Bad idea to get a lot of publicity for a free beta version though when I'm planning to start charging for it eventually? [EDITED TO ADD: Will it hurt future paid sales?]
I have a software program that has been developed and is now in beta version. I'm giving it away for free off of my company's website (just to get users), and traffic is starting to pick up, with a few dozen users so far.
I have a big announcement on the website saying 'Send feedback and we'll send you a copy of the paid version once it's released, at no cost to you', but nobody has- I'm assuming that the product works OK, as I tested it extensively.
I have found a bunch of blogs and industry trade publications that would probably feature my program (as they review software targeted to my industry), and I would like to start publicizing it to get even more users.
I don't want people to think that it's not worth a cent, but I want a lot of users, since I figure extensive word of mouth is a good thing. I am fine with even just giving away the program rather than charging for it, if it would result in a high-level business deal at some point- surely someone would be able to monetize it.