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License Changes Crap

Kommentare

40 Kommentare

  • Bill Coley

    Mark, from what CO has released to-date, there are three options, not two, awaiting us who want to stay current with new tools and features once the changes take effect:

    1. Subscribe
    2. Purchase a new license for every new release
    3. Participate in the loyalty program that CO will announce on February 1.

    My strong suspicion is that option #3 will be less expensive than option #2, and give us permanent license access to new features and tools (a la a subscription, but better).

    I've posted my speculation about the loyalty program in another thread, in case you want more info.

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  • Mark Osborne

    I see only 2 options with a possible 3rd, the under current here I am afraid is to try to whittle down the perpetual users to none. They should have informed people what this plan was before people purchased it last month and I now I only get 10 months, so in a way it was bait and switch. As I said with what they announced right now, if you are a subscriber you are riding first class if not you are in coach. A lot of users feel this way not just me. I am ok for a while since I just purchased it again but time is ticking on this C1 user.

     

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  • ernst.w

    if you buy the license you only get the bugs fixed and no new features.

    You will get bugs fixed ONLY UP TO NEXT FEATURE RELEASE. Please read carefully!

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  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    Mark Osborne - I think you are misreading the limited amount that has been said so far.

    If you are a subscriber, then for the duration of your subscription you get all new releases at no extra charge  - no change there.

    If you are on a perpetual licence (as I am) you get the bug fix updates of course. When an upgrade comes out (new features) you have the choice of buying the upgrade or not.*

    What we don't know at this stage is

    • how much the upgrades will cost
    • how often they will appear:
    • what the loyalty scheme is.

    We do know that they are abandoning the model of a yearly version, so instead of buying a new version 24, 25, etc each year, if you want to, (and getting new features for a year) you can buy new feature releases if you choose to when they come out. I would assume that if they brought out a single new feature, they would charge a lot less for that than for a yearly upgrade on the old model, but then there might be another one in a few months, and you'd have to pay for that or not as you saw fit. To my mind, whether this is advantageous depends a lot on the price - if you paid £20 for new features every 3 months that might be very good value for money; if you paid £200 every few months it clearly wouldn't be.

    * Remember that if you had already got a "perpetual" version 23 licence you will get all the new feature  releases up to the end of September 2023 free of chaste - in other words your version 23 will be on much the same terms as it always was for previous years.

    So really whether it is fair and whether there is anything to be furious about is unknown until they publish more details of the scheme in February. 

    Ian

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  • Mark Osborne

    Well they should have told purchasers about this change prior to the upgrade sale? I agree with Ernst, if you buy the version you only get bugs fixed and it you are a subscriber you get both the bugs fixed and new features as they roll out thru the year. I think this is pretty clear at present that this a 2 tier system with the subscriber in first class seating and the perpetual in coach. On the this loyalty thing we will have to wait but right now it is very unbalanced.

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  • Bill Coley

    Mark Osborne posted:

    Well they should have told purchasers about this change prior to the upgrade sale? I agree with Ernst, if you buy the version you only get bugs fixed and it you are a subscriber you get both the bugs fixed and new features as they roll out thru the year. I think this is pretty clear at present that this a 2 tier system with the subscriber in first class seating and the perpetual in coach. On the this loyalty thing we will have to wait but right now it is very unbalanced.

    As I understand the forthcoming changes, it's true that on and after February 1, 2023, new permanent licenses will provide access only to bug fixes for the licensed version, which indeed will be different from CO's current, annual release, approach that gives license holders access to all new tools and features released in between new versions. It will remain true, however, that subscribers will lose access to CO tools and features if they allow their subscriptions to expire, while permanent license holders will maintain access to the tools and features of the versions for which they purchased licenses, regardless of whether they purchase new ones.

