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Hi :)
Most products have numerous well-known competitors.

Normally an offer of a free trial-period is marketed to state that
after just a short time of using their product you will see how much
better it is than x, y, z because of a, b, c.  So they even name some
of their competition, drawing attention to the alternatives you could
try instead.

When MS offer a free trial it is not made clear that people could
choose an alternative.  The only option seems to be to either buy
their product or not use any word-processor or office programs.

There is no crap-shoot because none of the other choices are known.
It's not akin to the shareware idea at all!

However, I think people (incl me) have been too heated about this.
It's not the same as a drug-dealer giving a freebie to get someone
hooked.  People are not held hostage.  There is no immediate threat of
swift physical harm.  It is something similar to those ideas but even
native-English speakers can't find the more precise words.  Even if we
could it might not mean much to anyone else.  Everyone online has
probably seen hostage scenarios and/or the drug dealer scenario on
tele or at the movies (or online) so it's the easiest way of getting
the idea across.

Regards from
Tom :)

On 30 November 2013 00:20, Virgil Arrington <> wrote:
James wrote in response to John:

I didn't know we considered trialware "cunning".

They let people create & edit documents for a while and then hold them
hostage, until the users coughs up for MS Office.

I wouldn't consider it either cunning or holding people hostage to provide
them with a free trial of software that is otherwise only available for a
price. That, indeed, has been the essence of shareware -- try before you
buy. Anybody obtaining a trial version of MS-Office is clearly told that it
is a trial version; no cunning, no deception.

If you don't like it, don't buy it.

The creators of the shareware concept (I recall Bob Wallace of the PC-Write
days) realized that buying software is often a crap-shoot. You don't know
until after you've bought the program whether it will do what you need, or
whether you will appreciate the manner in which it does it. This is
especially important in the case of an office suite as users will tend to
use them on a daily basis, eventually becoming married to their program. MS
allows some users to try their program before making such a commitment.

For my part, on my last computer purchase, I received a free "starter"
version of MS-Office, with some limitations on features, but without any
limitation on time. I can use the starter version forever.

I'm no fan of MS, and I'm sure I don't fully understand all of its business
practices, but I truly hope that disdain for Redmond is not the primary
motivation for LO and other forms of FOSS. And, yet, it's a theme that
recurs on nearly every FOSS related forum I read.

IMHO, it's better to focus on what's good about LO than what's evil about



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