SpinOff Software has developed a diagnostics system for retailers channel, which it claims will solve the problem of software returns.
Called Radar, the system will be distributed by retailers to prospective software buyers and will record prospective customers' home PC hardware and software configurations. This information is matched with a database of software held by the retailer to see if an application will run on the home PC.
The system offers retailers the opportunity to free up time spent on dealing with time consuming returns and focus instead on selling.
Radar will present the first accurate view of the consumer market's hardware and software buying trends and will also provide technical support and aid component upgrade compatibility and corporate audits.
Jennifer de Sanchez, MD of SpinOff, said: 'The customer is presented with a simple traffic light, a green light - go ahead and buy, an amber light for some problems or a red light. If there are problems there is a simple breakdown explaining why the software will not work. It will slash the return of software to retailers,' she said.
Steve Cheese, operations manager at European Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) estimated that some retailers suffer up to 40 per cent returns on leisure software, much of which does not contain any faults.
Ian Hawkins, customer service manager at Electronic Arts, said: 'Radar cuts out the guesswork and hassle in buying. There are alot of incompatibilities in software and hardware today, particularly from video, sound cards and drivers.'
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