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Topic: «License Expired? » on forum: Technical Support   Views: 36606
 
doc wizz
Registered user
 
Posts: 15
Joined: 12.06.2010
Posted: 16.08.2013 07:25:30
 
 
So, it says my license for actual windows manager has expired and I have to pay $50 to buy a one year license?
No one will pay $50 per year to use this. You should at least grandfather in the current registered users.
Good way to put yourself out of business.
 
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Alexander Salnikov
Administrator
 
Posts: 235
Joined: 17.07.2013
Posted: 16.08.2013 15:07:40
 
 
Hello, Doc wizz.

Firstly, about your license - if you have a key for your version (7.x, for example), you can use it as long as you need. You don't have to buy a new license.
Secondly, we work hard to upgrade our program. During the past year, starting from v7.0, we added many new features such as Desktop Divider, Mirroring, different localizations, Favorite folders and etc. (more can be seen here: http://actualtools.com/windowmanager/whatsnew/ )
Thirdly, the old license policy was associated with major updates and was not ideal for two reasons:
    1) The launch of a major update means great changes in the product which means a longer period of its development. We think that it is much better to launch new updates more often so that users don’t have to wait for about half a year to see new features.
    2) The old license scheme was quite indefinite for users because in about 4-5 months we could release the next major version. New license system guarantees that after buying the product a user will get ALL the updates during the next year for free. Taking into account the chart of updates released during the previous year, this means at least 3-4 new updates. And, taking into account reason #1 and our wish to make updates more often, there will be more free updates.
Fourthly, upgrade for the next year is provided with a good discount and is totally voluntary. Also, by the end of this year the user will have the latest updated and fully functional version of our product which can be used without any restrictions.

I hope this helped you.
Alexander.
Actual Tools Support Manager.

Any questions?Mail to support@actualtools.com!
 
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Chris Miller
Advanced user
 
Posts: 240
Joined: 02.08.2011
Posted: 16.08.2013 22:15:51
 
 
Alex,

I don't think he questioned the how or why.  He's simply stating that your yearly fee is very high.  Yearly fees for other software I use are $15 or less, PER YEAR, not $50.  That said, I used the upgrade discount and got it for $30 this time around.  I have no problem paying an initial $30 for a major new version, seeing as in my case I used Trial Pay (or whatever it is) and had no money out of pocket for it.

That said, next year, I will not pay $50 for a new year, let alone $30.  $10-15 yes, $30???  You're out of your freakin' minds!  Your competitor product DisplayFusion is $30 for LIFE, as in FOREVER.  Unlike you, they seem to understand how niche this market is and are not trying to extort it.  Had I already paid money instead of using TrialPay for free, I wouldn't be repurchasing.

I completely understand how much time it takes to develop any product.  You can charge whatever you want, but you're going to lose far more business then you'll gain monetarily because very few will pay $50 a year for something they don't HAVE to have.  Granted this product makes lots of things easier, but ultimately, do we have to have it?  NO!

I want to see ActualTools succeed and without money that's difficult, but I fear you guys are putting yourself in a hole.  Your product is a convenience, not a necessity, and that's where your logic on price fails you.
 
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Pim Joosten
Resident
 
Posts: 542
Joined: 11.11.2010
Posted: 17.08.2013 01:28:26
 
 
Hello all,

I do want to chime in here. I have been seeing other software publishers move into this type of licensing, so it is not an uncommon move.

To Chris I say: the market will show what a good pricing is, and Actual Tools will notice whether their pricing is right or not. Under the old licensing model a new version was released almost every year, so there is not much difference with the new model. There are programs out there that cost more than AWM's annual renewal fee of $30 and there are programs that cost less. It is clear from your post what you are willing to pay. This morning, when I worked without AWM for a couple of moments because the latest beta had expired, I really missed the features. Unlike you, for me AWM has become a necessity, not a convenience. The program increases my productivity and therefore it is worth an investment. So I guess, as with other products like food, cars etc. it really depends on the person and his/her needs what one is willing to pay. Future will tell what price is right.

