November 20, 2002


I have noticed a trend recently towards something I will call "client-side-ware" for want of a better phrase.

There seems to be a strong resurgence in the old dot-com business plan idea of giving away some small piece of utility software for free in order to get widespread installation and deployment on a large number of user's machines.

There are many reasons why a vendor would want widespread deployment, from improved distributed data gathering (such as SPAM detection with SpamNet from Cloudmark ), to increased utility when two parties use the same software (like address book updates with Plaxo Contracts from Plaxo ), right through to the plain old increased volume of content idea like the old Napster P2P music sharing system.

All these software utilities provide value to their users, and they all require affirmative action to install and are quite open about what they do and how they work, so there is certainly no suggestion they should be lumped into the "spy-ware" category of software the industry was plagued with recently.
However, a cynic would say that nobody does this kind of stuff for purely altruistic reasons, and an article in Red Herring magazine recently makes interesting reading on the subject.

I don't think these will be the last examples we will see of "client-side-ware".

Entry categories: General
Posted by Jorgen Thelin at November 20, 2002 10:00 AM - [PermaLink]
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