    As for CO's telling subscribers about the changes prior to the upgrade sale, I think it's fair to say they did... at least in effect. In an email I received on December 6, CO announced the changes and included information as to how the changes would affect me as a current version 23 permanent license holder:

    Alongside this, we will also be making changes to our perpetual licenses from February 1, 2023. Here’s what’s changing:
    1. New perpetual licenses will include updates with bug fixes until the next version, but new features released after purchase will not be included. 
    2. Upgrade pricing will no longer be available and will be replaced with a new loyalty scheme. More details will be announced on February 1, 2023.
     
     
    Here’s how it affects you:
     
    As you already own a license for Capture One Pro 23, you will receive free updates including all new features and improvements until September 30, 2023.
     
    After this date, you can choose to remain on Capture One Pro 23 for as long as it suits your needs, purchase a new license when another version is released, or switch to a subscription. 

     

    As I read that content, because I purchased a permanent license to CO prior to February 1, 2023, I will receive all new tools, features, and bug fixes released through September 2023... which is basically how the annual release system worked, through which I received a new version in November or December of one year, and received all tools, features, and fixes until the next release, in November or December of the following year. Yes, I'm being shortchanged about a month this time since I downloaded version 23 on November 8 of this year and will get new features only through September 30 of next year, but it's basically the same result.

    More to your point, ANYONE who purchases a permanent license to CO 23 before February 1, 2023, will ALSO receive all tools, features, and fixes released through September 2023. So in my view, CO *has* told purchasers about these changes with sufficient advance notice.

    In addition, as I have reported in another thread, a CO customer support person recently told me by email that CO plans to release details of the new loyalty program two weeks before February 1, 2023, to give users time to make informed purchasing decisions.

    I think there are good reasons not to like the changes CO is making to permanent licenses, but in my view, the way they are distributing information about those changes is not among them.

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  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    Well they should have told purchasers about this change prior to the upgrade sale? I agree with Ernst, if you buy the version you only get bugs fixed and it you are a subscriber you get both the bugs fixed and new features as they roll out thru the year.

    This is an extract from the email I received, and I assume others who took advantage of the update sale will have received.

    "Free updates including all new features and improvements until September 30 2023" means I am in the same position as if they had never done all this - if a new version 24 was going to come (which it isn't) it would probably have been in November 2023) and at that point I would have been paying for version 24 if I chose to. Just the same as in every year for the last I don't know how many years. So if like me you went for the upgrade sale, you are in exactly the position you thought you were going to be in.  The thing that we don't yet know is what will happen after 30 September 2023, just like we didn't know what would happen in about November every year - would there be updates, how much would they cost, and would they be things we wanted.

    The people who don't get what they may have had in previous years, as far as I can see, are the people who habitually hold off for several months after a new version before updating - they aren't being promised free updates until 30 September 2023. But for those who did go for the upgrade sale, I think it is pretty clear.

    Ian

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  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    Ian,

    "But for those who did go for the upgrade sale", and did so because they want to stay current because they want to stay with C1 long-term, did not know that after v23 (v24 or whatever they will call it) the company will shorten the bug fix period until the next minor version is being released, e.g. two month instead of a year.

    I did not upgrade because the features did not interest me too much, and I'm glad I didn't, now that we glimpse some details about their future licensing model.

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  • Bill Coley

    BeO posted:

    "But for those who did go for the upgrade sale", and did so because they want to stay current because they want to stay with C1 long-term, did not know that after v23 (v24 or whatever they will call it) the company will shorten the bug fix period until the next minor version is being released, e.g. two month instead of a year.

    It's not two months. People who purchase version 23 before February 1, 2023, will receive all new tools, features, and bug fixes released through September 30, 2023, a bit more than a month before the one year anniversary of version 23's release.

    You *seem* to assume that CO users decide whether to upgrade to the CURRENT new release, in part based on their expectations for the NEXT new release. I can't imagine doing so. I upgraded to version 23 with the expectation that I would receive new tools, features, and bug fixes for a year, at which time I expected the new version would be released. The announced changes bring an end to the new release cycle I expected, but reduce by just one month the amount of time during which I will receive the new tools, features, and bug fixes released during the year after my version 23 purchase. That is, I'm receiving the same access to new tools, features, and fixes - minus one month - that I thought I would get when I bought.