Also, you compare AWM with DisplayFusion. However, you should compare AMM with DisplayFusion. AWM does so much more than handling multiple monitors. In fact, when I originally purchased AWM I had never used multiple monitors. Ever since my original purchase I have discovered more and more options in AWM (I still have not discovered them all!) and only since the last 1½ year do I also enjoy the multiple monitor advantages of AWM. For me the purchase price of $50 was absolutely worth it without having multiple monitors. That being said, you should really compare the price of AMM to DisplayFusion and then the picture becomes somewhat different. I assume that on AMM there is also a renewal discount, so the renewal price is lower than AMM's purchase price of $25. I have never used DisplayFusion but, of course, have looked at their website. It would not be good enough for me.

Finally, Alexander, the message that the license expired and a new one can be purchased for $50 is incorrect and surprised me for that reason. The $50 in that message is the price for a new license. If one renews a license, there is a discount. There is no mention whatsoever of that discount in the message. That may actually scare off people in purchasing a renewal (like doc wizz), so I think it is a good idea to add the discount to the message or to just simply change the price in it to the discounted price.

Best regards.
 
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Chris Miller
Advanced user
 
Posts: 240
Joined: 02.08.2011
Posted: 17.08.2013 03:13:58
 
 
Fair enough, Pim.  I realize there are some that consider it a necessity, I just don't feel it's a majority, especially considering there are other products out there that do the same function for cheaper.  Not better, just cheaper.  And when cost becomes a factor, even if something isn't better, it will be used until it's more frustrating then usable.

That said, for me, I use both DisplayFusion and AWM, depending on what I'm doing.  They each have things they do  better then the other.  For a 2 month period of time, AWM would not work at all for me because of a couple bugs and I was forced to solely use DisplayFusion and there wasn't anything in DF that I couldn't do that I had been doing in AWM.  Sure, I had to do them a little different, but it WAS possible to do them.

Don't get me wrong.  I love AWM, and it's my first choice.  I don't want to goto another product, but if faced with a one-time $30 that will do everything I need with DF, vs $50, or even $30 every year for AWM, I'm going to be forced to go DF.  If there was absolutely no other choice, then I probably would try to justify it.

Bottom line is that companies are justifying higher prices because their costs are higher.  Maybe there's just no other way to do it.  However, I would caution that this type of price gauging and licensing quickly leads to piracy far quicker then offering the product at a reasonable rate going for a high user count.  I have personally recommended AWM to many friends and co-workers and several of them have purchased.  The big issue for those that didn't was the $50 price tag even before this change.

The economy sucks.  I just don't see but a small few considering this "necessity" enough to justify a $50/$30 per year price tag.
 
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Alex Fadeyev
Administrator

Moderator
 
Posts: 1379
Joined: 30.09.2005
Posted: 19.08.2013 01:06:24
 
 
Pim, thank you for advocating our position. :) It seems that I have almost nothing to add to your clear and well-thought explanation.

Chris, just to clarify the matter, let me highlight some key points (sorry if I repeat Alexander's reply somewhere):
  • The new Upgrade Policy does not force you to pay each year. When the subscription expires, the program remains registered and fully functional, so that if you don't need the latest updates then you can continue using the program as it is. And only when you see in the changelog something that worths paying then you can prolong your subscription; in other words, you can choose the moment of upgrade on your own.

  • As Alex and Pim already noted, purchasing an upgrade does not come at full price - for Actual Window Manager, it costs about 30 USD for now (and we don't plan to change this price in the future). Other products come at 10-15 USD, as they have the lower initial license prices. Shouldn't the value that AWM brings to your everyday work deserve to pay thirty bucks a year? It's less than 8 cents a day! As you possibly noted, we develop our products constantly and I believe that each work should be rewarded fairly.

  • We do not force our customers to upgrade necessarily. If you don't like/need the features of new versions then you can simply stay with the version you currently have.

If you have any questions or objections - I'd be happy to hear them.
 
