We have a lite version of our desktop software and many features have been removed in this version.
What's the best way to tell people we have those features but they can't access because it's the lite version.
One final note: Lite version is free
Here's what we do for our Virtual Time Clock software:
I would argue the correct answer to this is variable and depends on the type of value proposition and branding image you are creating around your company and products and even the types of users.
Additionally, with that context, I think this is something that you could/should also run A/B experiments on. For example, for each person who installs, at time of first invocation you could randomize a persistent setting to vary the exact way that you nudge them to upgrade for the life of that free install. From there, when they potentially later decide to click the upgrade me button you hit a scenario specific tracking URL to hit on your website. Presto! - Real data! Anyway, the various scenarios possible are used to figure out what textual language and presentation techniques improve conversion rate of installs to upgrade selections and even ultimate purchase. The higher the download rate of the free version, the more scenarios you can test at one time within the random set and still come up with statistically significant results.
Non data driven opinion : I would argue that hiding the features completely would be least desirable choice. You definitely want some level of hook to show them what they are missing as long as the approach doesn't make the UI too confusing.
Note : For this to work right, make sure your selection criteria at install really is random! - this can be a bit tricky to do well since not all platforms/language tools have a good source of entropy for their random number generator seeds. ie: If the scenario selection criteria is not appropriately random, this will obviously bias the result.
Let your users download a trial that has all features of Full, but turns into a pumpkin Lite if they do not install a license key in 90 days. Remind them at 60, 30, 15, 7, 3 and 1 day before the expiration, and then every time you release a new version (assuming you have the automatic updates feature and the user have not switched it off).
Optionally, have a happy day once a month, and have the trial display a 20% coupon on the happy day that occurs between installation and the first reminder and a 15% coupon on the next one.