We’re Not in the Business of Understanding our User

A few years ago I wrote about sometimes your product is useful to people in ways you didn’t know—and that you’d be smart to recognise that and capitalize on itn (What Your Product Does You Might Not Know About, 2007). One of the examples I cited was ZoneAlarm, a very popular firewall that was bought …

Continue reading ‘We’re Not in the Business of Understanding our User’ »

Playing the Software Pirates at Their Own Game

In the last post I prattled on about how Microsoft et al didn’t get it when it comes to dealing with piracy. So what should they do? I don’t know what the answer is, but I’d like to see a more creative approach. After all, these pirates have an extraordinary delivery mechanism that is much …

Continue reading ‘Playing the Software Pirates at Their Own Game’ »

Microsoft’s Spyware Gate

Microsoft have launched a new version of their Antispyware application, now rebuilt and renamed Windows Defender. Initial reports are favorable, including Paul Thurrott, who is good on these kind of things: Windows Defender Beta 2 combines the best-of-breed spyware detection and removal functionality from the old Giant Antispyware product and turns it into a stellar …

Continue reading ‘Microsoft’s Spyware Gate’ »

Zone Labs to Offer Sygate, Kerio Users a Deal

From a press release emailed to me by Zone Labs, makers of Zone Alarm: The personal firewall market is currently undergoing a major shift, with Symantec set to retire the Sygate line of personal firewalls tomorrow (including the free version and Sygate Pro), and Kerio discontinuing its personal firewall at the end of December to …

Continue reading ‘Zone Labs to Offer Sygate, Kerio Users a Deal’ »

The Shareware Dilemma

Shareware trial strategies are tricky. Do you give the punters 30 days to try out the product? Sixty days, like Buzz’s ActiveWords (another gratuitous plug; you’re going to have to start paying me, Buzz)? Or do you cripple (I hate the word; hobble is better) the software in some way so the user isn’t going …

Continue reading ‘The Shareware Dilemma’ »

ZoneAlarm’s Impressive About-turn, Or How To Do Blog PR Right

A day ago I vented my disappointment at a sneaky marketing gambit inside ZoneAlarm’s otherwise excellent free firewall software, which scared the user into running an external spyware scanner in the hope of getting them to upgrade. This morning I received word from their PR department that this promotion “has been turned off. The wording was not …

Continue reading ‘ZoneAlarm’s Impressive About-turn, Or How To Do Blog PR Right’ »

A Free Zone Alarm?

For firewalls, I always recommend Zone Alarm from ZoneLabs. To my mind it’s still the best and most intuitive firewall around. But most people only need the free version. And that’s where the problem is. Why do ZoneLabs make it so hard for ordinary users to download it? Readers and friends who have tried to …

Continue reading ‘A Free Zone Alarm?’ »

Software: An Alternative Firewall to ZoneAlarm?

 Aaron Heskel from Belgium suggests Agnitum’s OutPost as an alternative to ZoneLabs’ ZoneAlarm firewall. I’ll definitely check it out.     As with ZoneAlarm, there’s a free version which may be enough for most folks. I’ll let you know how I get on.

News: Spam The Website

 You know that spam has hit the big time when it gets its own website. Well, a corner of one: PCWorld.com yesterday released Spam Watch, a new section of its web site dedicated to the latest news, tips and tools in the war against online junk mail. PC World Spam Watch also features “Spam Slayer,” …

Continue reading ‘News: Spam The Website’ »