Task tracking software is a popular kind of tools used for controlling tasks of the projects and processes, showing task statuses, different details and the overall work progression (the most common example of such software is MS Outlook). There are lots of such tools on the Web, and all of them are supposed to do the same task, but they may heavily differ in their functionality and way of distribution. Competition that can be called freeware vs. free trial is going around the distributive status of software. The core of the question is what more preferable to use – freeware (that is positioned as free-of-charge) or paid software with free trial version. In this article we are going to clarify this question.
Free trial software – traditional way of distribution:
You, while considering investments into your company's IT, probably thought of increasing staff productivity through using special software to organize time, tasks and activities taking place in your organization. Trial version is referred to commercial software that is distributed for money, along with support service, updates etc. Basically, everything is clear here – you install task tracking free trial version, try it out during 30-60 days, check its web-site, and if you are satisfied with software quality and price – you buy the license (for group or individual). The main points here are ensuring that the application really works for you needs, that it is supported by regular updates, distributed at fair price, along with clarifying what is included into payment, and ensuring that support team is attentive to your requests.
freeware – the backgrounds, development and "pitfalls":
You have surely thought how to decrease costs for buying software – one of the most common variants that people usually think of is to find good freeware, especially since lots of tools on the Web are labeled so. Let's put aside cases when shareware (paid software with task tracking free trial) is just called so to attract more freeware seekers, but let's consider what can really make task tracking software free. Normally there are two main reasons that make software free – it can be knowingly poorly-featured free task tracking software version that is created to attract numerous "free lunch" lovers who, after days of using this pared-down tool, will seek for functionality extension that is offered this time for money. This is, probably, good advertising method, while another one of two reasons is a little bit different – it can be task tracking open source software that have its own "pitfalls".
open source solutions as particular case of freeware:
In the most cases task tracking freeware is positioned as free-of-charge because it is "open-sourced" – everyone who has programming skills can delve into software code to change, improve and modify it to get software that can greatly differ from the original sample, so then it can be even renamed and distributed for money. It is called "public collaborative development" when task tracking freeware is developed by users themselves, so theoretically they can add all functionality they can dream of and get an ideal product, but in practice situation around task tracking open source software is not so cheerful, because often there are not many of those who can contribute with technical realization, but too many of those who input their requirements and suggestions. Also such products may experience problems with routine bug-fixing etc.
The original version of open source task tracking software can be distributed for free, and usually it can be build up in module-based manner – you are allowed to use special add-ons to extend and improve functionality of such task tracking open source tool. Usually these add-on modules are created by enthusiasts and volunteers from the Web, avoiding professional quality assurance and careful testing, so you cannot be really sure about workability and security of these modules. The most popular modules can be paid as well as support, updates etc.