Charging for new version?

Discussion in 'Weather Watcher - Help' started by rdunton, Aug 6, 2009.

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  1. rdunton

    rdunton New Member

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    I specifically registered to make this post and express my disapproval
    :sad: :???: over the current thought to charge for everything when the economy is so bad and many people are having a hard time to make ends meet.

    Today WWL told me that there was a new version. I went to the site to find out that it is no longer freeware. Why is it now that many people are having a hard time making ends meet in this terrible economy many companies feel the need to start charging for stuff that was FREE? [-X If we had a great economy and people didn't have a hard time finding work, that would be a much better time to start charging. In my opinion, it is a very bad time for companies to start charging for content and software now that was FREE before. Its not just WWL that is no longer freeware, but Murdoch's News Corp. companies plan on charging. People are having a hard enough time getting by now. This is a horrible time to start charging people for something that has been free for a very long time now.
     
  2. msinger

    msinger Administrator
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    Nothing in life is free. If you're getting something for free, then someone else is paying for it. At the least, I know this is true for free software -- it certainly does not write, maintain and support itself for free :icon_smile:

    It's not my goal to force people to upgrade to the latest Weather Watcher Live release. You can still use old releases as-is. If you choose to go that route, you will not be able to take advantage of the latest features.

    http://www.SingersCreations.com/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=67&t=3000
     
  3. biggles150

    biggles150 Well-Known Member

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    rdunton...Would you work your nuts off for free? I doubt it, I have contributed a small amount to Mike for his efforts, and am prepared to continue to do so in the future, open your wallet and help the man out for an excellent piece of software.
     
  4. RobertD_CT

    RobertD_CT Member

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    Mike, it already has enough features.

    WWL is a good program but what I strongly protest is the annual fee you are asking. I might bite if it was a one-time fee with free updates like most shareware programs are. This is really a sad move on your part. :sad:

    Schools of thought about this:
    Yes, I will never upate/upgrade WWL program again.
    I can go to weather.com and bookmark the site.
    Vista and Windows 7 already have free WeatherBug plug-in for the side bar.
     
  5. msinger

    msinger Administrator
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    The yearly subscription price covers the cost of software support, maintenance, new features, and all of the services and man power that are needed to deliver the weather data to you. Those are all services that cannot be delivered for free.

    Hmm... you don't work for free, do you?
     
  6. zeonite

    zeonite New Member

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    I too have to express my disappointment in Mike's decision.

    I'm not going to get into all the arguments about all the hard work that goes into this, I just find it disappointing that Mike has made the decision to start charging.
     
  7. Maaz

    Maaz Active Member

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    I don't have a problem with him charging for the product. In fact, I downloaded and registered it today. However, it came as a surprise that such a minor upgrade would have a charge. I would have expected this either in the initial release of WWL a year or two ago or the next major upgrade (ie WWL 7.0). At least this is better than the adware you once tried to install with the software a few years ago. Now that you're charging for it, maybe get rid of the Ask toolbar too? I realize it no longer contains adware or spyware, but because of their past reputation, I will never install it. Plus it's easy to accidently install and the toolbar is pretty useless anyway if you use better solutions by Google or Microsoft.

    I donated in the past for WW but hadn't had a change to do so for WWL so I guess this will do instead. The annual subscription fee is a bit odd. I would have preferred if you charged a flat fee which covered all minor upgrades. A major upgrade could have an upgrade fee.

    Maaz
     
  8. davel

    davel New Member

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    Well I signed up too after all this.. at first it was like wow, why?

    But ya know $10 is not really all that bad.

    Mike I have seen 9.95 and 19.95, is 9.95 just a special or will it finally be 19.95?

    My company that I work for is dealing with a an increase from $30K for a site lic to next year $64K, true the scope is different but we really don't bug the company for support that often.

    As a testament to WWL, I have used various forms of Mike's software for several years now and a small fee for continued development is OK by me. Basically, I see it like this, if you can do better do it yourself and give it away for free. I can't, nor do I really want to. I'm taking one hour of my yearly pay for something I used almost everyday.

    version 6.1.01 registered
     
  9. msinger

    msinger Administrator
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    Sure, you could use those options. Neither of them are equivalent to the features of Weather Watcher Live though. I realize everyone does not need a desktop weather application, so use what works for you.


    Disappointed? I'm not sure I follow. Do you expect that most people are able to provide such services for free?


    The 6.1.01 was primarily released to put the registration system in place.


