Monday, October 06, 2003

Trillian Still Broken

In the race to rational business models during the past 4 years, companies have devoted considerable time and energy toward transitioning consumers from free services to fee-based services. Though Yettie staffers abound, it appears that Cerulean Studios doesn’t have any employees who learned how to conduct this process in an organized fashion.

On September 26th, Trillian’s products were rendered partially operable by a change in Yahoo’s messenger protocol. Within hours, the Cerulean staff had a patch available for their paid product. Moreover, their familiarity with the new protocol allowed them to help GAIM (an open source interoperable chat app) return to full functionality. Despite these successes, a patch is still unavailable for the free version of Trillian (.74E), and the userbase is starting to grumble.

By alienating their unpaid userbase, Cerulean risks failing to convert millions of unpaid users into thousands of paid ones. Each passing day without support for their free product is a day in which Cerulean’s PR machine – their free users – is offline.

I hope Cerulean Studios will soon learn the error of this strategic play and return to supporting the users who are most likely to become their future customers.

Update (10/9/03): A patch is available and my geeky grumbling ceases.

No comments: