Try limited full version software before you buy

The IT section at work ordered me a copy of Microsoft Visio for developing flowcharts. While I’ve been waiting, I decided to give it a try at home. Microsoft allows a person to try its Office software for over a month before rendering it inoperative (just like other software trials). I downloaded the 190 MB file, installed it, and started using it to draw a process flow diagram for work. What I find amazing is that I’ve already gotten pretty used to it, even though I only downloaded it last night. After using it for a couple of days, I’m inclined to purchase a copy.

Some software companies have done a good job of providing full versions of their products to consumers and businesses to give it a test spin for a set amount of time (typically 30 days). I did this with Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004; after downloading, installing, and trying it, I decided that I liked it more than FrontPage and purchased it within a week. I’ll admit that it’s a form of marketing, but it gives the user a chance to really determine if the software will meet his or her needs. I don’t know if I’ll decide to purchase Visio right away, but at least now I know what it is capable of and how it can meet my needs. Unfortunately, most of the software companies do not offer a discount for purchasing a full version of the software after you’ve downloaded and tested it.

Trial Microsoft software available for download