Software bundles

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Software bundles can be a great way to acquire useful programs at a good price. On the other hand, they sometimes disappoint. Here we offer hints on what can be good or bad about them.

MacHeist and MUPromo became popular in the late 2000s, offering fixed bundles of Apple Mac software from various developers for a fixed price. (MUPromo is a special feature of MacUpdate.com, a popular software review website.) Bundles typically include one or two well-known programs along with a few lesser-known and several little-known.

The benefits of bundles, for buyers, are clear: you can obtain some leading software at a discount, with some other programs thrown in. Sometimes the terms of a bundle allow you to give the licence for a program to someone else if you already have that one.

Disadvantages may include:

  • Sometimes the main program offered is not the latest version.
  • Sometimes the user gets a special licence, not eligible for upgrades which would be included in a full-price purchase.
  • Sometimes the bundle will only include a key application if total purchasers exceed a stated threshold.

Bundles have been controversial in the developer community, because of some practices in how the income is shared between the developer and the middleman, and because the whole approach may devalue software generally.

External links

Credits

Summarised by Neville Reid from an article by Adam Engst on TidBITS which Bob recommended to the Mac Ministry List in 2009