In an Australian initiative, IBM Australia has launched a software sales concept where, rather than buying one-off applications, users subscribe to a service that delivers free upgrades and updates quarterly over twelve months.
Called Freshware, the service includes a host of applications, games and utilities from both IBM and Lotus, along with IBM's OS/2 and DOS products, which IBM values in total at over $2,000. For $499, purchasers receive an initial package of software on CD-ROM, with quarterly updates including new releases, upgrades and additional applications mailed to them for a year. IBM says these quarterly updates will include forthcoming products such as Lotus SmartSuite 96 for OS/2 and the next version of OS/2, Warp version 4.0, when released. Registered users will also receive 60 days' free support from both IBM and Lotus.
Freshware is initially available for a 30-day period only through David Jones and Harvey Norman, but will be available thereafter for 90 days to all resellers through Tech Pacific. IBM Australia's manager for special software projects, Craig Allen, said Freshware is specifically oriented towards the retail channel, and close attention will be paid to how it fares when future pricing decisions are made.
IBM Tel: 13 2426 - ask for Freshware/Info.