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ISDEF has chosen a very different approach for this year, and many changes in the shareware landscape were reflected in this conference.

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 impressive.
Everything possible was done to make us western people feel like we belonged there, while not neglecting the large majority of Russian speaking people.

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 like.
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 much.
And now that the Digital River / ShareIt combimation is so huge, the companies that are still independent get a chance to profile themselves.
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 together.

Posted on Monday, September 20, 2004 8:56 PM Shareware | Back to top

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