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TAKE SOFTWARE FOR A SPIN WITH NEW 'TRY BEFORE YOU BUY' APPROACH FROM TESTDRIVE

This First of Its Kind CD-ROM-Based Product Enables Computer Users To

Try Out Dozens of Software Programs Before Deciding to Purchase Them
 SANTA CLARA, Calif., July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- What will computer owners soon be able to do that car purchasers have done for decades? Take software for a `test drive' before deciding to make a purchase.
 Ever since personal computers first arrived in the early 1980s, computer users have had two avenues for buying software: either direct from the manufacturer or through a local computer store.
 Unfortunately, until a program is loaded onto a computer, it's often hard to know if it's really what a user really needs. Even if you've seen it working on a computer, have tried out a demo, read a glowing review, or if your Uncle Harry has a copy and swears by it. But that will all change very soon.
 Starting in September, TestDrive Corp. of Santa Clara will begin shipping the TestDrive Super Store(TM), a CD-ROM-based product designed to allow computer users the benefit of trying out a software program before deciding to buy it.
 "For years, users have complained that they can't learn enough about a product just from a demo or even from a crippled product," said Nathan Schulhof, TestDrive president. "Now computer owners can try out dozens of software titles, on their own computer, in the privacy of their home or office, and see which ones they like."
 A PC-based CD-ROM package, TestDrive's product will be the first of its kind to target the majority of PC users. The TestDrive Super Store will contain dozens of different windows and DOS software applications on a CD-ROM platter. A Macintosh-based version will begin shipping in December 1993.
 CD-ROM users receiving a TestDrive CD will be allowed to view and operate full-working versions of each program on the CD for a trial period set by the software publisher.
 Following the trial period, users will be able to purchase the software from TestDrive by dialing an 800 number (800-788-8055) and receiving an enabling code that will generate a product ID number and fully enable the product for the customer to install to his or her hard drive for immediate use. Shrink-wrapped application disks and manuals will then be sent from TestDrive directly to the user via express mail.
 Among the dozens of software titles available on the first TestDrive CD are Quattro Pro, Paradox and dBASE from Borland International; The Print Shop Deluxe from Broderbund; OmniPage and PageKeeper from Caere Corp.; and WordPerfect for Windows and WordPerfect Presentations from WordPerfect Corp.
 "TestDrive users will be able to purchase products from us round- the-clock, seven days a week, and do so at a very competitive price," Schulhof said. "In addition, we'll have support staff, trained by the software publishers, on hand 24 hours a day to handle technical questions about the different programs."
 TestDrive Super Store CDs will be available each quarter to CD-ROM users for $9.95 or for an annual introductory subscription rate of $19.95. The subscription charge will be discounted out of the cost of the first software title each user purchases through TestDrive.
 In addition, each TestDrive CD will contain several free software programs with a total value of more than $500. These free programs will be "hidden" on the CD to encourage users to browse through the entire TestDrive CD disk.
 TestDrive will initially market its products to an installed base of more than 5.3 million CD-ROM owners, which includes at least 2.5 million units in commercial U.S. locations and 500,000 in U.S. households.
 For additional information, contact TestDrive at 800-788-8055.
 -0- 7/21/93
 /EDITOR'S NOTE: TestDrive and Super Store are trademarks of TestDrive Corp. All other product names and trademarks are property of their respective owners./
 /CONTACT: Nathan M. Schulhof, president of TestDrive, 800-788-8055; or David L. Politis of Politis & Associates, 801-364-4649 (work) or 801-572-1371 (home), for TestDrive/


CO: TestDrive ST: California IN: CPR SU: PDT

EH-BP -- LAFNS1 -- 3713 07/21/93 07:37 EDT
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 21, 1993
Words:673
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