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 PostPost subject: Redefining "abandonware"...        Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:22 am 
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I am bringing up this discussion from a non-related thread here.

I think we need to discuss the defintion of "abandonware", and I'd like to hear your opinions. From what I've learned the definition on this forum is:

BetaArchive wrote:
Abandonware: A piece of software older than 10 years from its launch date and not used anymore by a majority of users.


This definition is quite vague and doesn't take up a multitude of issues that needs to be addressed in the new definition:
  • Long lived software that may be used well beyond the defined 10 year lifespan (example: Microsoft Windows XP)
  • Software with long support (patches, service packs, end user support etc)
  • Software abandoned because of corporate bankrupcy.
----

My idea is to classify software as abandonware only when:

  • three years after the software has been replaced by a newer version OR...
  • three years after the company went bankrupt ending all development and support BUT ONLY...
  • if the software is still supported (by patches etc) it will become abandonware three years after support ends, regardless of previous situations.

The three year limit will give the software a little bit time to become abandoned, as we well know people don't always upgrade immediately when a new version is out. This limit could of course be longer (5 years?) but I don't think it should be any shorter than 3 years. Remember that regardless what anyone think abandonware is it's still warez and therefore illegal unless the company behinds it releases it as freeware. So it's pointless to say abandonware is free of any licenses or laws. But putting a time limitation helps us to make the software less usable for anyone except collectors, 3+ years after support ends the company behind it will not sell or support it anyway, so they don't lose anything on it. And by not providing any serials or cracks we will not distribute it illegally in any usable form.

Let me know what you people think, any suggestions are welcome (except for any radical ones :P ). Remember that all abandonware on BA will be devoid of any serials, cracks, keygens or time bombs, anything that circumvents copy protection or license limitations.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Redefining "abandonware"...        Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:28 am 
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I totally agree with you. I wrote sometime that 10-years rule should be modified and this new one is very good IMO :wink:
edit: And I forgot, you've written that there can't be any keygens, cracks etc. but Windows NT4 SP1 in Abandonware is a touched version that doesn't ask you to type a serial key. I've recently bought NT4 (unopened BTW :mrgreen: ) and got asked to type the key.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Redefining "abandonware"...        Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:54 am 
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I will bring my suggestion to the table:

     "A piece of software is abandonware when 8 or more years have passed, a majority of users have migrated to the latest version, and the version in question is no longer in a main support lifecycle."


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 PostPost subject: Re: Redefining "abandonware"...        Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:04 am 
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zamadatix wrote:
I will bring my suggestion to the table:

     "A piece of software is abandonware when 8 or more years have passed, a majority of users have migrated to the latest version, and the version in question is no longer in a main support lifecycle."


Any reason for the number 8?

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pkubaj wrote:
...Windows NT4 SP1 in Abandonware is a touched version that doesn't ask you to type a serial key. I've recently bought NT4 (unopened BTW :mrgreen: ) and got asked to type the key.

I don't know if this really applies to NT4, but there might have been volume license discs that came with a pre-entered product key. I have to investigate it further, but if I am not mistaken I got a couple of original volume discs that don't need a serial to install.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Redefining "abandonware"...        Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:02 am 
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Adandonware: Politically correct warez.

I agree the 10 year rule is stupid, mainly because the criteria software need to meet to become "Abandonware" varies from software to software (as I pointed out in the other thread, technically no MS Software is abandonware).


Last edited by J.Byrne on Sat Jun 20, 2009 5:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Redefining "abandonware"...        Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:31 am 
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Abandonware: Software that has been off the retail shelves for 3-4 years, and/or the company has dropped all support for this OS.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Redefining "abandonware"...        Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 3:24 am 
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You are all making this too complicated. Abandonware should be considered anything which you can not still purchase from the original manufacturers/publishers. Anything else should fall under a different definition.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Redefining "abandonware"...        Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:00 am 
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RentedMule: So that means, by your logic, that Windows XP would be abandonware. :S

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 PostPost subject: Re: Redefining "abandonware"...        Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:03 am 
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As far as Microsoft is concerned, perhaps a good time would be as soon as the extended support cycle ends. Anyone would be crazy to be using it after that point. Maybe a year after extended support ends? Of course you could argue that XP could be around even after the date that's posted now... but if Microsoft keeps it around longer than that the support would be extended, which wouldn't make it abandon-ware.

http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifeselectindex


Last edited by QuiescentWonder on Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Redefining "abandonware"...        Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:13 am 
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Absolutely, I would classify it as abandonware. Microsoft has no interest in selling it. It blocks resellers from selling it.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Redefining "abandonware"...        Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:22 am 
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wikipedias definition : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abandonware

btw : What's with special versions like e.g. Windows 3.x and Dos 6.x ?

It was available from MS until last year for embedded licensing

http://blogs.msdn.com/jcoyne/archive/20 ... -3-11.aspx
and was even on the tech net subscription downloads.

It's end of life was on Nov 1, 2008, so it was in no way abandoned or legal to distribute before that date. ( Personally I don't care, just saying.. )

:wink:


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 PostPost subject: Re: Redefining "abandonware"...        Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 5:14 am 
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It would be pretty cool if everything up to XP was alowed...
Wikipedia wrote:
Abandonware is computer software that is no longer sold or supported, or whose copyright ownership may be unclear for various reasons. While the term has been applied largely to older games, other classes of software are sometimes described as such.

I think thats all the criteria we need right there in bold.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Redefining "abandonware"...        Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 7:08 am 
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WildEye001 wrote:
RentedMule: So that means, by your logic, that Windows XP would be abandonware. :S

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6832116511

Windows XP, still being sold.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6883220006
Windows XP, still being installed by a large OEM, and shipped.

