Family Tree Shareware: Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Family Tree Shareware

Carmen D. Lade

What is Family tree shareware?

Is it any different from other shareware that is offered by the software companies?

Shareware

Shareware as we know it is a model that many software companies have had to adopt to remain competitive, and when it comes to family tree shareware, the same kind of competition exists so that you find a lot of shareware that you can test for your family tree project. But are there advantages and disadvantages of shareware for you as a user? Let’s weigh both, and then at the end, we can make up our minds as to whether it’s worthwhile to use family tree shareware.

Advantages:

It is Free

The most obvious one is that you’re getting software for free, without having to fork out a dime and of course this makes for a good deal. The fact that you can download all kinds of family tree shareware for free and compare it so that you can know the best software to go with means that by the time you make a choice, it’s a fair choice.

You Can Test it Before Buying

You also get to test a range. If a software company wants to remain competitive in the family tree shareware business, they must be willing to let you test it first because all their competitors are doing the same. This means that you can get to sample all the shareware that you want and in the end, your buying decision will be more sound as it will be based on your experience with certain software.

You Could Complete a Whole Project Before the Trial Period Expires

You could actually create a family tree all the way to the end using a manufacturer’s shareware before the trial period is over, especially if your project is not a large or complex one. This means that you will have saved the money that you’d have spent on software for just a small project.

Disadvantages:

No Customer Support

Shareware hardly ever gets any customer support. As a user, the company that creates the family tree shareware is going out on a limb to give you their software to use for free on a trial basis, and for them, it’s not very value adding to give customer support unless it’s on something relevant that could help them improve their product. There are some companies that will provide support, but these are rare.

No Updates

You don’t get updates no matter how long your trail period is. Say you get some shareware that’s free for 45 days, and 20 days into your trail an update is released; the company is unlikely to offer you this update so you miss out on the latest features of the software. Again, there are companies that may offer you updates for free as well, but these are rare.

Seldom Comes with Full Features

Family tree shareware hardly comes with full features. The business model is that they give you some parts to use – basic parts of the software that will help you come up with a family tree – but they want to encourage you to buy the package by withholding some of their best features. That means that your test will give you a basic tree, but the best that could have gone into it had you bought the software is missing.

No Access when the trial Period Ends

Some shareware is created in such a way that if the trial period expires, you’re no longer able to use anything that you had built with it, especially if it requires that you be connected to the company’s server to be able to view. That means that you could create a family tree with trial software but when the trial period ends, you cannot access the servers where your tree is stored and therefore cannot see the tree.

Be aware of both the advantages and the disadvantages so that you can decide what will be best for you.

All in all, family tree shareware is a great thing if you keep in mind that it is free and it does allow you to test out different options before you buy one of them.

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