Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Great 99 Cent Software Experiment of 2010

Have you noticed that most of the software you’re buying these days is only 99 cents?

The traditional software industry, like many, has been hit hard by slumping economic times. At least that’s what appears to be happening. I can’t help but notice traditional software distribution is in a state of flux not unlike the media and publishing industries.

The music industry which dealt with the downloading of free music has created a successful 99 cent per song model. Using mobile devices we’re now downloading decent software for as low as 99 cents. Who can’t afford an impulse purchase of $0.99. The Apple App Store made many new millionaires almost overnight at 99 cents a pop.

What about the rest of us who have spent years developing fully featured software on the Mac or Windows platform. Are customers going to revolt against prices which range from $30 like my own WinPatrol PLUS to programs like Photoshop which retails for $700?

I’m curious and thinking a crazy single day experiment could be fun and may be worth the risk. So what the hell. If you want to upgrade to WinPatrol PLUS on January 29th, I’ll give you a lifetime WinPatrol membership for less than a dollar. Instead of the regular price of $29.95 I’ll provide a coupon on that brings the price down to $0.99 USD. That comes out to approx. .70 € to our international friends


This will be a one-day only “experiment” starting at 12:01 AM EST on Jan 29th and will last 24 hours. Will over 30 times the normal number customers upgrade to WinPatrol PLUS? If so, will other software developers notice?

Like our current $30 plan, the 99¢ license will be good for life. Like sales in the App Store or Droid Market however, this license is only valid for a single computer. Sales are also limited to one per customer. Sound fair enough? If you’ve been someday planning on upgrading to WinPatrol PLUS, January 29th is the day to remember. Just go to this Friday and you may be a part of history.

Do you think the traditional software industry is in danger? If you think 99 cent software is coming or I’m just crazy than write about this on your blog. I will need enough people to know about this experiment to make it valid. That’s also why I had to pre-announce a special offer which may kill sales between now and Friday.

Contact for questions or confirmation this is real. To all our fans who paid $29.95 I hope you’ll understand that this is just a crazy experiment and does not diminish the value of WinPatrol PLUS or how much I appreciate all your past support. This weekend I’ll evaluate the experiment and post the results.

If you’ve forgotten why WinPatrol fans are so loyal see "Top Ten Reasons to Try WinPatrol Again".

New F.A.Q.
How will I receive my special coupon?
Originally, a coupon was going to be made available and valid for one day only. To make the transaction easier all upgrades on Jan 29th will see the same 99 cent special.
Just go to on Friday and click on "Upgrade to WinPatrol PLUS".

Can I use my 99¢ WinPatrol PLUS on multiple computers.
This experiment is meant to compare a software purchase to those purchases from the Apple App Store or Droid Market. Unlike our $29.95 license or $49.95 Family Park, this purchase is good for one computer at a time.

I heard a new WinPatrol version is coming soon. Will I have to pay again for this version?
No way. The PLUS activation you purchase for 99¢ will work with all future versions. You'll love the new custom Registry Lock feature coming with WinPatrol v18.

Can I purchase 1000 copies.
I'm sorry but purchases on 1/29 are limited to two per customer.

Do I need to download anything in advance?
If you already have the free version of WinPatrol no additional download is required. If you don’t have WinPatrol you can download and become familiar with WinPatrol at On Friday you can purchase your activation code which will convert the free version into WinPatrol PLUS.

Share on Facebook


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the 99 cent special of WinPatrol Plus available in a portable version ?

3:22 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Yes, if you're familiar with WinPatrolToGo it currently uses the same license model as the standard WinPatrol PLUS.

As long as you've installed WinPatrolToGo with PLUS on a Flash/USB drive that you personally own and use you're free to use it as you like.


1:13 PM  
Blogger Swigbert said...

Bill, thanks for being just a bit crazy. I'm contacting all my friends who were too cheap, I confess that once included me, to purchase before. It is a great product!

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you have to have WinPatrol free already installed or can you just get the plus version on the 29th?

8:11 PM  
Blogger gf0012 said...

Is this US west or east coast time based?

unfort for us internationals, we sometimes miss out due to time differences and it being after midnight etc....

11:24 PM  
Blogger Charles Pearmain said...

An interesting idea Bill - I'd be interested to learn how it works out. Personally I think WinPatrol Plus is worth every cent/penny of the $30 it costs.