    I certainly wish CO would give me a full year's worth of new tools access, but one month is not a major sacrifice.

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  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    Yes, but if you had upgraded to 23, and they had stuck with the old model and just produced a version 24 in, say, November 2023, you would at that point have had no more updates, upgrades, or bug fixes ever, unless you had been prepared to pay for a whole new year's version again. Same as every year. So how many years ahead do you think it is reasonable for them to promise to change nothing so that you could have made an informed decision about whether to buy version 23, stick with version 22, or move to a subscription, or change to a different app?

    As it is, those who decided to go for version 23 still get what they might reasonably have expected at the time, and have not had a different thing sprung on them. And long before we might have expected a version 24, we will know what our options are.

    Ian

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  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    Bill Coley  exactly. And in fact, nothing much new would generally get released in October each year anyway, because by then they were promoting the chance to pre-order the next year's version. So new features would generally have dried up by the end of September anyway in most years.

    Ian

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  • Bill Coley

    Ian Wilson posted:

    And in fact, nothing much new would generally get released in October each year anyway, because by then they were promoting the chance to pre-order the next year's version. So new features would generally have dried up by the end of September anyway in most years.

    A great point, Ian. Thanks.

    Now the greedy waif within me notes that in CO's *new* approach to application upgrades, September 2023 will be as eligible and likely to introduce new tools and features as any other month of the year following my version 23 purchase. So an extra month's access to additions to the program could *potentially* give me something I won't now get.... End of greedy waif rant. :)

     

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  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    Version 23 and its purchase before February 1, 2023 is a special case and can be seen as a grace period, if one would like to call it like so. I indeed mean the time thereafter, bug fixes until the next minor version with new features would be released, which can be as short as two months or so, don't you think? If we are extremely unlucky there could be no pure bug fix release at all, depending on the company's appetite to urge users to the subscription model.

    If that's the case (bug fix releases only for a few month) and given the history with C1 bugs and there eventual fixes, and the loyalty program would not be very tempting financially, then it's time for me user (I don't speak for all C1 users, of course) to search for alternatives and/or adapt a loooow frequency C1 upgrade cycle. 

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  • Bill Coley

    BeO posted:

    Version 23 and its purchase before February 1, 2023 is a special case and can be seen as a grace period, if one would like to call it like so. I indeed mean the time thereafter, bug fixes until the next minor version with new features would be released, which can be as short as two months or so, don't you think? If we are extremely unlucky there could be no pure bug fix release at all, depending on the company's appetite to urge users to the subscription model.

    I misread the focus of your previous post. My bad.

    The way I read CO's December 6 email, upgrade pricing goes away as of February 1, 2023, which I *think* also means that permanent license holders to versions prior to CO 23 have until January 31 to purchase a permanent license to version 23 at the upgrade pricing level ($199 USD). On and after February 1, I *think* all purchases will be governed by the new loyalty program, whatever that turns out to be. In addition, no permanent licenses purchased post-January 31 will give access to new features and tools. 

    But since CO plans to announce the loyalty program's details two weeks before February 1, at least users will know what that program will cost, and be equipped to make at least a provisional assessment as to whether to join that program or instead purchase a version 23 permanent license at upgrade pricing. Based on my experience with a similar program from Corel and what I've been told by CO customer support, my informed speculation is that the loyalty program will cost approximately as much as upgrade pricing did, with the added requirement that in order to maintain that pricing level, program participants will have re-up their memberships every year. A missed year will mean that the next license the user makes will have to be of a new permanent license (currently $299 USD).

    Hope that made sense!

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  • SFA
    Top Commenter

    If one is able to miss several years of updates the "new license" price might be quite fiscally justifiable. 

