General Question

eponymoushipster's avatar

Why don't companies give out prior versions of their software for free?

Asked by eponymoushipster (20242points) July 5th, 2009

Companies like Adobe, Microsoft, Apple – why not give out prior versions of their software for free once the next product cycle/version comes out? Yes, i know the default answer is: Because there’s no real difference between versions, there’s very little “new” in new versions of software. But, seriously, what do they have to lose?

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28 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

As you said, there is no real difference between successive versions of software. If they released older version for free, almost everyone would take the older, and almost identical, free version. and almost no one would buy the new version. Then they lose money.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Their sales would go down too much and that would hamper their ability to put out future quality products.

eponymoushipster's avatar

but wouldn’t it encourage them to actually produce something new? find some sort of innovation?

Tink's avatar

Maybe they are greedy, or money

Dog's avatar

@eponymoushipster Would they rather sell the fruits of their labor or labor on a new product? Hmmm Methinks they will choose make money now.

Also they would then not sell full versions- they would make less selling “Upgrades”

Ivan's avatar

How would they make money doing that?

MrItty's avatar

Because no one would buy the new version until the next new version came out. Would you buy Acme 2.0 for $500 now if you knew you could be content with Acme 1.0 for a year until you could get Acme 2.0 for free a year later when Acme 3.0 came out?

StellarAirman's avatar

They would also have to support all the free users of the product, or have a bunch of unhappy users of the free product claiming the company sucked because they didn’t give them free support for a free product, etc.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Why the fuck would you buy the new versions of anything ever?

i mean not that i actually pay for adobe and such now…but ya know if i were too…

eponymoushipster's avatar

@uberbatman well, that’s what i mean…

@StellarAirman perhaps they wouldn’t offer support for it.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Because software is like religion… it’s always changing and you have to pay the piper starting from lesson one.

StellarAirman's avatar

@eponymoushipster Like I said, people would then view the company badly for not offering support. Happens all the time even now when people release free software.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@StellarAirman i disagree. Linux is pretty bitchin and very free.

whatthefluther's avatar

If that applied to operating systems, I rather doubt we could find a single Vista owner/user. I’ve already preordered Windows 7. See ya….wtf

MrItty's avatar

@uberbatman the number of people who use Linux in comparison to the number of people who use computers in general is laughably small. It is 90% computer geeks that even known what Linux is, let alone install and use it. If Linux had to deal with a “real” user base that other software makers did, its model would not work even the tiniest amount.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@MrItty i dont know about that, ubuntu is pretty damn user friendly. I’ve put it on peoples computers who didnt know shit and they seemed to get by just fine. Granted they cant do most of what linux is capable of, but they are able to use it as they used windows.

MrItty's avatar

@uberbatman Key phrase there? “I’ve put it on peoples computers”. You had to do it for them. When was the last time the average computer user had to call you to install Office or Adobe?

El_Cadejo's avatar

@MrItty putting it on there is the same as putting windows on a computer. Insert cd, hit install.

eponymoushipster's avatar

Linux has very simple installers. as regards other open source, like GIMP, OpenOffice or similar, they also have extremely simple installers. I used to teach computer classes, one of which was using GIMP, and i had grannies installing GIMP on their own machines.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Actually now thinking of it, id say its easier to install programs on linux than it is on other operating systems. You only have to teach some one simple command line for terminal.

Sudo apt-get (insert program name)
Then linux goes off, finds it, and installs it on your computer for you.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@uberbatman how could that be easier than 46 dialog boxes asking for permission, where to put it, what to back up, etc?~

MrItty's avatar

@uberbatman so why did they need you to do it for them? Because, as you said, they were clueless. They are the “normal” computer-users, who know nothing about operating systems, and wouldn’t know what it means to install one to begin with. The fact that you installed a new OS for them does not make them a part of Linux’s user base.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@MrItty why not? Theyre part of windows user base and dont know shit about windows either let alone what an operating system even is.

MrItty's avatar

But Windows users specifically bought a computer with Windows installed. They made that conscious effort and they therefore have the expectation of “I have this version” and “I might upgrade when the next version comes out” and “I paid money therefore I deserve support”. The folks you installed Linux for don’t fall into the same category.

El_Cadejo's avatar

oh no MrItty im not even talking about that advanced of users. Im saying the “i have the pc machine thing” type of people.

MrItty's avatar

@uberbatman Honest to god, I can’t even remember what we’re debating at this point. I think we’ve gotten pretty far from the original question….

El_Cadejo's avatar

@MrItty i couldnt agree more lol. Nice talkin about random shit with ya sir :P

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