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Free and Deeply Discounted Software at SharewareOnSale.com
by Ira Wilsker
For several years, one of the best sources of objective software reviews, evaluations, and tips has been on dotTech.org. Under the active leadership of the well respected "Ashraf", dotTech.org has developed an impeccable reputation for honesty when evaluating software and related computer components. For many PC users, Ashraf has become the resident guru on software, and loyally and faithfully follow his evaluations and recommendations. On an unaffiliated software giveaway website, GiveawayOfTheDay.com (GOTD), best known for its free daily giveaway of one legally licensed commercial software product, Ashraf's comments and review of the day's single software offering are strongly considered by many of the GOTD users before deciding whether or not to download and install the day's offering. Ashraf's opinion appears to influence the daily volume of downloads.
DotTech.org has now been online for five years (October, 2008), and is viewed on a daily basis by thousands of visitors. Ashraf has expanded the online services that he offers with the creation of his Azadi Network, which he describes as, " ... a web-based company that provides solutions for the digital age." Azadi is an Urdu word which means "freedom", a concept that Ashraf apparently encourages on his websites. Recently (August, 2013), Ashraf expanded his Azadi Network to include a second website, SharewareOnSale.com. Again, according to Ashraf, "SharewareOnSale connects software developers with users, offering daily software deals of free and heavily discounted programs. Although it is a relatively new service, SharewareOnSale has already garnered much attention around the world."
I first found out about SharewareOnSale.com while researching a particular software product on dotTech, and noticed a banner promoting SharewareOnSale. Now, SharewareOnSale is one of the first websites that I visit every day. In order to be better informed about new bargains offered on the site, I chose to sign up for the once daily email that lists that day's offerings; it is important to check the website frequently as the offerings are very dynamic, and frequently changing. Product offerings that may appear on the site early in the day may possibly "expire" before the end of the day as a limited time offer may expire, or a finite quantity of available product may be downloaded, completing the offering prior to a stated expiration of the offer. On two excellent recent offers, both now expired, the offers quickly became unavailable prior to their stated expiration. One was a free, one-year "extended trial" of a newly released and updated, fully functional, comprehensive security suite, AVG Internet Security 2014. On SharewareOnSale.com it was a legitimate free download, rather than paying the $55 charged on the AVG website for the same product. I registered on the SharewareOnSale website (one time, simple and free), put the program in my shopping cart, and checked-out with a zero balance due, with no credit card or PayPal necessary to pay for the free item. On the following screen were download links for both the 32 and 64-bit versions, which were pre-registered and fully activated when installed. Even though the AVG Internet Suite 2014 was labeled as a fully functional, not crippled in any way, trial version, the expiration date of the trial was a full year in the future. All services and updates would be available for a year, no different than any other program with an annual license. When I downloaded the AVG Internet Security 2014, SharewareOnSale said that the offer was still good for five more days, but just two days later this particular offer was listed as "expired" (sharewareonsale.com/s/free-avg-internet-security-2014-54-99-value).
Another offer that I was fortunate enough to take prompt advantage of, prior to its quick expiration, was a free download of the $40 Wondershare Video Converter Pro (sharewareonsale.com/s/free-wondershare-video-converter-pro-39-95-value), and excellent program for converting videos in almost any video format to almost any other video format, including dozens of formats for PC, Mac, online, YouTube, and individual smart devices. I told one of my neighbors about it the day that I downloaded and installed Wondershare Video Converter Pro, but by the next day, when he went to download it, the offer had already expired. The important object lesson here is to frequently check the SharewareOnSale.com website, and download (or purchase) any desired item right away, as tomorrow may be too late.
On the positive side, as mentioned above, is that the content on the site is very dynamic, as new software items are very frequently added, and other offers expire. As I type this, there are several interesting deals posted, which may likely expire before readers of this column have a chance to get them, but new offers will inevitably replace the expired ones after this column is published. Some of the items currently available (which will likely expire soon and be replaced with new offers) are:
SoftOrbits Sketch Drawer Pro, a $79.95 value, available free for a very limited time; this product can, "turn your digital photos into works of art! SoftOrbits Sketch Drawer Pro converts photos/images to sketches in just a few clicks."
SoftOrbits Photo Digital Suite Personal on sale for $4.99 ($349.95 value if each component purchased individually, or $99.95 if purchased together as a suite). According to the posting, "SoftOrbits Digital Photo Suite Personal is a software pack of 10 software titles: Batch Picture Resizer, Photo Stamp Remover, Batch Picture Protector, Html Web Gallery Creator, Red Eye Removal, Private Photo Album, Flash Drive Recovery, SoftOrbits Photo Retoucher, SoftSkin Photo Makeup, and Sketch Drawer."
GiliSoft #1 Video Tools on sale for $4.99 ($380 value). "GiliSoft #1 Video Tools is a 7 + 2 software bundle of nine different programs: seven programs by GiliSoft (Video Converter, Screen Recorder, Video Editor, Slideshow Movie Creator, Movie DVD to Video, Movie DVD Backup, Movie DVD Creator) and two bonus gifts by EaseUS (Data Recovery Wizard and Partition Master Pro)."
Tenorshare Data Recovery WinPE on sale for $2.99 ($39.95 value). One of my personal favorites for recovering deleted or damaged files, "Tenorshare Data Recovery WinPE lets you recover lost, damaged, formatted or deleted data from a bootable/recovery CD/DVD/USB without booting into Windows."
Free BlazeVideo SmartShow ($49.95 value). " BlazeVideo SmartShow offers you the easiest way to create a unique movie with your favorite pictures, video clips, music and voice-over."
While it is somewhat inevitable that many, if not all of these offers will expire prior to publication, Ashraf has been very good at keeping SharewareOnSale.com well stocked with an assortment of free and deeply discounted software products. Examples of some of the other now expired offerings include Wondershare PDF Converter, a $60 utility given away for free, that can convert PDF files in a large variety of other editable formats including Word; RoboForm Everywhere, a very popular $20 password manager, that was also available for free for a limited time; Process Lasso Pro, an excellent $15 system and memory manager, that was available for free; Paragon Partition Manager 12, a very popular $40 hard drive partition manager, that was available for $2.99; Ashampoo Burning Studio 2013, a comprehensive $40 CD and DVD burning utility, that was given away for free; and dozens of other utilities that either given away for free or sold for very nominal prices. As each of these offers expired, they were replaced by newer offers, a cycle that has been repeating since the inception and availability of the service.
It is somewhat amazing that Ashraf has been able to compile and make available several dozen decent utilities of various types, during the two months that ShareOnSale.com has been in existence. For those who may like notice of the free or bargain software available, I recommend signing up for the free, once daily email announcing the offerings, using the form on the top right of each SharewareonSale.com web page. Just like our local weather, if you do not see anything that you like, just come back in a few minutes or tomorrow, and the offerings will likely be different.
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