IT Employment

Should we pay for our zips?


I don't consider myself to be cheap with my money --- if I want something I'm willing to pay for it. That mentality explains the three computers, two PDAs, an iPod, LCD TV, 1,000 Music CDs, and hundreds of computer games in my library. However, I don't derive great pleasure from spending money and will avoid spending if possible.

This is the dilemma I found myself in this past month, when I considered the upgrade to my favorite zip application WinZip. I paid for a license for WinZip probably 10 years ago and have diligently upgraded to the latest version as they became available. WinZip was a familiar friend on my PC --- a piece of software I could count on to do its job without complaining. It was a comfort application. But then the folks at WinZip did something unfathomable, they demanded that I pay them more money to upgrade to version 10 of their software.

And while the incentive price was half what others were asked to pay, it still did not sit well. Not that the cost was exorbitant, it is quite reasonable, it is the fact that my license purchased way back when was what I considered to be "lifetime" license. The idea of paying again for the same software, like I was dealing with some big outfit like Microsoft or Apple, just never occurred to me.

With so many compression applications floating around, not to mention the fact that Windows XP comes with one built-in, it is just not possible for me to justify to myself the, measly though it is, $15 expense. Just yesterday, we ran a photo gallery of a compressing utility that is completely free to use, 7-Zip. I can find no reason to pay for the upgrade to WinZip and so another application staple on all my PCs is going away. I guess it is true what they say: The only constant in life is change.

What compression application do you use and would recommend I try?

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

5 comments
Sawan Gupta
Sawan Gupta

Although development comes at a price, but the software developers should not unreasonably price their software. I would recommend you to try ZipGenius (www.zipgenius.it) I was too a WinZip fan, but switched to ZipGenius 2 years back and I love it now.

mike_parr
mike_parr

I see your point of view, if u buy a lifetime licence it should be a lifetime, however, considering how useful Winzip was/is for you and your 'comfort-zone' statement, surely the measly $15 would be a way of saying thanks guys, keep up the good work? at least it ain't at MS levels for upgrades is it?

DMambo
DMambo

I run PowerArchiver 2001. It's simple, yet has a lot of features. I've never even considered upgrading because it does everything I need it to do.

ptarver
ptarver

If you want the company to remain in business for your "lifetime" and support the products you like for that "lifetime", then at some point, someone (you) will be asked to help them pay the light bill. In your own words, after your original purchase 10 years ago, you "diligently upgraded to the latest version as the became available." Just how do you think those latest versions become available? The Code Fairy? Do you really believe what you said in your post or are you just trying to be absurd? At some point, one or more programmers spent many hours in front of computers testing and re-testing those new features and components that were necessary to create a "comfort application" and yet you state that it is "unfathomable" that they would ask you for more money. Washing machines wear out. Cars wear out. Houses deteriorate. Everything needs to be replaced or upgraded from time to time. I'd like to be a fly on the wall when you go to Walmart next time and tell them that you'd like your antiperspirant refilled because when you made the purchase you assumed it was for a "lifetime license" to use the product and now you want a free refill. Grow up. As a programmer who writes custom software and publishes some software for vertical markets, I'm offended by the suggestion that a purchase you made 10 years ago is relevent to a product that is not the same product you purchased 10 years ago. If I were Winzip I would send you a 5.25" floppy installation diskette of the same version of their software that you bought 10 years ago and thank you for your purchase. In the interest of fair play, I would like to say that for many years, I used the evaluation version of Winzip, but in recent years I have come to understand the relationship between me and the company that produces the software that I use on a daily basis and recognize that I need contribute to the companies that contribute to my happy computer existence.

normljones
normljones

It may be an old dinosaur but I still use P-K unzip, works every time. Norm