So today I sat down to review XUS PC Lock, a program that adds smartphone-like pattern lock to Windows. XUS PC Lock is a shareaware program that costs $29.95 and I wanted to give dotTechies the option to use a freeware instead if they didn’t want to pay for XUS PC Lock. The only problem is I didn’t know a freeware program that adds a pattern lock off the top of my head. Therefore I went searching for one and boy did I come across a pleasant but bothersome surprise.
You see when searching for a freeware pattern lock program for Windows, I came across Eusing Maze Lock is a freeware program that adds a pattern lock to Windows, just like XUS PC Lock. A bit too much like XUS PC Lock in fact.
When looking at the screenshots of Eusing Maze Lock on its homepage (prior to download it), I started to suspect that XUS PC Lock and Eusing Maze Lock may be the same program. Once I downloaded and installed Eusing Maze Lock and compared to to XUS PC Lock, my suspicion proved to be true — Eusing Maze Lock and XUS PC Lock are almost carbon copies of each other with two differences: Eusing Maze Lock is freeware (i.e. costs $0) while XUS PC Lock is shareware (costs $29.95) and XUS PC Lock has one extra feature — the ability to autorun in Safe Mode.
Don’t believe me? Check out the following screenshots:
Lock screens (first one is Eusing Maze Lock, second one is XUS PC Lock)
Settings (first one is Eusing Maze Lock, second one is XUS PC Lock)
The evidence is pretty damning (if you still don’t believe me, download both programs and see for yourself). Indeed, in looks, features, and usage (they even have the same animation when going to/from lock screen!) XUS PC Lock and Eusing Maze Lock are the same. The only difference, aside from price, is the fact that XUS PC Lock has the ability to autolock upon Safe Mode boot while Eusing Maze Lock doesn’t:
So now that we have concluded that the programs are indeed one in the same, the question arises: What is going on? Is someone copying the other? Is one a resale of the other? I don’t know.
Based off the research I have done, my guess is Eusing Maze Lock is the original while XUS PC Lock is the copy. It could be that XUS PC Lock has copied Eusing Maze Lock without permission and simply added on that extra feature or XUS PC Lock has rebranded Eusing Maze Lock with permission, e.g. reselling; it could even be that the same developer is behind both products, simply choosing to operate them under two different brands. I don’t really know. However, I am 42% certain Eusing Maze Lock is the original (the remaining 58% is undecided).
Why am I saying Eusing Maze Lock is the original and XUS PC Lock is the copy? Based off the following:
- If you run a WHOIS on http://eusing.com (Eusing Maze Lock’s homepage), you will see the site has been operating since 2004. If you do a WHOIS on http://xussoft.com (XUS PC Lock’s homepage), you will see the site has been operating since 2012. If you dig a bit deeper, you will learn the website for XUS PC Lock used to be http://edesksoft.com (which is now down) and a WHOIS on that website shows it has been around since 2009. So Eusing (the developer, not necessarily Eusing Maze Lock the program) has been around at least five years prior to XUS Soft/EDeskSoft.
- In my mind, if Eusing Maze Lock copied XUS PC Lock, then it would have the ability to autolock on Safe Mode boot. However, it doesn’t — only XUS PC Lock has it. This leads me to believe XUS PC Lock copied Eusing Maze Lock then added in that extra feature.
- Eusing is a very popular name that offers many freeware software. XUS is a relatively unknown name. If Eusing was copying software, we would have known about it by now.
With that said, there is also evidence that suggests the theory that XUS PC Lock is the original and Eusing Maze Lock is the copy:
- If you lookup http://www.xussoft.com/xuspclock/index.html (XUS PC Lock’s homepage) on The Wayback Machine, you will see it was first crawled on April 4, 2012. If you do the same with http://www.eusing.com/mazelock/pclock.htm (Eusing Maze Lock’s homepage), you will see it was first crawled in December 22, 2012. This suggests XUS PC Lock came first however it should be mentioned The Wayback Machine may not necessarily be accurate or Eusing Maze Lock could have a different homepage before because Download.com shows v2.0 of Eusing Maze Lock was submitted to Download.com on November 14, 2012.
What makes this story even more interesting is two other shareware products, XUS Launcher and XUS Clock, appear to be the same as two other freeware products, Eusing Launcher and Eusing Clock. I didn’t download any of these four programs so I cannot be 100% certain but based on their homepages and screenshots, they look to be same.
So, what is the conclusion here? The conclusion here is we know Eusing Maze Lock and XUS PC Lock are the same program but we don’t know which one is the copy and which one is the original. We do, however, know Eusing Maze Lock is freeware while XUS PC Lock costs $29.95. So take your pick.