IMPORTANT IMPORTANT CHANGES TO HWiNFO64 COMING SOON

Martin

HWiNFO Author
Staff member
Dear users,

Today, I'd like to share with you some important changes coming to HWiNFO (especially HWiNFO64) in the near future. For many years it was possible to maintain this project as an unconditional freeware model and cover the expenses and effort with some income from advertisements and voluntary donations. As some of you have maybe noticed, during the recent months and years HWiNFO has received many new features and frequent updates, not just to keep up with latest hardware and technologies and many of those features are truly unique. This was only possible by devoting a huge amount of time and effort to this project. The user base has grown significantly, which also resulted in a substantial increase in support and feature requests. Moreover, this also means an increase in additional direct/indirect expenses required to keep this project going and provide more comfortable experience.
Due to all these facts (and some others), running this project at the current pace became no longer possible with the full freeware model. So I needed to make some important decisions to secure the future of HWiNFO. The upcoming changes were carefully evaluated and defined so that the impact on personal users will be minimal.

PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRELY BEFORE POSTING QUESTIONS OR REACTIONS.

So what exactly is going to happen soon:

- Using HWiNFO64 for commercial purposes will require purchasing a commercial license. Personal use will remain free.
- Introduction of HWiNFO64 Pro - a licensed version of HWiNFO64 offering additional features and commercial use (with a proper license).
- HWiNFO64 Pro will additionally support: command-line interface for automatic reporting and sensor logging.
- Shared Memory Interface (SHM) in HWiNFO64 (non-Pro) will be run-time limited to 12 hours. HWiNFO64 Pro will not have such limit.
- To compensate for the SHM limitation, the interface details will be made fully public, so that anyone can interface with HWiNFO to read all sensor data. See below FAQ for more details.
- Default value of the "Shared Memory Support" configuration option will change from Enabled to Disabled. See below FAQ for more details.
- Remote Sensor Monitoring will be limited to 5 machines in HWiNFO64. HWiNFO64 Pro will have a higher limit.

Various license types for HWiNFO64 Pro will be available:
- Personal: Non-commercial use only. For private users requiring Pro features, or those who just want to contribute to the project.
- Engineer: Allows commercial use. User-based licensing.
- Corporate: Allows commercial use. Computer-based licensing.

Each license will include a 1-year maintenance period that will allow to upgrade to new versions released within this period at no additional cost.

Some Frequently Asked Questions that you might wanted to ask:

Q: When will this change happen?
A: The final date has not set yet, it is expected to happen in the next couple of weeks starting with version 7.0. On Mar-09-2021 HWiNFO version 7.00 was released.

Q: What will the licenses costs?
A: Exact pricing has not been finalized yet. Check the Licenses page for further details.

Q: What will happen to versions prior to 7.0, can we use them as we do now?
A: Nothing will change for versions prior to 7.0, they will remain full freeware.

Q: What will happen after expiry of the license maintenance period?
A: Versions issued before the license expiry date will continue to work as licensed copies. Versions released after that date will require a new (renewed) license. This will be available for licensed users with a discount.

Q: Will it be possible to use HWiNFO64 in commercial environment for evaluation?
A: Yes, a 14-day evaluation period will be allowed.

Q: I'm using HWiNFO64 for personal (non-commercial) purposes and don't need any of the Pro features. Will I need to purchase HWiNFO64 Pro?
A: No. You might consider upgrading to Pro in case you're using HWiNFO64 with some SHM-based addon or application and require uninterrupted monitoring via SHM for extended periods (>12 hours).

Q: I'm using HWiNFO64 for personal purposes and don't use the above mentioned limited features (or I'm OK with those limits). Will there be anything else forcing me to upgrade to Pro?
A: Nothing. No nag screens, no reminders. It's your choice whether you stay with HWiNFO64 or upgrade.

Q: I'm using HWiNFO64 for personal (non-commercial) purposes together with an application pulling data from HWiNFO64 via SHM. Will I need to purchase HWiNFO64 Pro?
A: You're not required to purchase HWiNFO64 Pro. If the SHM is used for limited time periods (i.e. to watch stats in game), or if you're OK with manually enabling it after 12 hours, you can stay with the non-Pro version.

Q: What plugins and extensions will be affected by the SHM limitation?
A: All that make use of the SHM interface to pull data from HWiNFO64: HWiNFOMonitor, Rainmeter plug-in, Prometheus Adapter, Aquacomputer Aquasuite, MSI Afterburner via the HWiNFO plugin, Elgato Streamdeck, TThrottle, etc. RTSS support built-in HWiNFO will not be affected.