A happy user (and WinPatrol advocate) speaks :o)

4:50 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

Just clarifying the date and time. When you say, "starting at midnight EST on Jan 29th and will last 24 hours", do you mean midnight 12:00am Friday morning and running until 11:59 pm Friday Night ?

Hey I'm crazy, what can I say. Time is so confusing to me. But I understand how to use WinPatrol. ;)

12:12 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I guess to put it best.. I will be to staying Thursday night and when midnight arrives I will turn on the sale price.

Chances are it could actually happen a few minutes before the stroke of midnight just to be sure.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Ok ...Thanks...tweeted and posted..[]..Bill Pytlovany the creator of WinPatrol is going a little crazy and will provide a coupon on[]..maybe you'll get rich..hope so. And thanks for a fine product.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Yes, I recommend you go ahead and download the free version if you don't already have it.

On Jan 29th you can purchase your PLUS code and activate the software immediately. No additional download is required for WinPatrol PLUS.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Bill with all the revenue you are going to generate, could I suggest you invest in some RSI therapy to negate the effects of typing answers all our questions.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

For my last and least comment, thanks Bill, I was previously not aware of the proliferation of 99 cent software before reading your blog.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Dianne A said...

Thanks for clarifying the time; another way to say it (if I understand your intention) is that the "Wild Bill" sale will start at 12:01am on Jan 29 and run for 24 hrs (or, more precisely, 23h59m) :-).
It won't be available on the 28th anytime or the 30th anytime - just the 29th.
There, are all of us clock challenged folks clear?
Having said all of that, I intend to be there.

6:40 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Excellent!! For our international friends, times are EST which is UTC-5:00.

I appreciate the help. I am never 100% positive if midnight is 12 AM or PM. I guess we cleared that up. :)

6:51 PM  
Anonymous Maik said...

I make it 05:00 Friday, 29/01 - 05:00 Saturday, 30/01 to those in the UK and the price about £0.60

8:53 PM  
Blogger Sea Urchin said...

In fact 12 midnight comes AT THE END of the day - 12 noon in the middle of the day.

So if Bill is working late on Thursday evening then that will actually be Thursday midnight.

Now we are even more confused here in the UK

12:04 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

OK people, 12:01 AM Jan 29th is one minute after 12:00 midnight of the 28th.
IMHO it should be stated as 00:01 of Jan 29th, but I find myself in a small minority.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

For Bill and friends:
A more accurate phrase is 12 Noon. There cannot be a 12:00 AM or PM. In order to be Ante Meridian the time must be before 12:00 Noon (Noon being the Meridian), and to be Post Meridian the time must be beyond 12:00 Noon.

12 Midnight is fleeting at best. In the time it takes one to say 'twelve midnight' you are already one second or more into the new day; midnight was yesterday, a few seconds ago.
However, it is true one is still in the middle of the dark night time.
So a lot depends upon one's characterization of Mid-Night.

In over simplified terms we have 12 hours of daylight, from aprox 6 AM to aprox 6 PM; and 12 hours of quasi darkness and darkness, from aprox 6 PM to aprox 6 AM (the next day).

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Hi . . .

And a GREAT BIG THANK YOU . . . especially for offering your program a such a wonderful discount. As someone with extreamly limit funds (as so many other people today) I am planning to take this oppourtunity to finally purchase the pro version. However, my one question is . . . Can I still send you a money/postal order to get in on the $.99 deal -or is it only for those people with a credit/debit card ?
Again - THANKS - Bill . . .

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally I have never heard of this program before. Since you started your $.99 special I heard about it on a shopping deal portal named FatWallet.

After downloading it (and removing a couple useless services) I can already tell it will be a worthwhile purchase. I have always hated the so-called mysterious new file that has suddenly shown up in my system. I expect the PLUS encyclopedia will useful and for $.99 I won't be upset even if it isn't.

I'm telling friends right now. I hope your "crazy idea" makes you a millionaire.

(I also hope your payment processor will be able to handle tomorrow's traffic.)

5:49 AM  
Blogger danmar said...

"Have you noticed that most of the software you’re buying these days is only 99 cents?"

I have not noticed any such thing. I certainly did not notice it when I paid full price for WinPatrol Plus not too long ago. I really hate it when software companies do this. It's such a kick in the teeth to those who support the product. And it encourages people to not pay for software in the long run. This is exactly what got the North American auto industry in trouble: huge year-end discounts which lowered the resale value of all vehicles sold during the year screwing buyers and finally seeing the industry lose all respect and support from the buying public. It's like sending a big raspberry to those of us who paid full price not long ago.

