April already?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:32 09 Feb 07
Locked

Just got my new copy of PCA through the door, Postie has strugled through the last of the slush.

I know as I get older time passes that much faster but I never realised it was April already, I'm going to get my wrists slapped for forgetting a Valentine card and birthday yet again :0)

Not only confused by the date but also the wording on the top of the DVD "Full Version - Free trial".

Alright I know they are not going to give away Office 2007 for free, but am I the only one misled by such wording?

  anskyber 12:42 09 Feb 07

Well I do not want to jump on the bandwagon but I do understand your point. The silly date issue is for the terminally confused who will not buy a mag which says January or February on it, surely it must be old stock. It's a shelf life point.

On the DVD I think it would help if things were more clearly (honestly) labelled. I fully accept that for a mag with a very reasonable cover price (and it is reasonable) getting a DVD with hundreds of pounds worth of freebies is rather fanciful, not to say ludicrous. There are times however when things like "software to the value of £399 enclosed" are said. Naughty I think.

It's fine if the only way of getting the software was through the DVD but, for example, you can download a trial of Office 2007 and other such software from many places. Sometimes I think marketing can unwittingly insult the intelligence of others.

Now and again there are things on the DVD which I regard as a true bargain and credit to PCA for doing so.

  Kate B 12:58 09 Feb 07

I rather agree. I think it's misleading at the least to say that a covermounted DVD contains £xx-worth of software. It's disingenuous: software on covermounts tends to be old versions that then encourage you to upgrade. That's fine and a valid business model, but while version 3.0 of something might have had an RRP of £XX whenever it was launched a couple of years ago, it's clearly valueless now if it's being given away.

  RickyC :-) 13:08 09 Feb 07

The savings stated on the DVD artwork are calculated using the prices of the exact versions of software that we're giving away, as provided by the software developers themselves. We do not include trial software in any of these calculations. As you will be able to see, Serif PhotoPlus is a £60 product - the appropriate values for the remaining full free programs on the disc make it up to over £300 of software in total.

The reference to "Full version, free trial" with regard to Microsoft Office Professional 2007 was approved by Microsoft Corporation prior to the artwork being used.

regards

Richard
Cover Disc Editor

  ed-0 13:14 09 Feb 07

Richard

No offence, but it is one of the first things that goes into the bin.

I have only found one disk that was worth using, in all these years. That was windows SP2.

  RickyC :-) 13:23 09 Feb 07

No offence taken!

There are plenty of readers who do find software on the disc useful. Thousands of readers install the full programs, utilities from the editorial features and trial versions of software we've reviewed in the magazine. Then there are the games demos - many up to 1GB in size which some readers prefer not to download from the internet. Finally, let's not forget the helpline utilities.

regards

Richard

Cover Disc Editor

  Kate B 13:23 09 Feb 07

Likewise. I do look at the software on covermounts but rarely install anything. Game patches occasionally from the gaming magazines and the occasional game mod, but that's it. Has the covermount had its day? It would be interesting to do a forum poll on how much use people make of the covermounts.

It's a shame, in a way, as I think it's a useful marketing tool and particularly a good way for smaller developers to get their products in front of a new audience. But at the same time I think we're all aware that lots of programs that you install and then uninstall results in a clogged and slow-moving Windows, which is one of the reasons I rarely install anything from a covermount.

  anskyber 13:51 09 Feb 07

OK. But it is a fine line. To use the example you have used Serif PhotoPlus 8 is now out as version 11. As far as I am aware it is not possible to buy version 8 now.

The side of the coin you show me is, well if you are happy with an older version which does a very good job indeed you can have this version for free. It would have cost about £60 if you had bought it at the time.

Hmm. Well, out of date anything has a real value of significantly less than it's original price, if indeed it has any real value at all. so I agree with KateB, it's disingenuous. Please understand I expect nothing of significance for free at the price I pay for the mag, in fact nothing at all.

I just do not like marketing which is economical with the truth, and that is exactly what we have here.

  Forum Editor 13:57 09 Feb 07

How many people would buy the magazine if there wasn't a cover disk? The answer is we don't know, and it's a risky business finding out. I think that on the newstands people who are browsing are often tempted into buying a magazine, purely on the basis of what's on the cover disk. I've seen them in the stations and airports, and it's obvious that they are open to persuasion - they're hovering, and that tempting little application or encyclopaedia might just swing things in our favour.

  paul trotter 13:59 09 Feb 07

A large proportion of readers do value the cover disc. As Richard says, thousands of people install the programs we offer each month. Also, judging by the email we get, the cover disc content often helps convince people to buy one particular magazine over another. And let’s not forgot that not everyone has broadband (most do, but not all) and therefore cover discs can be the ideal way for readers to get content such as an Office 2007 trial. The combination of the trial and our feature provides a good package, I think.

With regards to the “Full version – free trial” wording, that’s exactly what the cover disc offers. We’ve been very clear that it’s a trial – other mags may have tried to hide the fact in the small print. Also, it was very important for us to get the message across that it is the full version, not the beta version that some mags included last year, and that it’s not restricted to just a few components of Office Professional.

  Kate B 14:32 09 Feb 07

What about doing a forum poll on them? I completely accept that they're a selling point for the magazines and I don't have a problem with that at all. But I do agree with anskyber about the general point. An old version of software that you can't buy any more - something that in effect is abandonware - has no value and shouldn't be described as being "worth £xxx".

Trial versions also by definition are valueless.

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