Q: What were the reasons behind limiting the SHM also for personal users?
A: Current requirement for allowing other applications to use SHM is that the product must be an unconditional freeware while keeping the interface details closed. The main reason behind this is not to allow commercial products to make use of (and earn from) a freeware product. However this was difficult to meet for many projects - open-source projects to keep a part of code closed, or projects that were somehow related to commercial products or were earning even indirectly. Moreover, some subjects have attempted to circumvent the SHM restriction and use it for commercial purposes by utilizing illegal methods. So the new SHM model is uniform without implementation restrictions and allows full disclosure of the interface. I also believe that a 12-hour limit on SHM is sufficient for most personal users and will deter some of the commercial usage.

Q: How is the 12-hour limit to SHM enforced in HWiNFO64 and what will happen when it's exceeded?
A: The countdown starts once the sensors and SHM is started. After 12 hours a notification will be shown and SHM will be deactivated. It can be manually activated again, then a new 12-hours countdown will start.

Q: Why will the default value of the "Shared Memory Support" configuration option change from Enabled to Disabled?
A: This is to avoid disturbing users that don't use the SHM (a majority) with the automatic SHM deactivation notification.

Q: I want to create a commercial application that would read sensor data from HWiNFO via SHM. Will I be allowed to utilize the SHM?
A: Yes, according to new conditions you're allowed to do so. HWiNFO32/64 version 7.0 or later shall be used on the client side.

Q: What will happen to HWiNFO32 or HWiNFO for DOS, will there be any changes too?
A: No changes. Both will continue as freeware for both non-commercial and commercial use, SHM will not be limited in HWiNFO32. HWiNFO32 is designed to support legacy systems since Windows 95 and it's not recommended to be used on modern 64-bit systems due to many (yet still increasing) limitations of 32-bit applications.

Q: Do you plan to add more Pro features?
A: Yes, definitely. Some of those features will mean additional expenses on my side, so the Pro license justifies this.

Q: Will any of these changes impact the HWiNFO SDK?
A: No, the HWiNFO SDK is a separate and flexible product designed for commercial purposes. Many users have been requesting features similar to the SDK (i.e. automated report generation or sensor logging) for commercial purposes. HWiNFO64 Pro will addresses these requirements with commercial use in mind.

Q: Have you considered other ways of covering the effort and costs so that HWiNFO64 would remain free?
A: Yes, there are many ways. But most of them are aggressive and would be met with a strongly negative user experience and opinion (i.e. installer bundles). I have been accused a few times that HWiNFO must be doing some nasty tricks in the backyard when it's freeware (e.g. collecting and selling personal data) :) This has never been the case and user privacy is of utmost importance here. HWiNFO collects only system/hardware-specific data and this remains with the user. Moreover it's easy to check that HWiNFO is not transmitting any data over internet.

Q: I don't like this change, it should be free!
A: We don't live in communism and have to pay our bills.

Thanks for your support!
Martin
 
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ManniX

Member
Don't want to be rude but... what's the plan about pricing for the Pro Personal version?

Sad to see another Freeware disappear but as you said; we don't live in communism.
 
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Martin

HWiNFO Author
Staff member
One of the reasons why the effort is so high is also because many users don't read in full what's written or don't even try to search if their question wasn't already answered.
So I have to repeat the same things over and over again, which is taking a significant portion of my time.
 

ManniX

Member
One of the reasons why the effort is so high is also because many users don't read in full what's written or don't even try to search if their question wasn't already answered.
So I have to repeat the same things over and over again, which is taking a significant portion of my time.

Sorry if it was about my question; I read it fully of course, I probably wasn't clear enough in my question.
I understand the exact pricing is not yet defined but what is the "plan"?
Are you oriented more toward an expensive license, eg. AIDA64 or SiSoftware Sandra as an example, or something more "popular" in the order of few bucks per year?
If you don't know yet, please feel free not to answer.
 

Martin

HWiNFO Author
Staff member
The Personal license will be for sure less than $40, but more than just a few bucks. With a significant discount for renewal.
There's also a big difference between shareware tools like AIDA64, which don't offer personal use for free. This will rather be a freemium model.

There's also another aspect of Personal license pricing. There will be many corporate users not caring about the need to purchase a commercial license, but buy the cheapest license to get Pro features and not care about legal issues. If people would play fair, things could be very different, but it's life...
 
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ManniX

Member
The Personal license will be for sure less than $40, but more than just a few bucks. With a significant discount for renewal.
There's also a big difference between shareware tools like AIDA64, which don't offer personal use for free. This will rather be a freemium model.

Thanks, I like this model & approach it seems appropriate.
 

