Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Monday, January 28, 2013

International Upgrade to PLUS Week

I’m not sure if I have the power to declare a holiday but that’s my plan for this week. It’s too cold to go outside so why not celebrate WinPatrol and support your other favorite software.

This weekend I said no to another deal that would have allowed me to retire but would have left WinPatrol fans under someone else’s control. Many of you know I’ve fought against offers to package unwanted software in our setup program. I’m often asked why I bother objecting when legitimate companies like Oracle make money by including a toolbar with Java. Other people have told me if the downloader doesn’t read the screen they deserve the toolbar.

For me the pressure really started in 2008 when I wrote…
Would you like Toolbar with your Software Order?
based on the feedback here I followed up with
No, I Don't Want Your #^$% Toolbar

Thanks to spyware warriors like Ben Edelman it’s now clear how much deception really goes into the distribution of toolbars.
IAC Toolbars and Traffic Arbitrage in 2013

When you install WinPatrol you won’t see any questions about installing software you weren’t looking for. You’ll get exactly what you asked for.

Due to the economy, a decline in the magazine business and other industry trends we don’t see as many PLUS upgrades. I’ve talked to other developers who report the same trend. Yet every 2-3 days I get a comment from someone who says. “I love your product and have used it for years. I thought it was finally time to say thanks”, along with a $29.95 upgrade. Sometimes, the person has been using an illegitimate version of PLUS but hey, we’ve all done that.  I even included a clickable “Reset” on the WinPatrol PLUS tab so users can clear their illegal PLUS code and put in a valid lifetime license.

So, if you’re that person this is the week you’ve been waiting for.

It’s  Rally for PLUS Week

I’m trying not to sound like telethon for WinPatrol or other small software vendors but you know who is worth your support. Like many of our friends WinPatrol has depended on our reputation. We have relied on word of mouth and especially from industry experts who now have blogs, podcasts and newsletters.  After explaining how WinPatrol worked to author Byron Acohido he wrote an article for USA Today describing WinPatrol as “one of the best kept secrets in computer protection.
I’ve tried to keep the free version as valuable as possible but still encourage upgrades to PLUS. I’ve been careful not to nag users or trick anyone into upgrading to our paid version.

WinPatrol doesn’t advertise or pay to get special placement on download sites.  Maybe we should but as I’ve also written about before many download sites place their advertised programs where you expect your program to be. The Dangers of Downloading Free Software

Join the Rally for WinPatrol PLUS
So, if it’s on your to-do list to upgrade to WinPatrol PLUS or other software you can celebrate national upgrade week.  If you’re an industry expert looking for a topic, I’m always available to explain why WinPatrol still works and even why it still has a ten year old interface! No matter how many followers you have, I’ll make sure they’re happy and trusting.

If you’ve already paid for a lifetime of WinPatrol PLUS tell us what other software you use that deserves support.  Click on comments and share why you’ve upgraded or supported other software. If you upgrade your other software let them know it’s International Upgrade to PLUS Week.

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Blogger Bill Pytlovany said...

Via Twitter it was suggested Malwarebytes users also use this week to upgrade to their Pro version.

I couldn't agree more. Let them know you're upgrading as part of International Upgrade Week. ;)

7:47 PM  
Blogger Reb Mordechai said...

I have been a WinPatrol Plus user for years now and continue to admire you for your honesty and integrity. I install the Free version on all my client's machines.

In handling an infected machine, Winpatrol is always my first attack wave to blunt the enemies teeth before I go in for the kill.

I then use Malwarebytes Free and Hitman Pro as well as Norton Removal Tool Free for gettng rid of spyware, malware and routekits.

Unlike Hitman Pro which is totally up front about the fact that it's Trialware, giving you 30 days to use before payment, Malwarebytes gives you the option of the Payed version or the Free version. However, having selected the Free version, unless you unclick the checkbox on the last Next-Next-Next-Next screen you will get a trial version and not the free version. This is dishonest. I also use UVK tools which I find very effective for certain things.

Most installed free antiviruses such as Microsoft Security Essentials or AVG completely ignore installed spyware and malware. MSE shows you a lovely green screen saying "You are protected" when your browser is totally dead, covered in toolbars, highjacked search results and malware processors strangling the machine. There is no excuse for these tools not dealing with common pests that Malwarebytes and others can deal with for free.

My clients could not care less what the difference between a virus, worm, routekit, spyeware, malware or even bloatware is. They were all installed without the user being aware of them, against the wishes of the user and all cause damage to their Windows machines. In their eyes, they are all "viruses"!

I cannot actually see any legitimate use for toolbars whatsoever and wish that browser companies woud remove the option all together.

BTW, most infected machines I receive have been infected by clients trying to watch online TV/Movies. Despite my explanations and telling them not to use these sites, the machines keep coming back, reinfected, because they have visited the sites again.

I just hate having to clean up a machine I have already spent hours on only a few months earlier.

4:25 AM  
Blogger Newell said...

I recently upgraded, more out of a sense of obligation than because I required any of the Plus capability. Another tool which you might look at this Driver Max which is a very good driver updater that limits what a free user can do on any give day, but allows Pro users unlimited activities.

In your case, consider limiting free users to a few of the more useful features after one week's use, such as Delayed Start - which I think is truly useful.



12:52 PM  

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