A free Windows version of the industrial-strength video editor Lightworks has just been released, with a Linux release promised very soon. It's a teaser to encourage users to purchase upgrades to the Pro version.
The product website's opening page proclaims that Lightworks has been used by the movie industry in the production of many big-budget films — Hugo and The Kings Speech, for example — and the software has been in development since 1989. There are several video editors already available for the home and small production markets, including Adobe's Premiere Pro, Apple's Final Cut Pro X and Avid Studio for PC.
It seems that EditShare is offering the free version to make inroads on these products, and also to encourage try-out users to pay for an upgrade to Lightworks Pro. The comparison page for the two versions lists 32 features, 21 of which are only available in Lightworks Pro for a yearly licence of £40. Among the features not supported by the free version are QuickTime export, H.264 / AVCHD Decode and Encode, and Blu-ray and DVD export.
Lightworks supports a wide range of industry formats, has an uncluttered but powerful timeline display that's resolution-, format- and codec-independent, easy trimming with AutoSync, stereoscopic support and powerful real-time effects.
EditShare started a beta programme to develop Lightworks cross platform on Windows, OS X and Linux 18 months ago. It has been promising the free Linux and Mac OS X versions for some time — the initial release was planned for November 2011. The Linux version will be demonstrated at the 2012 IBC conference and exhibition, which starts on Friday 7 September.