Crippleware

Crippleware

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In economics
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

, a damaged good (sometimes termed "crippleware" or product with "anti-features") is a good that has been deliberately limited in performance, quality or utility, typically for marketing
Marketing
Marketing is the process used to determine what products or services may be of interest to customers, and the strategy to use in sales, communications and business development. It generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication, and business developments...

 reasons as part of a strategy of product differentiation
Product differentiation
In economics and marketing, product differentiation is the process of distinguishing a product or offering from others, to make it more attractive to a particular target market. This involves differentiating it from competitors' products as well as a firm's own product offerings...

.

Computer software


Deliberately limited programs are usually freeware
Freeware
Freeware is computer software that is available for use at no cost or for an optional fee, but usually with one or more restricted usage rights. Freeware is in contrast to commercial software, which is typically sold for profit, but might be distributed for a business or commercial purpose in the...

 versions of computer programs that lack the most advanced (or even crucial) features of the original program
Computer program
A computer program is a sequence of instructions written to perform a specified task with a computer. A computer requires programs to function, typically executing the program's instructions in a central processor. The program has an executable form that the computer can use directly to execute...

. Limited versions are made available in order to increase the popularity of the full program without giving it away free. An example of crippleware is a word processor
Word processor
A word processor is a computer application used for the production of any sort of printable material....

 that cannot save or print. However, crippleware programs can also differentiate between tiers of paying software customers. A well known example is the Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows is a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft.Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces . Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal...

 pricing model.

The term "crippleware" is sometimes used to describe software products whose functions have been limited (or "cripple
Cripple
A cripple is a person or animal with a physical disability, particularly one who is unable to walk because of an injury or illness. The word was recorded as early as 950 AD, and derives from the Proto-Germanic krupilaz...

d") with the sole purpose of encouraging or requiring the user to pay for those functions (either by paying a one-time fee or an on-going subscription fee).

There are several types of deliberately limited programs:
  • The full program with the features disabled; this type can be "unlocked" into a fully functional version of the software, usually via a serial number
    Serial number
    A serial number is a unique number assigned for identification which varies from its successor or predecessor by a fixed discrete integer value...

    . One such example of this is the Adobe Creative Suite
    Adobe Creative Suite
    Adobe Creative Suite is a collection of graphic design, video editing, and web development applications made by Adobe Systems. The collection consists of Adobe's applications , that are based on various technologies...

     4 trial downloads.
  • A special trial version of the program that does not even include the executable code for the disabled features. In this case, only users who buy a licence are given access to another version of the program, which is fully functional. An example of this is NoLimits, which has all the functions of the normal program, but without the ability to save tracks, or import RCT1 tracks, this is not included inside the exe code and requires another version.
  • The functionality of the software or hardware is permanently compromised from full functionality due to third party agreements. An example is Hulu
    Hulu
    Hulu is a website and over-the-top subscription service offering ad-supported on-demand streaming video of TV shows, movies, webisodes and other new media, trailers, clips, and behind-the-scenes footage from NBC, Fox, ABC, and Obstacle on October 20th 2011 Nickelodeon and CBS and many other...

    , which only allows free playback of some content through traditional web browsers on computers.
  • The vendor includes a clause that features time limits to mar functionality. For example, the freeware version of Fraps
    Fraps
    Fraps is a benchmarking, screen capture, and real-time video capture utility for DirectX and OpenGL applications. It is commonly used to determine a computer's performance with a game, as well as record gaming footage...

     has in-game video recording time restricted to 30 seconds, and with a Fraps logo on the video.
  • Many consumer-end laptop computers are made to support only one version of Microsoft Windows
    Microsoft Windows
    Microsoft Windows is a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft.Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces . Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal...

     by limiting production of device driver
    Device driver
    In computing, a device driver or software driver is a computer program allowing higher-level computer programs to interact with a hardware device....

    s for that model for only the particular operating system
    Operating system
    An operating system is a set of programs that manage computer hardware resources and provide common services for application software. The operating system is the most important type of system software in a computer system...

    . Often this is done to limit the operating system used on the computer to the one that came packaged with it. Sometimes several versions of a particular laptop model are made with differing amounts of driver support for operating systems, such as in Toshiba Satellite
    Toshiba Satellite
    The Toshiba Satellite is Toshiba's line of consumer-grade notebook computers. Models in the Satellite family vary greatly, ranging from entry-level models to full-fledged media center-class notebooks...

     computers.
  • A handful of Web app
    Cloud computing
    Cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility over a network ....

     developers (H&R Block, Disney, and AT&T, to name a few) tend to use OS
    Operating system
    An operating system is a set of programs that manage computer hardware resources and provide common services for application software. The operating system is the most important type of system software in a computer system...

     autodetection
    Autodetection
    Autodetection is an automatic detection of a thing or situation.For example, an operating system system probes the computer hardware, automatically determines what is installed in the computer and configures the kernel to support the discovered hardware....

     and other tactics to deliberately tie their Web apps to specific operating systems or browsers.
  • The program is released under an open core
    Open core
    Open core is a business model where an open source product is also made available commercially with non-open-source additions...

     licensing model, wherein a limited feature version is released under an open source software license while a fully featured version is released under a proprietary software
    Proprietary software
    Proprietary software is computer software licensed under exclusive legal right of the copyright holder. The licensee is given the right to use the software under certain conditions, while restricted from other uses, such as modification, further distribution, or reverse engineering.Complementary...

     license.


