Thursday, August 30, 2007

Surefire Money Maker

Anyone who has written a non-trivial piece of software will be aware that the occasional bug is inevitable. Unit and acceptance testing, and a QA process can limit the number of bugs that can creep out into the wild, but there will always be the odd bug out there.

If a company releases a piece of software that stops customers working, it is up to that company to put it right as soon as possible.

I was talking to a friend this week who tells me that not all software companies follow this rule. He's a software developer too, and (as I understand it) most of his work is dependant on a piece of software provided by another company.

He found a bug with this piece of software that caused it to be pretty unusable, so filed a bug report, only to be told he must pay to have this bug fixed.

How about that? A company has released a defective piece of software to a paying customer, and then told that customer they must pay an additional charge to get it working properly.

Talk about a guaranteed money maker.

I suppose this is where the software's licence agreement comes in, which usually has a clause saying something like "we make no guarantee that this software will do anything you need it to, including the purpose we sold it to you for".

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