    However loyal users (note users rather than "customers" if the updates have not been purchased and no subscription is in place) will, no doubt, still feel aggrieved. 

    On the other hand, if a regular annual upgrade "discount" is only 30% or so skipping a year, or maybe two years, could make financial sense, especially if few, if any, feature introductions are especially useful for ones purposes.

    The catch comes when computer changes, Operating System changes and compatibility issues or new camera and lens purchases force an update. 

    But then the most extreme changes at the application end of things can force updates of hardware - as happened when support for Windows 7 was dropped in my case. 

    Fair enough, the PC was 9 years old so it was time for an update. And good old Win 10, already obsolete of course, has no drivers for my printer. Or, probably, my scanner - though that has not seen daylight for several years now.

    Of course, that package of equipment is far more costly than an editing application license.

    If the time arrived that I needed to update an application because I had bought a new camera then it seems fair to assume the cost of the software update would probably be a lot less than the cost of the camera in most cases. Especially these days, mostly due to the changing market perception and the "success" of mobile phones marketed as cameras.

    On the other hand, who knows what new applications may appear or old ones develop in the next year or two? 

    And who could predict whether they will survive or need to change their business model compared to the point at which we discovered we liked them?

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  • ernst.w

    What I see: Most arguments base on prices like we are used to pay.

    But what are we used to pay? The prices went high every year extraordinary. Do anybody know what we are really talking about?

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  • SFA
    Top Commenter

    ernst.w

    I do not think we do really.

    We can value food compared to what we paid last year.

    We can value the cost of energy, compared to what we paid last year.

    We can say we need more spending power because the costs have increased. 

    Then we look at something else, created by a company that uses energy and has to pay people who need to eat and tell them that their business model is wrong because, like everything else, the cost has increased. For some reason that is unfair.

    And maybe it is.

    These are especially strange times and have been for several years - maybe most of the past decade but we may not have fully experienced the effects until now.

    Discussing the price of something at today's numbers compared to the past (or even the future) without reference to the wider world experience seems to be likely the wrong way of seeing the future.

    In another world, I see that Microsoft or moving their business software model - yet again -  and billing based on a subscription priced for the US dollar and converted - presumably invoice by invoice. So pay annually and fix the charge or pay monthly and accept a variable price. There do not seem to be any options. Unless, of course, one is already a huge monolithic organization doing the same thing and having the purchasing power to negotiate very favourable terms.

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  • Simone Colomba

    I am very disappointed with the behavior of the company.

    They don't listen to their customers and when they are criticized, they respond with ritual phrases, lies or they don't answer at all.

    In my country (Italy), all the content creators and all the people in the forums agree that the company's behavior is dishonest.

    The software offers less than Adobe Lightroom + Photoshop... at a much higher cost.

    They don't say if and when the new cameras and lenses will be included in the software. They don't say what and when improvements will be added.

    Nor do they guarantee corrections according to current legislation.

    If the company continues to insult the intelligence of its customers, it will close in 2 two or 3 years.

    Guys, let's start giving this company a signal: do not subscribe and do not buy Capture One until they are back to reality.

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  • Maksim

    What I see: Most arguments base on prices like we are used to pay.

    But what are we used to pay? The prices went high every year extraordinary. Do anybody know what we are really talking about?

    You are absolutely right!

    In a healthy market and in a fair deal, there should be a direct correlation between value received and innovation on the one hand, and money paid on the other. Money is a means of exchange of value.

    When a company asks for money, it must offer value in return that is commensurate with the value of the new product features. When a company works on its own bugs, and also releases a few minor fixes, but again demands a price as for almost a new product and this is repeated every year, then in any adequate person there is a feeling of a dishonest deal and an unfair price.

    The problem is not with the subscription model or how much we pay for Capture One. The problem is that the company doesn't provide enough innovation, updates and value for the price it asks every year.

    That is, the company takes a lot, but gives little to customers.