To create a limited program usually requires the manufacturer or author to take active steps to reduce the capabilities that the hardware or software could otherwise handle. For example, Windows Vista Starter
Windows Vista editions
Windows Vista is available in six different marketing editions. With the exception of Windows Vista Starter, all editions support both 32-bit and 64-bit processor architectures....

 is restricted to running a maximum of three concurrent applications beyond those specified by Microsoft as basic system requirements.

Computer hardware


This product differentiation strategy has also been used in hardware products:
  • The Intel 486SX which was a 486DX with the FPU
    Floating point unit
    A floating-point unit is a part of a computer system specially designed to carry out operations on floating point numbers. Typical operations are addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and square root...

     removed or in early versions present but disabled.
  • AMD disables defective cores on their quad-core Phenom and Phenom II
    Phenom II
    Phenom II is a family of AMD's multi-core 45 nm processors using the AMD K10 microarchitecture, succeeding the original Phenom. Advanced Micro Devices released the Socket AM2+ version of Phenom II in December 2008, while Socket AM3 versions with DDR3 support, along with an initial batch of...

     X4 processor dies to make cheaper triple-core Phenom and Phenom II X3 and dual-core X2 models without the expense of designing new chips. Quad-core dies with one or two faulty cores can be used as triple- or dual-core processors rather than being discarded, increasing yield. Some users have managed to "unlock" these crippled cores, when not faulty.
  • Powerware has a line of UPS
    Uninterruptible power supply
    An uninterruptible power supply, also uninterruptible power source, UPS or battery/flywheel backup, is an electrical apparatus that provides emergency power to a load when the input power source, typically mains power, fails...

     models that can be upgraded in the field (without replacing any components) to the top model (15 kVA). That is, all the models are equal, but the lower ones are sold with a power limit, which can be removed for a price.
  • Suunto
    Suunto
    Suunto Oy, based in Finland, is a company that produces and markets sports precision instruments for Diving, Training and Outdoor sports. Headquartered in Vantaa, Suunto employs more than 500 people worldwide, and its products are sold in over 100 countries...

     sold a line of dive computers that included the Favor and the Octopus II. The major difference between these two was that if the diver was doing a decompresson dive the Favor displayed the amount of decompression time needed; the Octopus II did not display that time, although it would keep track of it (at the stop it would show a warning while the diver needed to wait before continuing his ascent. In the same circumstances the Favor would display a countdown
    Countdown
    A countdown is a sequence of counting backward to indicate the seconds, days, or other time units remaining before an event occurs or a deadline expires. Typical events for which a countdown is used include the launch of a rocket or spacecraft, the detonation of a bomb, the start of a race, and the...

    ). The Favor was about 1/3 more expensive than the Octopus II (about 200 euros versus 150).
  • Casio
    Casio
    is a multinational electronic devices manufacturing company founded in 1946, with its headquarters in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. Casio is best known for its electronic products, such as calculators, audio equipment, PDAs, cameras, musical instruments, and watches...

     fx-82es scientific calculator has the same ROM
    Read-only memory
    Read-only memory is a class of storage medium used in computers and other electronic devices. Data stored in ROM cannot be modified, or can be modified only slowly or with difficulty, so it is mainly used to distribute firmware .In its strictest sense, ROM refers only...

     as fx-991es, but some functions are disabled.

Digital rights management


Digital rights management
Digital rights management
Digital rights management is a class of access control technologies that are used by hardware manufacturers, publishers, copyright holders and individuals with the intent to limit the use of digital content and devices after sale. DRM is any technology that inhibits uses of digital content that...

 is another example of this product differentiation strategy. Digital files are inherently capable of being copied perfectly in unlimited quantities; digital rights management aims to remove the (from the producer's viewpoint) excess utility to the user from this capability by using hardware or cryptographic techniques to limit copying or playback.