Unfortunately, for you, it cheapens the value of your product. It's hard to claim it's worth $30 now.

7:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Midnight is 12 am
12 noon is 12 pm

11:43 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I think it is a great marketing idea. I would anticipate that Friday will mark your highest DOLLAR sales day ever (and dl's and licenses are fine, but in the end it's the Dollar's that count).

As far as the "I paid full price and not it is 99 cents" whining,well hogwash! It is a 24 hr promotion. On Saturday the program is worth $30 again.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, no, dear Bill! I do not understand and do not appreciate your own "experiment"! I paid $ 29.95 for your program and I'm not really happy!. If you love the "experiments" why do not you to ask those who have already paid if it wants to be reimbursed for $ 28.94? Misbehavior! Italy Luciano Stefani

1:36 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Reading all those comments about midday & midnight etc. makes me glad I have stuck with military time.

Midnight = 2359

Midday = 1200

K I S S the others good bye.

KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid

No offense intended to other time systems.

I am already a registered and satisfied PLUS customer, but I will check out other 99c software now I have gotten the heads up from Bill.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

This is a deal I cant pass up. But can I buy two ? One for me and one for a friend that will be at work tonight ?

9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a terrific thing for you to do, and I appreciate it. Thanks!

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill . . .

Once again, I just want to say - THANK YOU ! ! !

I was able to purchase a copy tonight that without this sale I would not be able to afford otherwise . . .

I hope that everyone one else who did pay full price before this sale, will realize how much they are a part of this - too . . .

And as such, I want to thank them also for supporting your efforts in developing and maintaining this program - which I am sure allowed us to purchase the program at this discounted price . . .

11:57 PM  
Blogger famewolf said...

Well just purchased the $0.99 winpatrol plus...have been using the free version on my htpc for a while now. Hope your "experiment" works well.

12:02 AM  
Anonymous Alan Baxter said...

Just got mine, Bill. Thank you very much. I hope your experiment is wildly successful!

1:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you!!
A quick question, I ordered & got confirmation for 2 licenses, but when I clicked on the get license page, it has only 1 number. So how do I get ahold of license # 2? Should I expect an email that is more explicit than the license generation page?

1:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I entered my name & license # & got a msg that I'm not in your database. The purchase just went through - how long should I give it before expecting to be in your database?

1:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just have Bill $1.98.

Already have copy I won from Bill but got two more as backups.
One to have if and when I get another computer and another to give to someone in the family if they want it.
Even if I don't use it it's OK because I have my one copy I am using and it was a free gift so Bill can now get some money back for one super great program that just never stops getting better and better.

Keep up the great work Bill.


2:46 AM  
Blogger Tsen said...

i've just bought the 99cent license.. have been a winpatrol users since 2005, and it's time to give some support to Bill..

4:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Bill.

I bought 2 copies but only got one reg code. Will that code work for both copies?

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought 2 copies but received only 1 Registration Code.... How does this work? Can anyone please explain?

8:59 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

So far processing is proceeding normally. There have been a couple hiccups where folks either don't understand or have experienced a problem.

Just Email While my responses are slower than normal I will get to you. ;)


9:52 AM  
Anonymous k1 said...

Just wanted to say that I bought a license too. What astounds me is how comprehensive your program database is in the plus version. A lot of companies have program databases, but their databases for lack of a better word, suck. Yours seems to have soooo much information about what the program does and whether its safe or not. Its brilliant!

You need to advertise this more Bill! Have a screenshot or some such, for an uncommon program with the info that the Plus version gives. I would have bought this program ages back if I had known the database was so comprehensive!

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am new to winportal... and yet to have it in my personal computer. Can I use my 99 cent special activation code, once i have install the free version after few days or weeks?

10:55 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Bill, I sent you a E-Mail about the payment. I hope you read it so I can get Winpatrol for 70 Euro cents. It's about how I can pay it. In a way that is easy enough for me.

1:18 PM  
Blogger LG said...

I'm still waiting for a response to my email. I even cut and pasted the Name and Reg code from the reg code page and it is still being rejected.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No money orders and postal orders for german customers?

3:57 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Ed: Me too. I know I have to wait for answers to a E-Mail, but there is not much time left on the offer, as far as I know after having used Time Zone Converter. According to it, the offer ends 7 AM in Helsinki time.

I hope I will get a answer before the offer runs out- or be able to get Winpatrol for 99 cents anyway even if I don't get a response before the time for the offer runs out my time. The E-Mail asks if I can pay with a Internet bank (to his bank account), or if I can send him money inside a letter.

