Sunday, October 04, 2009

How NOT to sell software ...

Recently, I was looking for a good photo/picture editing program and a good video editing program ... since I don't own a Mac (yet) that comes with awesome software out of the box, and Microsoft's free picture and video editing tools are completely worthless (shocker!), I went looking to buy something.

I used to be a big Paint Shop Pro guy, so I of course went to see what they currently offered -- turns out that Corel now owns them and the software is called Corel Paint Shop Pro. Downloaded the trial version, and it was very similar to the older versions I knew well. Ok, found my photo/picture tool. I saw Corel had a video editing application called, Corel VideoStudio 12. Downloaded the trial, it wasn't bad either, and pretty easy to use. Ok, that was easy. On their webpage, I noticed they had some nice package deal for both applications for one-low price. Great! Let me buy it ... go to buy it, and of course, it won't let me buy it for the low-price because, and get this ... I'm not in the USA. I am then given a link to pick UK, EU, or some other countries. I picked the EU ... but of course, no nice package deal. Normal price but in euros instead of dollars -- in in short, the software would cost me almost two-times as much. WTF?!?

Now you'd think if I somebody were coming from say the Czech Republic or another former-Eastern Block country, the price might be ... and I'm going out on the limb here saying this ... at least the same? (cheaper would be crossing the line). In an area where software piracy is higher, wouldn't you want to entice people to use legal software by having a lower price (or at least equal) to fit the local's budget?

I know when I worked at a very popular software firm in the past, the price was publically the SAME for everybody -- in dollars. And when the dollar took a hit and got weak, ooh, well ... it was just that much cheaper for the rest of the world (the US was 50% of the market and Europe the other 50%). We even lowered the price on a case-by-case basis when people wrote to us from countries with much lower GDPs. Maybe that's why that company I worked for is still thriving, despite having fierce rivals backed by much larger corporations.

It's really no wonder why companies like Corel, who used to really be king of the hill, have just become standard.