What do you put in Free v. Paid Software?

When releasing the Free version of qTrace, it was a real challenge to figure out what features to leave in the Free v. Pro Editions.  We had to think about balancing the needs of our own business while balancing the needs and view of the QA testing community. Here was our philosophy for qTrace:

  • qTrace Free Edition
    • Must be a WOW product.
    • Can’t strip too many features out of qTrace for the Free Edition or we couldn’t get that “Wow” experience from software testers.   We want those who try qTrace to rave about it to friends and colleagues.
    • Testers must say, “this is the best defect capture tool (or QA testing tool, screen capture program) I’ve ever used.”  qTrace Free must be indispensible.  We need to demonstrate unequivocal value and build a relationship with our users. qTrace needs to be an essential part of the software defect management process to all defect trackers on a daily basis.
  • qTrace Pro Edition
    • We need to have enough new features in Pro so that users see the value stepping up to buy Pro.
    • But, make sure the price is low enough so that purchasing is an easy decision to spend the investment required for Pro.

We had many debates internally on what to include in Free v. Pro.  One that was interesting was around whether we allowed Testers to integrate qTrace Free Edition with their defect tracker.  Initially, we decided not to allow any direct integration or defect submission between the Free Edition and defect management tool.  That seemed fair.  But, part of the “Wow” experience is the elegant integration we’ve built with leading defect tracking systems.

We are working towards making qTrace the universal software defect submission tool for all defect trackers.  We believe the front-end and the seamless integration we’ve built with all leading defect trackers is a game-changer.   If we didn’t include this in the Free Version, some people may not ever get that “Wow” experience because the integration helps with the “Wow”.  So, we compromised and decided to let a user submit up to 3 defects per day seamlessly to their defect tracker.  This allows all users to have the “Wow” experience.  Also, the casual tester can get the ongoing value from qTrace while the power Tester may need to step up and buy the Pro version.  That seemed fair and like a good compromise.  Either way, we feel good about his decision in serving the interests of both our company and the community.

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