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Derek Moss
Registered user
 
Posts: 38
Joined: 30.09.2011
Posted: 19.08.2013 02:14:14
 
 
If I can just chip in with my thoughts as a AMM user who only really uses AMM for easily switching monitor profiles, mainly for gaming and doesn't use most of the other features. People like me probably wouldn't be prepared to pay as much as someone who uses AMM in a productive environment and uses a lot of the features but even Display Fusion free isn't any good for us as that doesn't allow for saving/switching profiles

So all I'm saying is you might want to consider whether there's a market for a cheap (under <$10) utility which mostly just does monitor profile switching. At the moment, I don't have any reason to pay whatever it is to upgrade to v8 but do worry that v5 won't be getting any more bug fixes or tweaks (you never know when Microsoft will change something that affects AMM or a new driver interferes with it), so would like to use a current product.
 
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Steve Kalide
Advanced user
 
Posts: 144
Joined: 29.03.2011
Posted: 20.08.2013 05:27:50
 
 
I use and get more out of AWM than any other piece of software I own. Hands down. After installing drivers and antivirus, it's the first piece of software I install on my machine.

With the amount of active development and support that goes into AWM, I've wondered and anticipated what would soon happen with licensing for the next version jump. Much like the state of the mobile software market -- where it's a "Buy once, upgrade free forever" model -- I don't believe this is a sustainable model for quality and actively developed software. Such a model disincentivizes developers to care for current clientele, and instead, only seek out new customers (a finite, limited resource).

Thus, I don't have any issue whatsoever paying for the active development of "mission-critical" software like AWM, especially when it's very actively developed and supported, like a rolling snowball of new features.

That being said, I was a bit shocked when I saw the popup message saying that it would be another $50 for the new version, especially given the general standard of upgrade pricing for current users that's prevalent in the software industry. Only after coming to the forums and reading through some threads was I able to find that there definitely is upgrade pricing available.

My suggestion would be to present the details of the upgrade pricing/route a bit more prominently in the update notification, so as not to worry current users.

And above all, I'm grateful for a model such as this, versus the greedy alternative (in my opinion) of a strictly cloud-based model. I abhor the push to equate software as a strict "utility", e.g., gas/electricity/water. I absolutely believe that developers need to be supported and incentivized to develop and innovate, but I'm against the recent push by companies such as Adobe to implement a strictly pay-per-use model -- where once you stop paying, you're left with nothing (so to speak).

So I'm delighted that Actual Tools isn't taking this same route, and will instead continue to allow users to buy into a version and have the option of "keeping" that version even when the upgrade option comes around, without having to worry about being locked out of it.

Win7/Win8.1 Pro (x64)
AWM 8.3b2
 
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doc wizz
Registered user
 
Posts: 15
Joined: 12.06.2010
Posted: 20.08.2013 05:43:18
 
 
It's a classic case of bait and switch. I purchased a lifetime license and it turns into a yearly sub. Makes me feel scammed.

The developers at AdMuncher decided to go to a subscription model too. But they didn't do a bait and switch their registered users like me. All purchases before a certain date were allowed to keep their lifetime license. And are able to get free updates forever. There licensing policy is clearly laid out. You can still buy a lifetime license.

https://www.admuncher.com/register.shtml?Partner=www.admuncher.com
 
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Alex Fadeyev
Administrator

Moderator
 
Posts: 1379
Joined: 30.09.2005
Posted: 20.08.2013 05:59:57
 
 
doc wizz,

"Scamming" is a serious accusation for a company that's been successfully running 11 (eleven) years already with thousands of happy customers worldwide. So please prove your words and show me where we promised you that you purchased a lifetime license.

Just for your information: lifetime license had been offered long time ago for the users who purchased 1.x or 2.x versions of Actual Tools products. And all those users continue to get their licenses accurately just upon a request to our support. As soon as you provide the proof, you will get your new license immediately.

Otherwise, I think you should take your accusation back and apologize for a hurried blame.
 
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