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Is It Ethical For IT Professionals To Receive Free Software?

Last week, Panda Software started giving away a full, free copy of its professional anti-virus software, with integrated firewall, to IT influencers like you for your own protection at home. You can do it yourself, right now, at:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030512TB-Platinum

They'll even give you multiple copies, if you ask. Riggs Eckelberry, their new General Manager, is quite candid about the reasons why: "We've found that users who install our Platinum 7 at home become Panda advocates in the workplace."

Amusingly, he also told me that a French industry pal thought he was doing something quite unethical! We do it ourselves - the recent iHateSpam client giveaway on Amazon.com that introduced many IT professionals to the effectiveness of our server edition was hugely popular, as is the Panda promotion.

So – is it cultural differences or a real ethical conflict? Which leads me to the next SunPoll:

Q: Should publishers give away full product to get it known?

Sure, it's a legitimate way to get people to know the product.
No, I think they should work through analysts and reviews.
I won't touch anything that's not a major brand.
I think it's an unethical practice.
Who cares?
Vote here, leftmost column:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030512TB-SunPoll
 
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