    Hence the indignation and the feeling of injustice. There is no sense of value in what we get for a high price. We see this as an unfair exchange and greed. :-)

    P.S. A good alternative example is Serif's pricing policy and their Affinity family products. They make a luxurious product and ask for some money. The value of products exceeds the cost. That's what customers love them for. You need to give customers a little more than ask for payment from them. This creates a community of satisfied and loyal customers. And greed destroys trust and the company loses customers gradually.

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  • Maksim

    In general, the subscription model originated for constantly provided and renewable services.

    It's a SaaS model. Soft As Service.

    Or this is a payment for constantly updated content.

    A distinctive feature of this software is that it is not hosted on user resources, but is hosted on company servers. Or the software installed on the computer is just an interface that constantly uses the computing or disk power of the company. In this case, the company incurs the monthly cost of servicing the capacity provided to customers. This creates costs and the need for customers to pay monthly resourses consumption.

    In the case where you buy independently running (standalone) software that uses exclusively the local power of your computer, the subscription model is not applicable at all. This is an incorrect payment model transfer.

    Correcting bugs is the responsibility of those who made these errors. They must correct them at their own expense. These are their mistakes. If the company created new features, then it can ask for money for product updates, when these updates significantly improved the nature of the software. But the price of small updates cannot be comparable to the cost of the entire product. I hope that there is no need to explain that some small updates cannot cost as a completely new complex product.

    That is, there should be a clear correlation between the value obtained and its price.

    If the company continues to sell a software product that, after sale, does not need the company's capacity, when work continues on its errors, when small modifications occur, then this cannot be monetized by a constant subscription.

    This is the main substitute. They do everything they've done before, but now they just ask for more money and now they ask for it all over again. 😊

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  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    Simone Colomba

    The software offers less than Adobe Lightroom + Photoshop... at a much higher cost.

    If you'd prefer LR and PS you are free to use them instead.

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  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    Maksim

    Hence the indignation and the feeling of injustice. There is no sense of value in what we get for a high price. We see this as an unfair exchange and greed. :-)

    So use something else, if you think it's better software, or if the price is not to your liking.

     

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  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    Do you know what? I am fed up with all these angry posts about the changes that Capture One have said they are going to make from people who don't seem to have read the announcement properly and who have leapt to conclusions about what the announcement in February will say.

    Haven't we all got better things to do (photographs to take, for example) than generate a lot of heat on the basis of too little information?

    Ian

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  • Maksim

    Ian, no. :))

    "If you don't like being ripped off by us, then don't buy" is a popular manipulation.

    We are discussing something else. I explain where so much negativity towards Adobe and Phase One comes from.

    The reason is the constant milking of money from the audience of customers disproportionate to the value provided, innovation.

    P.S. Yes, and I have been using DxO Photolab, TopasLabs and Affinity for a long time, besides Capture One.

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  • Bill Coley

    Maksim posted:

    When a company asks for money, it must offer value in return that is commensurate with the value of the new product features. When a company works on its own bugs, and also releases a few minor fixes, but again demands a price as for almost a new product and this is repeated every year, then in any adequate person there is a feeling of a dishonest deal and an unfair price.

    I accept that this is YOUR (and others)' assessment of Capture One's current/recent business model as I remind you that YOUR assessment is not necessarily EVERYONE'S assessment. What you consider "a few minor fixes," to other CO users might well be significant improvements. What you consider to be a "dishonest deal and an unfair price," to other CO users might well provide what they judge to be a satisfactory return on their investments.

    The ultimate gauge as to the value and viability of a software company's business model is that company's bottom line. Adobe stopped providing permanent licenses to its products more than ten years ago. Even if customers believed the latest releases contained nothing more than repairs to "its own bugs" and a "few minor fixes," to stay current with Adobe's latest software developments, those customers had no choice but to subscribe and stay subscribed. That is, they had to become an Adobe revenue stream.

