Do you remember when K-Mart tried to boost revenue by offering free internet service? Well, in return it drove the corporation to bankruptcy. While free service seemed like a great idea, many people ran to the occasion causing much more costs than intended for K-Mart. The same has seemed to happen with software maker Codeweavers….
From Download Squad: It sure seemed like a good idea. CodeWeavers, the makers of CrossOver software that lets you run Windows applications like MS Outlook or games like Half Life on Mac andLinux machines, held a tongue-in-cheek promotion where the company promised to give away free copies of its software if one of a number of economic goals were met in the US. While it’s likely that the US government had little to do with the recent dip in gas prices, this week CodeWeavers decided that $2.79 gas meant it was time to give away a copy of CrossOver to anyone who wanted it within a 24 hour period.
And then all heck broke loose. The story made the front page of Digg and was reported on countless tech blogs. The CodeWeavers website crashed, although the company quickly got the download links back online. When the smoke cleared, the company gave away about 750,000 copies of its software. Let’s
let that sink in for a second here. A company that many people may not have even known existed, had its software downloaded three quarters of a million times in one day. CodeWeavers sent an email this week stating that the move expands the company’s customer base by 400%. The value of the free software given away tops $45 million.
In other words, the whole thing might have backfired and ruined the company’s bottom line. On the other hand, it could be awesome news in the long run for CodeWeavers. A whole lot of people who weren’t aware
of the software are now potential customers. Many of the people who downloaded free copies may not really wind up using it, but those who do may decide to upgrade when a new version is available or pay for
another year of support when the 1 year of free support expires in a year.
Still, CodeWeavers has decided to cancel the promotion going forward. There had been plans to do another giveaway if housing prices fell, US job numbers went up, or Osama Bin Laden was captured. But that just
doesn’t seem like a good idea anymore.