I don't even know what a money order is (we don't use that in Finland). I hope he accepts money sent in a letter (a envelope it is apparently called, what you send a letter in).

I have bought 2 stamps because I hope he accepts sending the money in a letter (and because I still don't know what a money order is so I imagined it to be that). He says in alternative payments that it must be postmarked by January 30. I think this means I can still do this tomorrow- get the postmark.

I will go to the post office, then, to get a postmark tomorrow. Then I will send him a letter to the address he said on the alternative payments page, with 2 stamps and the postmark, and the money. Oh and I don't know where I should put the Name and Email he mentions on the alternative payments part of the page- in a paper inside?

Or sending him the money with my Internet bank, then I need to know his bank account number...

4:57 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Ed: You'll want to manually enter your name and code into the PLUS page. If you copy and paste Windows adds a space automatically.

Tom and Anon: As it's written on the page, checks and money orders from Europe are accepted based on whatever the daily conversion rate. It's only postal orders that are US/Canada only.

There is a good chance I'll extend the offer due to server problems anyway so don't worry about the post mark as long as its within a week or so.

If you purchased two codes, you will have only received a single code. You can use that code on both your machines.

Anon, Once you have your name/code combination you're set for when ever you want to use it. You can download the free version anytime in the future and use the code to activate the PLUS features.

Thank you all for your kind generous comments. The experiment has been a success. I won't allow me to retire but it should pay for all the extra work I have this weekend. ;)


5:22 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Bill, you posted!

I saw you answered. But you haven't answered what a money order is.

Wiktionary says:

(North American, Australian) A type of cheque, usually purchased from a postal service to allow safe sending of money through the post.

I hope this doesn't mean it literally is a cheque. I never use checks. The post office in Finland does not even sell checks! And I don't want the effort to buy these kinds of checks elsewhere, because I don't even know where they sell these!

Can't I just send the money in a letter in the mail? It worked well when my mom bought from a another site. She always got what she bought.

By now, for me, you must extend the offer so I can buy it at all. I still don't know what money order is (yes, really). It's 1:35 AM here, and purchasing it now is pretty much impossible.

I like that I can send it within a week. I assume that since you said it on 30 th, I can do it until 6 February. Send it on 6 February, that is. You didn't say what or so is... a few days?

6:41 PM  
Blogger LG said...

Bill I typed it in the first four times then tried cut and paste.

When cut and paste failed, I looked at it and saw the extra spaces, removed them and each time I received the same error message that I have emailed to you at your support address.

Since I read your blog response I again tried typing the information into the appropriate spaces a few times and it just isn't working.

I'm no expert but I'm not a novice. My first PC used an 8086 processor.

My Pay Pal Payment has been confirmed.

What other steps do I need to take?

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Brad Isaac said...

Bill, I hadn't heard of Winpatrol. But due to your .99cent offer, it got some good publicity. Now I'm giving it a try.

So far, it looks like something helpful for my network management duties. (Translated: I'll likely need to purchase several licenses in the future for network machines.)

Cheers! :)

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Brad Isaac said...

Danmar said: "I have not noticed any such thing. I certainly did not notice it when I paid full price for WinPatrol Plus not too long ago."

As a software developer myself, I'll say that you should be happy about Bill's promotion. It will lead to many further advancements of the software.

I know this from experience. I did a 1-month .99 cent sale. Some people were irritated by the drop in price. However, they benefitted by getting huge enhancements for free I couldn't have afforded to provide without the increase in capital and customer base.

I don't know Bill personally, but I am sure your investment was a solid one and will continue to pay off.

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Bill love Winpatrol been using the free version for years. Thanks for giving everyone the opportunity to try the plus version for 99 cents.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being a self taught non professional techie always looking for neat/cheap software; the thing that attracted me to winpatrol was

1) price
2) curiosity resulting from Winpatol's unanimous praise in reviews via CNET and Download Squad

If it wasn't for the price drop, I would not have invested the time and money to learn how crazy useful this thing is. Thanks for the promotion

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't hear about the 99 cents give away (That's what it really was) but all I can say is not to worry, because I've been a Plus subscriber for so long and had I anticipated something l4fUlh0xaike this to ever happen, look what I'd have missed out on all these years! I'm not disappointed that I upgaded when I did! If I had to do it all over again,I would! Thanks for the best piece of software I've ever bought, money very well spent!

2:18 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home