Cars


This product differentiation strategy has also been used in the car market. In cars the motivation for is more usually trying to prevent a lower model from cannibalizing the sales of a higher model.
  • The Mazda 2's 1.3l engine can have either 75 or 86 PS (55 or 63 kW) with the only difference being the ECU
    Engine control unit
    An engine control unit is a type of electronic control unit that determines the amount of fuel, ignition timing and other parameters an internal combustion engine needs to keep running...

     programming and the price.
  • When the Golf V GTI was introduced its engine developed 200 hp (tuners
    Car tuning
    Car tuning is both an industry and a hobby, in which an automobile is modified in order to improve its performance, handling and appearance. As most vehicles leave the factory set up for average driver expectations and average conditions, tuning has become a way to personalize the characteristics...

     were able to increase that to 246 hp by reprogramming the ECU
    Engine control unit
    An engine control unit is a type of electronic control unit that determines the amount of fuel, ignition timing and other parameters an internal combustion engine needs to keep running...

     and currently that engine is available in several levels of power: 230 hp (GTI Edition 30), 241 hp (Seat Leon Cupra), 265 hp (Audi S3), although with some mechanical differences). It was suspected that this was to protect the R32 model equipped with the VR6 engine
    VR6 engine
    The VR6 engine is an internal combustion engine configuration, consisting of six cylinders. It was developed by the Volkswagen Group in the late 1980s, and evolutions of the original variant are still produced by them....

     which has 250 hp.
  • Porsche consistently and deliberately limits their mid-engined cars for fear that the vehicles would prove faster than their rear engine cars due to the superior chassis dynamics of a mid engine vehicle as opposed to a rear engine vehicle. This includes equipping them with inferior gearing (2nd gear hits 70 mph in the Cayman and Boxster as opposed to 60 mph in the 911), resulting in slower acceleration. It also includes the refusal to equip the Cayman or Boxster with the larger and more powerful engines from the 911, despite the fact that many enthusiasts and aftermarket tuners have fitted these more powerful engines into the vehicles. It also includes deliberately equipping the Boxster and Cayman with inferior oiling systems which include oil pans that are not baffled, wet sump systems, and air-oil separators that are too small. For years they didn't even offer a limited slip differential in the Boxster or Cayman. Finally, Porsche equips these vehicles with smaller wheel and tire packages (despite the fact that larger packages can fit) and with lower grip rubber from the factory (despite the existence of higher grip rubber).

Anti-features


Anti-features are design features deliberately added to a design to reduce the functionality of a hardware or software system. Examples include the production of "cut-down" versions of software or hardware that is built from the same basic hardware design or code-base as the full product, except for design elements added with the sole function of removing or restricting functionality.

Anti-features are often used as part of a product differentiation
Product differentiation
In economics and marketing, product differentiation is the process of distinguishing a product or offering from others, to make it more attractive to a particular target market. This involves differentiating it from competitors' products as well as a firm's own product offerings...

 strategy, allowing a complete product line to be created from a single design or code base that actually consists of a number of versions of the same high-end product with progressively more features deliberately disabled as the price point
Price point
Price points are prices at which demand for a given product is supposed to stay relatively high.- Characteristics :Introductory microeconomics depicts a demand curve as downward-sloping to the right and either linear or gently convex to the origin...

 drops.

Digital rights management
Digital rights management
Digital rights management is a class of access control technologies that are used by hardware manufacturers, publishers, copyright holders and individuals with the intent to limit the use of digital content and devices after sale. DRM is any technology that inhibits uses of digital content that...

, Client Access License
Client Access License
A Client Access License is a proprietary software license distributed by software companies such as Microsoft to allow clients to connect to its server software and use the software's services.-Software licensing introduction:...

s, and Windows Genuine Advantage
Windows Genuine Advantage
Windows Genuine Advantage is an anti-piracy system created by Microsoft that enforces online validation of the licensing of several recent Microsoft Windows operating systems when accessing several services, such as Windows Update, and downloading Windows components from the Microsoft Download...

 are considered by some to be examples of anti-features in software: each restricts functionality (unlimited copying, and unlimited numbers of clients capable of being served, respectively) that would otherwise be innate in the product's design.

Hardware copy protection
Copy protection
Copy protection, also known as content protection, copy obstruction, copy prevention and copy restriction, refer to techniques used for preventing the reproduction of software, films, music, and other media, usually for copyright reasons.- Terminology :Media corporations have always used the term...

 schemes have similarly been used to limit the functionality of some recording devices.

In automotive design, software restrictions may be used to deliberately limit the performance of low-end vehicles, even though they may be built from the same parts as higher-end vehicles in the same product line. In the computer printer
Computer printer
In computing, a printer is a peripheral which produces a text or graphics of documents stored in electronic form, usually on physical print media such as paper or transparencies. Many printers are primarily used as local peripherals, and are attached by a printer cable or, in most new printers, a...

 industry, hardware authentication strategies have been used in attempts to link the sale of ink cartridges to the sale of printers.

See also


  • Defective by Design
    Defective by Design
    Defective by Design is an anti-digital rights management initiative by the Free Software Foundation. DRM technology, dubbed "digital restrictions management" by opponents, restricts users’ ability to freely use their purchased movies, music, literature, software, and hardware in ways they are...

  • Dongle
    Dongle
    A software protection dongle is a small piece of hardware that plugs into an electrical connector on a computer and serves as an electronic "key" for a piece of software; the program will only run when the dongle is plugged in...

  • Hardware restrictions
    Hardware restrictions
    Hardware restrictions refers to restrictions in any device that places technical restrictions on what content can run/play on said device or what users can do with certain content. Hardware restrictions can be used with software DRM and digital signatures...

  • Walled garden (technology)

External links