I need to continue my post below before some evangelists in the security world judge me blindly. 🙂
I love Windows. Really, I do. Well, ok…I did love Windows. I loved Windows until they started doing that Genuine Advantage Crap. Suddenly half my test machines could no longer be reinstalled and wouldn’t get some updates. Microsoft is the biggest single reason I moved to Linux last year. Go figure.
Now, one of the reasons I use and have used Windows so much would be twofold: 1) It comes with new computers and has come with all computers I’ve bought (i.e. no perceived cost since I couldn’t easily avoid it). 2) I could pirate it and use it on my old and spare machines without necessarily paying for it. I would never condone this in a workplace, however, just for home personal use.
Lots of expensive software is out on the market with limited trials and big price tags that talk about things in terms of installation instances or numbers of managed devices. I hate that. I hate having the limitations (subconsious and real) of really cool software. And if I can’t use it at home and become intimately familiar and happy with it, why would I ever request my company spend money on it? Something would have to be drop-dead and immediately awesome to get that sort of request pushed through.
I wish more cool software was free to home users so that us geeks can become familiar with them and get them legitimately into the workplace.
Likewise, I have no clue how companies that sell an appliance to do certain things can really expect to get good market penetration without a lot of hard in-your-face sales work, and being able to get IT shops with time to spare to check out the appliance features. I’d much rather be able to get an appliance, even a stripped-down barebones POS running the software at home so that I can get really happy with it. A one-month trial is just lame for most of us already busy geeks, especially when such devices keep wanting to do everything and it takes 3 years just to realize how crappy it was underneath the surface.
Give me free junk to play with that works well, and I’ll speak highly of it to people I know, or my own company.
Ok, enough ranting on this topic. I had to get it out sometime!