Shareware: Mission Complete

2 minutes

Back in 1987, a group of independent software professionals created the Association of Shareware Professionals (ASP), with the mission of promoting the shareware marketing model and achieve a standard in the shareware industry that everybody could rely on.

Looking back at what they did, it’s obvious that they fully accomplished their mission: the “try before you buy” model is standard marketing for software.  The term “shareware” is free to use by everybody because of their efforts to protect it against trademark registration (just like SEO is free for all because of Rhea of Outspoken). The early American laws affecting software vendors have taken into consideration their say about it and correctly represented shareware vendors.

ASP contributed decisively to the development of the software industry by protecting/promoting the rights and responsibilities of programmers and consumers alike.

So, not only did they accomplish the ASP’s initial mission, but they also did it in much less than a life time. After the early struggling days back in the ’80s, they fully enjoyed the peak of their success (some of them – Button, Fluegelman and Wallace – becoming millionaires out of it) and they even got to see the term deprecated mainly by vendors exploiting the term’s popularity.

So it was about time to officially state their new mission and role in the software business as we know it today. That is why a few days ago they officially changed ASP’s name to Association of Software Professionals. We at Avangate fully support this decision, take pride in Adriana‘s participation to this change and encourage her to continue her work as an ASP’s board director.  To quote their press release:

Shareware is a marketing method. ASP’s members develop and market software. And the ASP will be called the Association of Software Professionals as it moves into the future.

The try before you buy model will live on, I’m sure of it. But given the large amount of software development platforms and the variations of trial marketing out there as we speak, it’s only normal to bury a few terms from time to time. And shareware was surely one of it :).

What is in your opinion the next marketing model for software that will turn us into millionaires next:)?

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