Users Must Pay

I am taking a course in XML Development. We are getting to the point where we need to validate our documents. To do that, you run your code through an XML processor. It turns out that this is an external piece of software you have to acquire. Our instructor told us to use the industry standard software. He told us to download the free version.

It turns out there is no free version. There used to be a home use version that was free. However all traces of it seem to have disappeared. Now the company only allows you to download a free 30 day trial. After that, you have to pay big bucks to use their software.

This is great when you work for a big company. You just purchase a license. However that does not work for a starving college student. What is a hacker to do? Well you could go with a free or low cost alternative. In this case, the competition has weaker products. When only the best will do, you got to pay up to steal.

From an end user perspective, this sucks. My trial ends well before I can do my work for class. Should the company offer a student edition for a reduced price? Well I guess that depends. If I do get a low cost copy, will I be happy and talk my future employer into buying the expensive software? The other angle is whether I will somehow pony up the big bucks even though I am a student. That one is easy. Hell no.

The company has already done the hard job of producing the best software for this particular niche. Everyone wants to use their software. Now they have locked a high price tag on it. Let's see if the company makes out like a bandit, or suffers the consequences of the lock down.