XP isn't abandonware.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Redefining "abandonware"...        Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 7:52 am 
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Smartie77 wrote:
http://blogs.msdn.com/jcoyne/archive/2008/07/09/it-s-the-end-for-3-11.aspx
and was even on the tech net subscription downloads.


It still is.

Although DOS are not bootable, just a collection of files.
And Windows are not in floppy format but also an just a collection of files.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Redefining "abandonware"...        Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:51 am 
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I think zamadatix one is a really good one, only I think that 8 years must be reduced to 5 (That's not very long, but also not too short).

In fact, I think that Windows XP can be abandonware by this rule very fast, in a good way. When microsoft stops support, I think the life of Winodws XP is over, and everbody will move to another windows version (due to safety issues). Then, it can be classified as Abondonware for my oppinion.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Redefining "abandonware"...        Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:05 am 
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Anything that has had official support dropped by the company. If we want to get complicated, if a company has gone bankrupt/shut down then its software could be classified abandonware


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 PostPost subject: Re: Redefining "abandonware"...        Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 6:39 pm 
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mrpijey wrote:
Offtopic Comment
pkubaj wrote:
...Windows NT4 SP1 in Abandonware is a touched version that doesn't ask you to type a serial key. I've recently bought NT4 (unopened BTW :mrgreen: ) and got asked to type the key.

I don't know if this really applies to NT4, but there might have been volume license discs that came with a pre-entered product key. I have to investigate it further, but if I am not mistaken I got a couple of original volume discs that don't need a serial to install.

I feel I must bring this to the table. My dad's school got a Windows 2000 disk to install a bunch of systems with, and it had the product key pre-installed, so you just had to add the disk to the machine, and hit enter a few times. (and it was straight from MS's factory, complete with fancy shiny holographic top thinger)

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 PostPost subject: Re: Redefining "abandonware"...        Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:03 pm 
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zeehonden_3 wrote:
I think zamadatix one is a really good one, only I think that 8 years must be reduced to 5 (That's not very long, but also not too short).

In fact, I think that Windows XP can be abandonware by this rule very fast, in a good way. When microsoft stops support, I think the life of Winodws XP is over, and everbody will move to another windows version (due to safety issues). Then, it can be classified as Abondonware for my oppinion.

Nothing will ever be completely abandoned. People at my dad's work have workstations running NT4 and 2000.


Hosting "Abandonware" is just making yourself a target for law enforcement to shut you down.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Redefining "abandonware"...        Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:15 pm 
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When I put in 8 years I guess I really meant to put in X years (maybe 10, maybe 9. idk). I think it is more important to come up with a structure first then add the details of when.

A slightly rewritten proposal.

     "A piece of software is considered abandonware when X or more years have passed, a majority of users have migrated to the latest version, and the version in question is no longer in a main support lifecycle."


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 PostPost subject: Re: Redefining "abandonware"...        Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:01 am 
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Maybe:

A piece of software is considered abandonware when at least X amount of time has gone by after all of the following criteria have been met.

1. The software has become obsolete (no longer used).
2. The life-cycle of the product has come to an end.
3. The software is no longer sold or distributed by the manufacturer to the general public.
4. etc...


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 PostPost subject: Re: Redefining "abandonware"...        Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 10:12 am 
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Windows XP is gonna be available with Windows 7 under the whole 'Virtual XP Mode' so it'll be around and supported for a while yet (5 years at least according to MS).

I would add maybe 3 years after support ends before it's classed as abandonware (so XP in 2017 for example).

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 PostPost subject: Re: Redefining "abandonware"...        Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 10:26 am 
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Bender wrote:
Hosting "Abandonware" is just making yourself a target for law enforcement to shut you down.


I agree with that, but what about betas, they are also not - well - really alloud are they?

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 PostPost subject: Re: Redefining "abandonware"...        Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:19 pm 
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Bender wrote:
Hosting "Abandonware" is just making yourself a target for law enforcement to shut you down.


Unfortunately it's true, even if it's very old software it's still protected under various laws. That's why I am a bit skittish about hosting ANY abandonware on BA... on the other hand it would have been great to have a great collection of abandonware on the site. I got a whole lot of different ideas on how to solve this "problem" but nothing usable has come up yet.

zeehonden_3 wrote:
I agree with that, but what about betas, they are also not - well - really alloud are they?


Technically yes, but one could argue that all betas are incomplete and broken pieces of software with an extremely limited lifespan, not to mention that none of these betas will ever reach retail shelves anyway so they can't claim loss of income etc.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Redefining "abandonware"...        Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 6:16 pm 
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Not to mention that Microsoft doesn't care about them...unless you go trying to sell them on burnt discs or something stupid like that.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Redefining "abandonware"...        Posted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:57 pm 
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In terms of abandonware, I like this definition: Software that has been off the retail shelves for 3-4 years, and/or the company has dropped all support for this OS.

I would say everything up to and including Windows ME (if you're talking windows) should be considered abandonware. Server 2000 will be next year once extended support drops (although it's still pretty damn close already considering it's soon to be FOUR releases out of date!). As long as you're not selling it, I'd say it's perfectly fine to host it on the server. There's not always a good clear cut definition, what with XP still going strong 8+ years after its release. Sometimes you just have to come to a consensus, but I think most could agree that everything up to and including ME isn't widely used anymore, and hosting it certainly won't deprive MS of any income. Anyone dumb enough to use anything older than XP as their main OS is just asking for problems anyway, and since ME hasn't been the flagship MS OS for almost TEN years now, it's hardly cutting edge.


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