    Customers objected. Other software developed ridiculed  Adobe's decision. "We will NEVER force customers to subscribe," several declared. A decade into that business model, Adobe is still around, and many of the companies that scoffed a decade ago have moved to a subscription model.

    MORAL: Companies that make and continue to innovate good products will succeed in a variety of business models, EVEN business models of which you or I might disapprove. The only verdict on Capture One's business model that matters will come from its customers.

    • If these changes are bad for the company, customers won't support it in numbers sufficient to underwrite the company's success. Eventually, CO will make additional changes ... or die.
    • If you, I, or any other CO user objects to the new model - if someone decides the software no longer provides sufficient value for the cost the new model commands - then you, I, or any other CO user will be free to invest in other products, to move our revenue streams elsewhere. If enough people make that decision, again CO eventually will have to change its business model ... or die.

    I don't like having to pay every year for software, whether due to a subscription or for the protection of upgrade-level pricing for permanent licenses. But when I like the software - as I like CO - and want to support its developer - as I do with CO and did with Corel Draw before it moved to subscription-only - I DO pay for software every year. My choice. Some years I get more out of my software investments than I do in other years. But EVERY year, the choice as to which software products I spend money for is solely mine.

    If you object to the value CO is giving you, remember that YOU have the same authority over your software decisions as I do over mine. 

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  • Bill Coley

    @... posted:

    Your timing is a bit off here.  Adobe Lightroom 6 (a perpetual license product I am still running and occasionally using) shipped on April 21, 2015 and weas last updated in 2017 and I think you could still buy it in 2017 which is certainly not "more than ten years ago".

    Good catch, John. Thanks for the correction. I didn't review enough material before making the claim in my previous post.

    Though I obviously got the time frame - and perhaps the breadth - of the transition wrong, I contend that my larger point remains valid: Adobe's move to a subscriber-based approach to much of its software has not hurt the company's bottom line. (According the THIS PRESS RELEASE, in 2022 Adobe realized a 10% revenue gain, year-over-year.) If they didn't work, software companies would not be using them. Subscription-based models, however much user bases speak disapproval of them, are here to stay ... for now!

    I fervently hope that CO will honor its stated commitment to permanent licenses, both now and WELL into the future.

     

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  • Bill Coley

    @... posted:

    I haven't left C1 yet, but will probably leave in 2023.  Unfortunately, everything they've done in the last 2 years has just encouraged me to leave.  The dropping of the Nikon-specific versions and its more economic pricing amounted to a big price increase.  Then, prices went up even more on top of that. C23 had nothing in it of interest to me.  The change in perpetual licensing looks ominous and was so poorly rolled out (leaving us for months to not understand how it will really work).  Frankly, if you're paying serious attention and didn't just convert to the subscription, it currently looks like a mess.

    I respect your point of view and the transition away from CO that you presently expect to make in 2023.  I certainly agree that the cost of uninterrupted permanent license access to CO is rising significantly. Since my both circumstances and perspective on this matter differ from yours, it probably won't surprise you that I expect to stay with CO for the foreseeable future.

    As for the cost of the forthcoming loyalty program, isn't it true that before the announced changes, one year CO perpetual licenses - at least before promotional discounts - were more expensive than annual subscriptions? If they weren't, why would anyone have ever subscribed?

    During its short life, Corel Draw's "upgrade protection program" that guaranteed an annual perpetual license to those who renewed every year, cost just $99/yr for a software package whose full version cost > $500!  I don't expect CO's loyalty plan to be that inexpensive, but I seriously doubt that it will cost any more than what undiscounted perpetual licenses used to cost. But we shall see!

     

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  • Bill Coley

    Mark Osborne posted:

    Well I guess C1 wants to be an Adobe wanna be? The way I read these changes is that if you subscribe you get the the fixes and new features right away but if you buy the license you only get the bugs fixed and no new features.

    CO has given every indication that active membership in its forthcoming loyalty program will allow perpetual license holders to receive both fixes and new features. 

