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An introduction to publishing software for the BeOS

Writing software for the BeOS can be an exciting experience, but it's really only the first step, although the most important one, in the software publishing process. If you want to turn your software into revenues, there are a number of other steps that you should consider.

This document will outline areas that BeOS software publishers should consider when bringing their wares to market. Because many Be developers are smaller start ups, this paper will not focus on traditional, expensive distribution methods that are typically only realistically available to large software vendors. Since Be itself has found the Web to be an incredible tool for marketing and distributing products from a small software company, the emphasis will be on online (Internet) delivery of software.

When publishing software, there are at least eight different areas that you must consider:

  • Production - Physical production of your software (CDs, disks, online, etc)
  • Awareness - Making potential customers aware that your software exists
  • Decision - Evaluation and decision to purchase software
  • Transaction - Payment process
  • Installation - Installation of purchased software
  • Registration - Registering ownership of software
  • Updates - Updating software to newer versions
  • Support - Providing Technical Support



We'll refer to different types of software including freeware, shareware, and commercial applications. It will be helpful to discuss these terms now.

Freeware - Software that has no monetary cost associated with it.

Shareware - Full featured software (not a demonstration copy, time trial, or light version) that is distributed as a 'try before you buy' copy. The author requests payment if the software is found to be useful or is used after a certain time frame.

Commercial - Full featured software for which a license must be purchased in order to be used.

It's clear that the line between shareware and commercial software is beginning to blur thanks to the Internet. Traditionally, shareware was considered anything distributed over the Internet that contained a 'license,' formal or otherwise, that stipulated payment was due typically after a number of days had passed and the software was still being used. Today, we can find many examples of clearly commercial software being distributed over the Internet (e.g Netscape Navigator) with accompanying legal usage licenses.

Your Mileage May Vary

Although this document strives to provide specific examples, your own experiences may vary substantially. The numbers and examples provided are intended to help give you a starting point.

Approaching the Market Index


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