    The yearly subscription fee will be used to cover the many costs that are involved in supporting, maintaining, and improving the product, as well as maintaining and delivering the weather content.


    I dropped the subscription down to $9.95 to hopefully allow more people to join in. $19.95 is lower or equal to comparable weather software products, but it seemed to be a price point that was causing more trouble than it was worth. My goal is to write useful software... not haggle over prices.
     
  10. craigg75

    craigg75 New Member

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    Yeah same here, real disappointed with the author of this software with his decision to charge. He's got to remember, weather apps are a dime a dozen out there. They even come free with new versions of Windows. WWL is clearly a bloated app, it's got way too many features to navigate through. I for one did not welcome all this pizazz when it was added in. No I will not pay for an upgrade. If anything I'm going to search the freeware sites for a simple weather app.
     
  11. msinger

    msinger Administrator
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    craigg75, you're right, Weather Watcher Live is not for everyone. Some people just want to use a simple weather application that has simple features. As for the quality and level of support, I'm not so sure that they'll be the same.

    As for not charging, I like where you are going with this. Can you contact Dell, my cable company, my electric company, etc. and let them know I should be able to use their services and products for free? I mean, come on, why should I have to pay for such things? They don't need to pay their employees to deliver those services, and they certainly should not be charging for them.

    Okay... back to reality now. Weather data is not collected and maintained for free. Software is not developed, supported, and maintained for free. Computers, software, services, etc. needed to write software are not free. Maybe I am missing the boat somewhere, but I think I see a pattern here.
     
  12. craigg75

    craigg75 New Member

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    I'm not saying all things should be free. I'm not sure if I share the opinions of other disappointed users but hey man you gave this away for free for a long time. It didn't seem to put you in the poor house. Hey you can do what you want with your software, charge all you want. But don't compare yourself to Dell and the utility companies, because you're just one guy that enjoys writing software like myself and this was obviously a hobby of yours that you've decided to try and turn a dime on now. Like I said that's fine, but we the users can still be disappointed in your change of heart. My experience in the industry is to continue with a free version (whether ad supported or with a reduced feature set) and offer a "professional" or "plus" pay version with all the added goodies. I think that direction would have went down a lot better with your user base. Instead we have to pay or continue with an old version that will not be supported in the future. Not much of a choice really. Can you see the disappointment now?
     
  13. breadtrk

    breadtrk Member

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    You have the answer for all the folks that can't or won't progress.

    The last free version is still very free. The new version is now called "Pro" and it costs.

    Just add Pro to the name Mike. That seems to be what they want to be satisfied.
     
  14. msinger

    msinger Administrator
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    craigg75, my goal is to improve my products, create new products... better products. These are goals that require revenue to achieve. If you're looking to use a free product, limited features, and an interface that is filled with ads, then you are free to do that. That's not something I'm willing to create though.

    As for Dell and the utility companies, I was referring to the services that I use to create my software and run my business. As more people use my software, my website, etc., the expenses increase. Weather data is certainly not free either (hence the death of Weather Watcher).

    Your idea of creating a product with a limited feature set is a fine idea. The only problem is that nothing was ever limited in my software. Removing a ton of functionality and releasing a subpar version of Weather Watcher Live is not something I want to do, nor is it something you would enjoy using.

    @breadtrk, you got it. Those people who do not want to partake can continue to use the freeware versions of my software as-is.
     
  15. whatever

    whatever Well-Known Member

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    Wow. I can't get over the unbridled ARROGANCE I'm seeing here. I mean, I expected it, and I've seen it many times before, because I've been around a long time and I've seen the same thing repeat itself over and over, whenever a freeware license changes. It just happened recently with Jeremy Collake's Process Lasso utility.

    You have to separate "what is unfortunate" with "what should be". I can understand not being happy that new WWL versions will no longer be free, but your displeasure does not mean that you deserve lifetime free upgrades. Your sense of entitlement disgusts me.

    If someone goes out of their way to do you a favor for an extended period of time, does that mean they're obligated to continue doing it forever? Does doing something nice, for free, enslave someone to the task? Does it grace you with entitlement?

    Try, just honestly TRY to put aside the feeling that "This #!%$&@ in the forum is really pissing me off!" and just honestly think about it. Mike giving you software for free all this time does not commit Mike to giving his software away for free for as long as it exists.

    For my own part, I'll buy WWL if/when my ZIP code problems are corrected. I'd also prefer to pay a larger "lifetime" fee, as I've seen mentioned here and elsewhere.