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  • Maksim

    I don't think it makes sense to keep writing a lot.

    We can summarize up to a few points:

    1. The company clearly changes the pricing policy not in favor of the client. Prices are rising and the number of liabilities for this value is decreasing. There is less benefit of the transaction to the client, the value of what the company provides for a higher price is reduced.

    2. Updates for 2021-22 showed how little work they did in terms of innovation. They introduce a couple of interesting functions such as automatic ordering by groups, panorama assembly, applying correction of one photo to the rest, add support for several new cameras and optics, and optimize application speeds. But all this to create only interest to renew and no more. These modifications do not cost 50-60% of the initial cost of the application.

    3. For a couple of years, there has been no significant innovation in Capture One. For example, they could introduce AI for noise reduction or for creating masks and layers, as competitors do. No, brand new photo tools. They simply cosmetically supplement and optimize both there and there.

    I bought Capture One for personal use because I'm into photography. I don't make money from that.

    Therefore, for me, all these changes with a price policy do not bring anything good but increasing costs.

    Conclusion: There is no smoke without fire. There is no indignation of the audience of customers without obvious jambs and incorrectly chosen policy on the part of the company. Customers only give feedback.

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  • SFA
    Top Commenter

    We live in interesting and, some might say, suddenly different times  - especially in terms of economics.

    Things are happening, for many different reasons, that are far beyond the expectations of economic theory for "normal" operations and completely outside the experience that most of the world's population islands have come to expect.

    We discuss things in "monetary units" when comparing them to the past and predicting the future. But they are meaningless at this time when comparing the value of goods and services at a personal level.

    If something has no real value to you, don't buy it.

    If it has real value to you but you question whether you can afford it, you have to compare at the value level whether it compares acceptably with other things you may need to pay for. 

    So if, for example, the cost of energy (for heating and cooking) has doubled, the cost of fuel for travel has increased by 50 % or more, the cost of food seems to be 50% to 100% higher and probably some things have not yet increased as much as they will; the cost of vehicles has doubled in a decade, we are forced to pay for added complexity in them and added distraction and the cost of repairing them, if the parts are available, means that they are often scrapped early in their useful lifecycle incurring great waste and additional expenses with no benefit to the consumer. The same is true for almost anything we might buy.

    Software is no different. The costs are much the same - unless one can consolidate new code and employ it across multiple revenue earning products. Something the very large vendors can do as was pointed out above.

    Depending on where in the world one lives the "value" of the price increase may be ones living costs for an entire month or more or a week's worth of coffees from a fast drink's outlet. Maybe only 3 days of coffees once they have to pass on their increased energy, coffee and milk costs together with the staff demanding more pay so they can at least eat, keep warm and keep clean before they head to work.

    The value proposition  - compared to every other demand on one's available money stream - is the only thing that matters. 

    Can you, today, justify spending any money at all on image processing software?

    If you can, if the best value to continue with what you know and use or spend that money on something new and your time to properly learn it, in the hope that next year it offers some sort of savings compared to what you currently have.

    How does the expected cost (of either option suggested above or any other options you can think of) compare to the rest of your predicted life costs for as far as you can predict into the future?

    If you change provider now, does that imply any additional costs or work effort for your back catalogue?  What level of certainty do you have that the benefits you anticipate from making the move will persist for long enough into the future to make the cost and effort worthwhile?

    These and many other, wider questions seem to me to be much more useful comparisons for decision-making than simply looking at currency related numbers in an age of rampant inflation for even the most basic needs of life.

    The questions related to AI and using it for new features in order to justify price changes is for a different thread in my opinion. It may be easier to save on the costs of cameras and lenses and studios and travel to interesting places by simply finding an AI program that can create photorealistic images from spoken suggestions or from a library of pre-existing images or image parts that can be gathered as art and turned into anything one wishes to create. 

    What value that has is something only the passage of time will tell us.

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