it could be...maybe.
At first I want to thank you (GPSoftware) and this wonderfull comunity for the years I spent with you and Dopus. I also congratulate to the new version 13 and the new look of your homepage.
I was using it already on my Amiga when I was a teenage boy and I loved it. Using it also under Windows started with version 10 for me. Updating to 11 and 12 in the pro version was an easy choice because I saw the development and had a realy good fealing getting regular bug fixes.
In the last years I mostly used it for handling my photos with scripted renaming functions.
Of course there are also functions I dont use often, not using at all or can easily life without because there are specialized tools giving me more flexibility (e.g. image viewing, converting, ...).
In the last weeks I also tested the beta of version 13. I also had a deeper look into the highlight pages today... and honestly this time I don't see the benefit for upgrading except supporting you to keep the project alive for some more years. This is not mainly because you change the licence model to subscription based updates, but of course this has some influence on my decision not to upgrade immediately.
For me the pricing sounds fair, not overpriced.
My thoughts/critics are the following:
You promis shorter cycles of feature improvements, but you don't give a roadmap.
If I would know what your plans for the next years are, the upgrade decision would be much easier.
Future upgrade plans are a bit unclear. So I would expect as long as I pay the update plan I get all updates and version 13 is the last major version I have to pay a one time upgrade fee.
Its not clear at the moment how a renewal is working once I stoped paying the update plan.
As beeing a developer myself I know that introducing new features is always a risk of introducing new bugs, too. So my doubt is that I could be stucked with a buggy version in the future once I decide not to continue the update plan.
So I don't know what I could expect in the next years (and I don't feel the need that I must have the version 13 features at the moment) and that makes me hesitate. Its clear for me that there must be a upgrade fee from version 12 to 13. But it would be much clearer when you would say: "Ok thats it: you get these features with the upgrade and updates/bug fixes for the next year. In 2025 we discontinue v13 and introduce v14 with these and that new features planned. You will still get major bug fixes for v13 but no new features. If you skip a version (discontinue update plan) you have to pay a renewal fee...."
Basicly your new licensing is model feels not finished to me.
I personaly need some more information and time to decide for an upgrade.
Interesting that you see this model as less clear, perhaps we can communicate it better.
E.g. when going from Opus 11 -> 12, you paid a fee, you got the new version. You didn't know how long until the next major version would be out and would be asked to pay again. In the past it's been as short as 2.5 years.
Now you pay a fee to go from 12 -> 13, and you know exactly how long until you're asked to pay again. And then when you're asked to pay again, you can evaluate whether you want to or not, exactly the same as before.
As far as a roadmap goes, we might look at publishing something like this in the future. We have a huge list of suggestions that we've collected over the years so there's no shortage of ideas.
Question 3 is a good question. How does a renewal work regarding cost? Do we then also have to pay for the pause?
Maintenance buyed for 2024 and 2025
no buy for 2026 and 2027
2028 the thought to buy again maintenance
--> Do we have to pay then also for the years 2026+2027 the maintenance fee or somehow a reactivation fee?
I was surprised with renewal/reactivation costs for another software. I stopped to buy maintenance and after some years I wanted to buy again maintenance and had to pay then a reactivation fee dependend on the years I did not pay maintenance to renew the license....
Thanks for your reply Jon.
Maybe to make it more clear what in my eyes is less clear.
In the past we bought DOpus with the set of features it had at this point. Myself I was not expecting to get new features for free. Of course I was expecting that these features I payed for are fully working and I get bug fixes if something is obviously broken.
For software as a service like MSOffice 365 my expectations are also clear. In addition to a working product I expect fast reaction time for fixes and feature improvements during the time I am paying for the plan.
Your model seems to be like a mixture. We pay for the upgrade or new license to get the currently advertised features. I am fine with that as long as these features are bug free or will be bug free somewhen in the future. Its clear for me that an initial release (even with an intense testing before release) is never 100% free of bugs. Now its unclear for me what I can expect when a bug is not solved within the one or two years of the update subscription plan. And as long as there is no known roadmap for new features the fee for the update plan is an investment into an unknown future. Or Do I misunderstand the license in that way and its kind of maintenance contract.
It's the same now as before. You buy a version, get to use it forever, and also get free updates for a period of time. Once those run out (in two years if upgrading from 12), if you want more updates you have to pay some money again. It was the same with every other version of Opus; only the time windows and pricing differed.
Are we talking about the same Microsoft here?
It's the same as if you bought Opus 11, were happy with it for years, and then ran into a bug that was only fixed in Opus 12 after work on Opus 11 finished.
If a problem didn't reveal itself until you'd been using the program for multiple years, it's probably going to be something small, or you would've noticed it a lot sooner, but you'd be able to decide whether you wanted to get a new version that fixed it at the time.
The trial period resets when the main version number changes, so it'll depend how often we do that. We're thinking about bumping that once a year, for a few different reasons. Allowing people to try out newer versions if it's been a while since their last trial is a good reason to do it. (It also stops the version numbers getting silly, and helps to know roughly which version/era people are talking about.)