    I won't be reading follow-up posts (what's the point?), and I don't accept emails or PMs.
     
  16. johngalt

    johngalt Well-Known Member

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    The funny thing is, I wonder how many of these people that are lamenting Mike's decision to charge really think he was 'giving' it away for free?

    For those of us who have been using his software for a lot longer than WWL was ever around, we have seen Mike 1) Partner with a *cough cough* content delivery system, wasn't it? That drew a *lot* of criticism from all sorts of people, and then the whole Ask toolbar thing that it does now (and I don't care what anyone says either - I work in the security industry, and Ask is still shady - With FoxitPro PDF, for example, using the default installer, even if you uncheck the tool bar it still installs - and it still phones home with collated data on your searching habits - so no Ask for me) and now he is out right charging for it.

    Cry me a river, please. I mean, it is absolutely hilarious to see that on one hand one person says that in a bad economy companies should not charge users for what was once free (which is wrong on so many levels - one, Mike is not a company, two, does everyone think that Mike has magically escaped the economical woes that everyone else is experiencing? and three, has anyone ever taken into account not only the software costs (development software is not free, contrary to popular belief - go out and buy Visual Studio Pro 2008, please and donate it to Mike if you want to complain) and neither is new computer hardware (again, contrary to popular belief, even building your own machines costs money - let's face it - stuff off freecycle ain't gonna be the newest kids on the block) and bandwidth is most definitely not free. Mike has to pay for the domain name, pay for the bandwidth, ad spend a lot of time and energy just answering posts and checking logs and such to prevent / catch intruders. Then, there is the constant collation of data as he s testing builds - he has to get live data from somewhere, right?

    On the other hand, other users are saying that Mike should not be charging a subscription fee. Well, that is his choice to do so - I would have preferred a one time fee, and in its absence would have preferred a fee per major upgrade version, but Mike is doing as he sees fit. None of us have had to foot the bills that Mike does - we don't know what he needs and what he wants. Perhaps he thinks that only 5 people will pay for the software, but that is $50 that he desperately needs.

    To the person calling the software bloated - dude, you need your head examined. You contradicted yourself so many times my head is still spinning...if it is bloated, why are you using it? If you are still using it, you must not think it is so bloated (1). If you are not using it, why are you in here stirring up trouble posting about Mike charging for it? (2) If Mike gave it away for free for a long time, then you must not know of Mike's partnering with Ask, and before that another (unnamed) company to help generate revenue (3). Besides, WW, now defunct, is defunct, as Mike said, for a reason....

    As for continuing with a free version (with ad supported) - yeah, that will sell well. I'd rather no ads period. Most security professionals would agree - screw the ads. As for a free version - there is one the last 6.0.35 WWL - it is there and free for you and everyone else to use.

    Mike - thank you! I am happy that this time there is no third party partnering and no advertisements. Now, one request - at least for the folks that pay, and especially those that pay up front prior to installing - would you mind making an Ask-free version? So, if I were toe register the DL link would be redirected to a private no-Ask build?
     
  17. msinger

    msinger Administrator
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    That's a fair request. I host my downloads at box.net, and I know that won't work for everyone. I don't have enough bandwidth to host files directly at SingersCreations.com.
     
  18. johngalt

    johngalt Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Mike...
     
  19. Boofo

    Boofo Well-Known Member

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    You guys all crack me up! LOL

    The one thing everyone seems to be forgetting is that Mike's support for his software is by far some of the best support I have ever encountered with ANY software. He is constantly upgrading and fixing things and is always just an email or forum post away. That in itself is worth the registration fee, even when he had it at 19.95 (although 9.95 is more realistic with the economy in the toilet at present. Smart move there, Mike. ;-) ). There are companies that just charge for support that aren't even close to what Mike is doing. And there is no way anyone can tell me that you will find a better or more comprehensive Weather program anywhere that will even come close the WWL at the price Mike is asking. He has the pay for the weather info so why should we all sit back and enjoy it without contributing anything? And, if I understand it right, it is a recurring fee for him so a one time fee from any of use isn't going to keep the info train running forever.

    I applaud Mike for being reasonable in his final pricing and think he has hit upon a price that is neither insulting to him or too far out of reach for anyone who wants to run the best damned weather program available anywhere today. I told Mike a while back he should be charging for this program. I'm surprised it took him this long to do it.
     
  20. Manymosi

    Manymosi Well-Known Member

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    So this is all YOUR fault, Boofo!!!!!





    Just kidding - I totally agree with your post.
     
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