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I've always wondered why some companies want you to register when you install their programs. Personally, I just find it annoying and decline, but what do companies have to gain by having their users get registred? They claim that you get "the latest updates" and stuff, but often you get that anyway without having to register.

So what's the deal with this registering? I just don't see that point.

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So we can spam the hell out of you as thanks for purchasing our products. –  Crazy Eddie Feb 19 '11 at 0:19
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4 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Marketing Database & Upsell. I can think of no other good reason. They know how many users they sell the product to, or how many times it's been downloaded.

If there's an update - well, either the program will have an update program built in, or you'll find it on their website when you get a problem.

Critical Bug notification? Maybe...but to be honest, see above.

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The company gets the opportunity to contact you to try to sell you stuff beyond what you have of theirs. The data from registrations can also be useful for the company to use in advertising as they can claim X number of registered users for their product.

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For an individual or a small company giving away a free product, it might simply be nice to know how many people are using the software they took the time to develop.

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Regarding registering purchased software, there's several reasons:

  1. Did you lose your installation CD? If you are registered, then the company's tech support can send a replacement CD to you. Or did you lose your original download link/file? Support can email to your registered address a new download link.

  2. Companies dont want to waste support resources supporting pirated copies of their software. For direct support, particularly when its something involved, they'll want to ensure you're a legitimate owner of the software.

  3. Upgrades. Companies often want to provide discounts to previous customers for things like upgrades and/or companion products. They can send discount codes to registered owners.

And of course, there's the practical matter of marketing. When a new product is released, or a new version available, they want to let you know so that you might buy it.

What I really hate is companies requiring you to register just to use a trial or free version. But then, thats why they invented GMail... so we all can have throwaway email addresses.

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#2. There have been cases when users of pirated programs in their genuine ignorance of the piracy complained on the official support forums regarding bugs in their programs they bought for $3 per Software Collection CD somewhere. –  user8685 Feb 18 '11 at 22:59
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