HyperText Markup Language, or HTML, was written and developed in 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee. Since then, there have been numerous variations on the language, but the idea remains, essentially, the same. It is a markup language that utilizes tags to describe document content with the document being a webpage. It is both a powerful and simplistic language that can define the look of a site. (more…)
Software patent litigation presents complex issues for attorneys and companies to resolve. One of the leading issues involved in software patent disputes is that of patent infringement. Those who invent software programs aim to protect their inventions through patents. Holding a patent on an invention means that no one else may copy or profit from that invention.
Issues can also arise when individuals secure a patent that is overly broad for their software inventions. An overly broad patent may be invalid, and a court may decide not to uphold it.
Types of Claims in Software Patent Lawsuits
Courts typically defer to leading case precedent to determine the outcome of software patent lawsuits. Individuals may file claims under leading case precedent for software patent cases, such as a Beauregard claim. A Beauregard claim stems from the case of In re Beauregard, 53 F.3d 1583 (Fed. Cir. 1995). A Beauregard claim is asserted to prove that a manufacturer or seller of computer media, such as DVDs or CDs, is a direct infringer of a patent. (more…)
Developed software is released for public use in several different ways. Depending on its intended use by commercial entities or individuals, the creator of a software program may choose to license it for resale, offer it to the masses for free, or advertise it as an add-on feature for existing applications. Commercial-off-the-shelf software – usually abbreviated as COTS – specifically refers to software programs that are ready for immediate use. These products are generally made available for commercial use through a licensing agreement.
Most of the COTS-based software systems are created to be compatible with the commonly used operating systems such as Windows, Linux, or Mac. These programs include filing systems, memory management, game engines, graphic designs, smartphone apps, and special drivers for monitors and printers. (more…)
Ask anyone who’s made any type of real money online how easy it is to earn a living from software, and you’ll hear all sorts of answers from all sorts of experiences. On one end of the spectrum, people will claim it’s as simple as coding a program and then uploading it to a few popular software libraries. On the other end, people say it’s next to impossible and that the market is already saturated.
One thing is clear no matter what end of the spectrum you’re on, and that is making money online as a software developer is definitely doable. Success depends on a number of things ranging from the software’s quality and timeliness to networking opportunities and sufficient funding. Here are a few recommendations that can help anyone at any stage of promotion.
Follow Traditional Methods
Just because a strategy is tried and true, it doesn’t mean it’s no longer applicable. So devote a week to uploading your software to each significant online software library. You’ll want to keep a database of the sites that accept your submission so that you can visit them later and record the number of downloads that your software receives. That’s important for establishing a download-to-sales conversion ratio.
You’ll also want to check out the promotional opportunities at these sites since many of them offer low-cost alternatives to AdWords and other similar advertising institutions.
Sell the Software with Different Capabilities
One question that developers always ask is, “How should I price my software?” They fear a low price will make their software look cheap and unworthy, while a high price won’t be affordable and cut out a significant portion of the market. That’s why some developers offer a single software product in differentiated versions.
A version containing the minimum amount of features, for example, is typically priced very low, while a version with the maximum amount of features is priced high. Between those two versions is a version containing an average number of features, and it’s priced somewhere between the low-feature version and the high-feature version.
Each version may even have its own label such as “Bronze” for the minimal version, “Gold” for the extensive version, and “Silver” for the version between those two. The idea here is to create a product that customers from every economic level can buy.
Sell Explicit Functions While Keeping the Main Program Free
You’ll see this strategy commonly applied to open source software, where the main software product is freely available and its add-ons are sold individually. Through this strategy, you can gain a huge audience with the freebie and then make an income with additional functions and/or features appended as external plug-ins or data-packs.
You can even charge for support. Support isn’t an add-on or plug-in, however, it is an external component of software that can generate income via documentation in either electronic or book format, phone consultation, and more.
Make it a Web-Enabled, Subscription-Based Product
If you’re familiar with SaaS, or Software as a Service, then you’re familiar with subscription-based software. Subscription-based software charges for access to certain features or data. Microsoft’s latest Office software, Office 360, is an example, although access is granted to the entire suite rather than specific parts of the suite.
One major factor underlying SaaS’s success is its platform. SaaS is web-based software, ultimately granting any device that accesses the web the same access to its core functions. This access is important because it widens the market while other types of software are exclusive to the platforms they were built for (Windows, Mac, iPad, etc.) According to a Gartner Group estimate, SaaS sales reached into the billions just four years ago, so this isn’t a strategy to dismiss.
If you’re struggling with selling software online, then maybe one of the strategies above will help. Making money online can be hard no matter what you’re selling, however, if you take the time to devise a plan as diligently as you wrote your software, you’re sure to enjoy financial successful sooner or later.
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