I always wondered what software companies do with older versions of their
products. For example, Microsoft do not sell Windows 3.11 anymore, but
someone might still want to have it. And to have it legally. He cannot just
copy it from the friend, because it is piracy, and he cannot buy it from
Microsoft. What would he do, if he does not need XP or Win2K or even Win95?
Some companies, like Borland, give away some stuff for free, like BCC 3.0
with no obligations whatsoever. But it is still not sufficient, why would
not they give away the whole BCW 3.1 or Delphi 1? They do not suppose to get
any revenue from selling these products anyway, why just not give them away
or sell very cheaply, like they sell old games?
The same goes with IDEA. What do you guys think about selling 2.5 very cheap
or even giving it away for free? Or about discounting 3.0 after 4.0 will be
rolled out? Of course there is a threat that someone might be just happy
with the cheap old version and will not buy new and expensive one. But he
would not buy it anyway, because it is so expencive! And maybe later he or
she would upgrade to the newer version, and it will be easier, because he
would not need to shell out big bucks right away, but will do it gradually.
Also, he might earn some money for the new and fancy version doing some
payable development using the old and cheap one ;)
Another problem is support, but the old stuff has to be pretty stable one
with enough docs and howtos. And if it were so buggy that the newer version
was really needed, then it would be just a shame to charge for an old one.
Consider this. Right now 3.0 goes for $500. There are a lot of folks who
cannot afford or just do not feel like paying half a grand for the software.
But if they are happy with older version, they could have 2.5 for, say, a
100. Or even for free. Then, getting into it and earning some good cash
doing development, they would upgrade to 3.0 using some relaxed upgrade
plan, like for another 100. Thus, they would get 3.0 for 200. There may be a
condition, that "relaxed upgrade" cannot be made in less than 6 months or a
year after purchasing "cheap and old version". Thus those who need modern
tools will not have a craving to buy old and then immediately upgrade
Anyway, I think there could be a lot of choices selling old software and
upgrading to newer stuff without hurting major income cow: the last and the