ISDEF has chosen a very different approach for this year, and many
changes in the shareware landscape were reflected in this
A new style
This year, ISDEF was held in a western-style hotel in the airport
area: The Holiday Inn. A very sharp contrast with last year.
Everything was of course much more comfortable (and more expensive).
I think everyone liked this location very much.
Next to the change in location, there were some other style changes.
This conference was more ready for an international audience.
There were some sessions in English, of which most were translated by
an interpreter. Of course saying everything in English first and then
in Russian slowed these sessions down very much, but it worked.
Of course most sessions were still in Russian, but there was
simultaneous translation available on headphones, which was very
Everything possible was done to make us western people feel like we
belonged there, while not neglecting the large majority of Russian
A big effort was also made to have internet connections available, both wireless for laptops (even from within the rooms) and on public computers.
A changed landscape
Of course one of the major changes in the shareware landscape is the
take-over of Share*It/Element 5 by
Digital River. The 2 main
sponsors are now one. This is reflected in sessions, parties and the
There were also some missing faces because of changes in the shareware
landscape. It was especially very strange to have an ISDEF without
Jessica Dewell and Lori Lockwood, who were known and loved by everyone
and the center of attention in the past. You were both missed very
And now that the Digital River / ShareIt combimation is so huge, the
companies that are still independent get a chance to profile
eSellerate was of course still
present, like last year. But this year there was also a booth by
SWREG, and a whole new player in the market
showed up: Ask|Net. From now on
this new player will be a new constant in shareware conferences. If
they are reading this, maybe I can suggest to organize a sponsor event
in Strasbourg and see how
that works out?
And let's also not forget the prominent prescense of Softkey: They made it very clear they are the number one in Russia.
Of course, with this new landscape in mind, it makes lots of sense
for us, small players in the software market, to bundle forces with the
small players in the eCommerce market, and build a good alternative