Not Free, Just Crippled

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

As we have explained before there is a big difference between ‘free’ software and ‘open source’ software – we are big proponents of the latter in all walks of life and in all our own business needs but have taken a cautionary route on ‘free’ signage software to date.

Whilst we now have the likes of Infosignz and s3mer the Australian folks behind Digital Recall can certainly lay claim to be being the “Worlds First Free Digital Signage Software”.

We are not sure we are happy with the term ‘free’ at all as in fact the business models around these companies and their products dictate ‘crippled’ software rather than a true Web 2.0 approach to customer satisfaction.

Digital Recall for example is functional for up to 2 locations and additional features and locations may be purchased if these are required. Infosignz and s3mer are similarly crippled – features, use of disk space etc etc.

Anyway a few weeks back, in Melbourne, Australia, they announced that BP Oil Plc was now using their software solution – which you can download here

The press release didn’t go into any detail of exactly how, where and on what scale BP Oil were using the software – we thought perhaps being used in one corner of an office somewhere on a remote sheep farm BUT it’s an interesting announcement nonetheless and we are assured that it’s used in a “major city at multiple locations in an administrative environment”.

Michael Marcus from Digital Recall was at pains to point out “Digital Recall is committed to making digital signage software available to even the smallest business. Of course we value companies of the stature of BP Oil using our software. We’d love to see all the small businesses that currently do not take advantage of digital signage, start using it. Using our free / low cost digital signage software, your own equipment, your existing LAN or Internet connection and our inexpensive custom-created ads makes it absolutely affordable.”

One Response to “Not Free, Just Crippled”

  1. Michael Marcus Says:


    Our free software (and probably the others mentioned above) is used by many users in it’s free format. Whilst it may be “crippled” to a user that requires more, it is nevertheless free to those “simple-requirement” users.

    Hey … that’s a good thing! The introduction of new DS users through these “free” alternatives is important for the industry and is good for all of us – Many will become users of more sophisticated systems and result in the growth of the DS Market.

    “… it could of course be using it in one corner of an office somewhere on a remote sheep farm…” – It COULD be, but IT’S NOT.
    In the interests of privacy we’ll not go into details. Suffice to say that it’s used in a major city at multiple locations.

    We love the idea of all “players” in the DS industry doing their little bit to help grow the industry as a whole. Be it open-source; “free”; crippled; basic, sophisticated; cheap; expensive; managed; etc. – We probably all contribute to the range of choices that potential users may want.

    Thanks Adrian for your most interesting and stimulating posts. Daily DOOH is always a great read.

    Michael Marcus – Digital Recall

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