousands of other people like to use free sources of weather data. That is certainly a valid point. Fortunately for me, the small group of people who want to pay for desktop software is large enough to support products like Weather Watcher Live.
     
  9. Ed_P

    Ed_P Well-Known Member

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    Wow!! This thread has been active.

    They are even less happy when you propose charging for an app that uses their data.

    AFAIK They never complained about your app or Weather Pulse until such time as you approached them about making your app fee based. Your WW app has been around a long time and had hundreds of thousands of downloads, certainly TWC could measure the usage on their servers. And if it was a major concern of theirs they would have a) sued you out of existence and b) tweaked their data stream such that you app no longer worked. They did neither.

    I think there was a misunderstanding between you and TWC when you talked to them.

    I'm sure that is true. And if just 10% of the hundreds of thousands of users of WW are paying you the $9/yr subscription you're doing very well. :thumbright:

    Well the only supporter I see around here since WWL went fee based is you. :lol: And you weren't here in the early days when this was very active and fun forum.

    I totally disagree. Too many free apps constantly being developed.

    Newspapers are a dieing entity both in print and online. They charge because they are desperate for money but there are too many free alternatives. One by one they will all go away. People got tired of paying for something they saw for free on TV the night before or read on the 'net the day before and feed up with all the ads for the little news they got. People woke up to the fact they were paying to have ads delivered more so than news. Newspapers' thought they had the perfect business model, make money selling ads and more money making people pay to have them delivered. The bubble has burst, subscribers are leaving in droves and so too are the advertizers.

    A business model similar to PortableApps.com would have cut your expenses. Their apps are free and they are growing!!

    And how does poor Mozilla survive with their free apps? Do you think they will switch to charging for them too?

    And Open Office?

    etc

    I hope the wealth is treating you well Mike.
     
  10. Boofo

    Boofo Well-Known Member

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    I think the really sad things is there are still those that think they should get everything for free no matter what the cost to someone else. No, I wasn't around in the real early days as I didn't even know WWL existed back then. It's the best weather program out there and worth every cent of Mike's asking price. What you are failing to realize is all the time and money Mike has been putting into this program since the early days of when he was doing it all for free. It was bound to catch up to him sooner or later.

    Yes, free apps are constantly being developed, but how many of them stay free forever, and how many of them eventually go to paid app status when they get enough followers?

    Mozilla and Portablepps are a whole different business model. I'm sure they have more than one guy doing all the work and paying out of his own pocket for expenses.

    Your argument doesn't hold any water as it is the same argument that has been going on forever since free apps stopped being free. Everyone epects the authors to carry the load and not see anything in return unless it doesn't affect the user in any way. The "Gimme" attitude gets real tiring these days, sorry.
     
  11. RobertD_CT

    RobertD_CT Member

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    That's incorrect.
    I have the very last free version of WWL (not WW) which is 6.0.35
    I remember Mike posting that final free version here on this board somewhere and I grabbed it.

    I can also see the newest release of this program is still not better than the one I have. Version 6.0.35 has everything I want to have in a weather related program. You can even add maps, which I have done.

    Here's a radar loop link that I added to WWL:

    http://www.intellicast.com/Local/WxMap.aspx

    Just use your mouse's pointer and scroll button to zoom in anywhere on the national map. This is the best doplar radar map I've seen yet.

    Now back on topic..
    I can understand the economy in this country sucks and is probably why Mike started to charge a fee for this program. Unfortunately, his lifetime fee for Weather Watcher Live is way too much for the asking. I think a simple $10 for lifetime updates would have netted him much more for income on this program considering the competition out there for weather related programs, most of which are free. That's right Mike, a quicker nickel is better than a slower dime. And when you say lifetime, who's lifetime are we talking about here? When you decide to stop developing this program do to lack of interest or whatever circumstance, it dies out.

    BTW, I totally agree with what ED and Hunz said above.

    Whatever. I'm happy with the one I have so it doesn't make a difference what you do with this WWL program or what you charge.
     
  12. msinger

    msinger Administrator
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    A single $10 fee sounds nice, but it would never cover my costs. As I pointed out above, there are enough people who are interested in supporting my software at the reasonable prices I'm charging, so I'm not sure which problem lowering the price would solve.

    My software is not in competition with free weather programs. Here are some of the products I'm competing with:

    Desktop Weather Pro ($29.95 per year)
    Weather1 ($19.95 per year)
    WeatherBug Pro ($19.95 per year)


    It's the lifetime of the software. Considering the cost of the products I'm competing with, you would certainly get your money's worth if Weather Watcher Live is around for even two more years. That's a safe bet since I've been writing weather software since 1997.


    I totally agree with a lot of the things they said too.
     
  13. Ed_P

    Ed_P Well-Known Member

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    True, but lately you've been known to suddenly drop support for products you've created. :razz:
     
  14. msinger

    msinger Administrator
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  15. Ed_P

    Ed_P Well-Known Member

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  16. msinger

    msinger Administrator
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    EdP, if you know so much more about providing free weather software than I do, then why don't you try it yourself? I mean, come on, it must be super easy... just like all of those articles you read on the Internet from people who have never tried what they are preaching. Go on... put all of your negative energy to some good use :icon_smile:
     
  17. Boofo

    Boofo Well-Known Member

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    A one-man team supplying everything is way different from a major corporation that has other paid apps to carry the load. That has got to be the most lop-sided argument I have seen you post yet.
     
  18. whatever

    whatever Well-Known Member

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    I bought a lifetime license for WWL. I've tried all the others (including Weather Pulse), and they all suck for one reason or another. I've found a couple that are almost usable, but there has always been something missing, or something wrong (lack of hourly forecast displays, inability to specify the update interval, aggravating bugs, you name it).

    As far as The Weather Channel goes, you can keep it. I get as much of my weather info from NOAA because I've found it to be the most trustworthy. (I don't like my nearby WeatherBug station, either. Its temp readings are often wrong by up to 7F! Actually, one time it was off by 33F... Mike knows about that one. :icon_smile: ) I guess that may vary by location.

    The most important thing to me is author responsiveness. When I find a problem with Weather Pulse (which, given what a piece of shit it is, takes all of 8 seconds or so after installation), my queries go ignored. When I have a problem with WWL, Mike responds rapidly and always addresses the issue.

    It's not that "the best apps are free", it's that people are often incredibly biased toward them. Some people--many people--will go through hell just to avoid paying for software. If they have to spend hours editing the configuration of some digital turd with Notepad, then hunt down four dozen solutions to a variety of obscure problems, they'll still rave their fingers off about it. I guess these people put no value on their own time and effort. Most of these people are idiots who wouldn't know a bug if it crawled into their ass and died.