Not something that's 100% nailed down yet, but I think we're leaning toward bumping the version each year.
For the record I'm not complaining.
Pay once a year or once a major release, doesn't really matter to me as long the price is right.
That said, if you would offer to pay 3 instead of 1 year I would take that.
So in this new model, we get for example one new feature a month instead as it was 30 at the version change.
That would be what MS claimed about Win 10 being the last windows ever. It would get regular updates but there never would be a v11. (yeah I know there's version 11)
I like such a update method but it makes makes version changes kinda useles because the difference between 13.1 and 13.2 is eqaully big than between 13.9 and 14.0
I guess that's why many switched to a year as a version number.
Februari 2024 would be even clearer for the user.
That way the going from 2024 to 2025 doesn't imply*** a major update.
***= Not saying Opus ever made such claims, but my feeling is, that in general it's understood that way.
I only wrote about my expection. Not about the reality.
I am using Azure DevOps all the day for work and you don't get the smalest improvement realized by M$, there is allways somethig with higher prio.
Yes, for sure if there is no major bug that crashes everything, its totaly fine. Nothing is without bugs.
I would also pay a much bigger amount for a lifetime update. I also did this for my Amiga and C64 Forever license after upgrading year by year for ...many years, I was happy to by the lifetime upgrades. So I would take the chance if it will be offered.
And also for my record: I am not complaining about the price or the new license model per se. But its unfinished (renewal description is not available) and therefor not 100% clear.
Yes, could also be that we get 1 year of bug fixes and no new feature at all. There is not even a roadmap. I don't expect a guaranty for new features during the update period but a rough roadmap would be realy nice.
@Leo I think I will not upgrade my V12 license but instead by me a new one. I hope this is no problem to have more then one set of licences under the same e-mail/user account.
That's entirely true. But if the past is an indication for the future, there will be plenty of new features. If they don't then they will shoot themselves in the foot.
I got some bad experiences with that too. You buy the software. What happend with two pieces of software I own is that they started selling add-on modules.
If we compare that to Opus it would be the FTP and Portable add-ons that are outside the lifetime licence. Then a deLuxe videoplayer, a deLuxe layout manager, icon packs and skins are sold seperately.
I'm not saying I have any indication Opus is planning such a thing; just trying to explain there are ways to bypass the lifetime licence.
The problem with lifetime is that the payments dry up.
Let's assume 100,000 lifetime licences sold for Amiga. Nice money.
No new users. So 20 years later they are developing for free.
Sure I love free and cheap software, but I can understand Opus wants yearly income because they want to eat once in a while
I blindly upgrade, but in reality I likely use only 20% of the functionality. v13 is the first version since long that really has something new I really need. It already saved me hours of work.
I believe that the DO team is the epitome of professionalism in the industry. I trust them to always make the right decisions. However, if you want to see the opposite of professionalism, I suggest you purchase some PTC products. They charge hefty yearly maintenance fees but offer virtually no upgrades, except in cases where something breaks due to Microsoft. Unfortunately, this is a common business practice among many IT companies nowadays.
I've been in the IT business since CP/M (slightly before Amiga) days. I've owned or sold hundreds of different software packages. I've observed several things about GP Software that separate it from other vendors (and users). The support forums put all others to shame. They are well organized, have extremely rapid response times, and welcome help from other users. It's also obvious that they use the forums not to be defensive like many others, but to get development ideas. The new pricing model makes sense to me. I've paid for lifetime licenses for many products--some because I want to support the developers, others because the software is beneficial. Often it's obvious the offer is made because the developer(s) need income. In too many cases the software is abandoned shortly thereafter. Opus is a no-brainer indeed.
I was blown away with how versatile the forums for Directory Opus are. Scrolling timeline on the right so you can see the history at a glance on a conversation etc.
Only major issues I have is there being (potentially) too many features to maintain in a single program, particularly with all the new additions in 13, and with the documentation being spread across two sites, gpsoft.com.au and docs.dopus.com
The one new feature I wanted doesn't work correctly for me and there are some other strange things that haven't improved. So it isn't worth it to me. I had to save up to buy this program a year ago and loved it. For whatever reason I have not had a good expereince with the beta and was shocked when they announced it was being released.
size column is still not using everything correctly. I thought it was fixed but it is not. I am still having pixelated thumbnails when the folder only contains 1 item. Images and videos are not always being thumbnailed. I even did a clean install of Windows to see if it was my system. I gave up. I was hoping a future patch would resolve these things.
Size column with Everything can go wrong if the index isn't right. Rebuilding it might fix things. If you're using 1.5, try 1.4 as well, as that's the only version we've tested. (1.5 is still in alpha.)
Image/Video thumbnails, if you mean No thumbnails on network drives - #7 by Leo did you send us the info I requested? I can check if you did. It may be under a pile of other things to investigate, since we only have one report and it's likely to be an issue with an external thumbnailer or codec something has installed. But I can take a look if we have that data.