VictorVG

Well-Known Member
I think that in many home networks it makes sense to increase the number of monitored devices to 10. now many devices are initially designed with the function of remote health monitoring, and the number of machines on a LAN can reach 6 - 7 if families are large. Personally, I have four working machines in my home network and a couple of test benches on which everything that is possible is checked, and I naturally try to see a potential malfunction before I have to climb into the iron with a soldering iron - less labor and time will be spent on repairs.
 

Old_School

New Member
Call me old school if you will , but time fly's like crazy & so thus :

Look , I understand that your amazing S/W has a monetary value .
Asking for donations doesn't work very well , of course .
Developers (such as yourself) deserve some very good payback for all the years of hard work given selflessly , and in some cases , very passionately as well .

Time's such as these when computers are so in demand that one can't even buy a GPU, really may be a good time to make transitions for developers .
Yourself and many others may be contemplating making "the leap" right about now (including myself) .

I will not rent S/W , however . I see more & more & more of this whole "rent for a year marketing" . Gives me the shivers .

What's wrong with the old school way of paying for a license? ... (getting a couple/three intermediate upgrades until the next major release/discounted for current subscribers of course)

So, if this is the new trend in software licensing , I have to say , 'what d'hell' !

Seriously , might not only be myself who thinks ... "if this thing actually works good & it's only $20-$40 , I will buy a license , but to rent, one year at a time , maybe not .

To a young Gamer, a year is a long time , but I doubt that is the the whole impetus behind this latest 'Mainstream' marketing concept that S/W developers are attempting .

Dell/Lenova/IBM/Etc have been using this forever , which is why "Corporate Customers" buy from them (and the rest of us "run away as fast as we can...")

Please do not go "Corporate" .

Seriously ; Please do ignore 'idiot bean counter's' advice . They are only telling you what you want to hear ... at a price . (that does not pay)

All The Best,
Take Good Care,
Looking Forward To Our Most Positive Future,
 

ManniX

Member
@Old_School
If you read again the first post you'll notice this is not a rental model.

You will retain the last version released in the maintenance period as a perpetual license.
Which is usually better than "till the next major release".
As an example look at Acronis True Image; they release a new major every year.
They still sell the license, together with the rental mode, which is what I purchase cause I hate it as well.
But every major release is just containing usually minor new features and over the year it's mostly if not only bugfixes.

And that's what's happening for most software around.
Just the digital certificate to sign the software and the tools to manage the licensing and to protect the source code are a big recurring expense.

HWInfo as you can see from the change logs is updated continuously.
It has to keep up with updated Windows releases, drivers, BIOS, new products and still it manages to add every now and then something new.
I'd be glad to pay my share for all this continuous effort on a yearly basis, especially considering I'm buying a license and I already know it's high quality work.
 

Martin

HWiNFO Author
Staff member
@Old_School
If you read again the first post you'll notice this is not a rental model.

You will retain the last version released in the maintenance period as a perpetual license.
Which is usually better than "till the next major release".
As an example look at Acronis True Image; they release a new major every year.
They still sell the license, together with the rental mode, which is what I purchase cause I hate it as well.
But every major release is just containing usually minor new features and over the year it's mostly if not only bugfixes.

And that's what's happening for most software around.
Just the digital certificate to sign the software and the tools to manage the licensing and to protect the source code are a big recurring expense.

HWInfo as you can see from the change logs is updated continuously.
It has to keep up with updated Windows releases, drivers, BIOS, new products and still it manages to add every now and then something new.
I'd be glad to pay my share for all this continuous effort on a yearly basis, especially considering I'm buying a license and I already know it's high quality work.

Well said, you covered what I wanted to say.
 

d0mini

New Member
The number of updates you make to this incredible tool, the number of times I've seen you posting here and on other forums like overclock.net... You're awesome Martin. You're doing the work of multiple people keeping this all going, and I couldn't be happier to support the endeavour. An enthusiast making solid software for enthusiasts - what could be more worth supporting than that? :D I hope this new direction serves you very well.
 

Arctucas

Member
If I do not use any of the plugins that use the Shared Memory, i.e. only use HWiNFO main application, will the new version work as it always has with no limitations?
 

Martin

HWiNFO Author
Staff member
If I do not use any of the plugins that use the Shared Memory, i.e. only use HWiNFO main application, will the new version work as it always has with no limitations?

Yes.
Q: I'm using HWiNFO64 for personal purposes and don't use the above mentioned limited features (or I'm OK with those limits). Will there be anything else forcing me to upgrade to Pro?
A: Nothing. No nag screens, no reminders. It's your choice whether you stay with HWiNFO64 or upgrade.
 

CobraPL

New Member
~200CHF with 1y updates?
Are you, well, sure of it?
Did anyone actually make any calculations? Who is buyer-base? How many small businesses (like one person IT help-desk) could afford sth like that?
And what commercial usage means then?
 
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