Anybody who frequently downloads compressed files is likely familiar with WinRAR, the “try before you buy” file archiver utility software that offers a 40-day free trial before you’re supposed to purchase a license to keep using it. But, as anyone who used it regularly knows, when those 40 days are up, nothing really happens. In fact, other than having to deal with a frequent pop-up reminder about buying a license, you can continue using WinRAR basically forever. And it turns out, the company is pretty much okay if you do. In this new video, the gaming and tech YouTube channel CHM Tech digs into WinRAR’s unusual business strategy and how it has helped keep the software relevant since 1995.
WinRAR ultimately makes its money from businesses, not from individual home users. And businesses have a greater incentive to actually obtain their software legally so as to avoid incurring sanctions or prosecution. Those large corporate purchases provide the company with a lot more money than individuals purchasing for a home computer ever could. And by allowing home users to access its software for free, WinRAR is keeping its product relevant and well respected. Indeed, though it’s gained a reputation as “nagware” because of its constant licensing pop-up reminder, WinRAR’s savvy business model has also helped give the software an impressively long shelf life.