If it was most other software then I might have an issue with this, but I must say that I totally agree in this case. SGPro is one of the best packages I have ever used, and I also believe is underpriced for what it is. I will gladly pay for upgraded versions because it’s quite simply worth every penny!
The only sticking point for me is the part where you say that bugs in previous versions will be essentially abandoned once you release the new version. Unless it is a significant one of course.
I’ve always thought that if I buy a product with the understanding that I am also buying future bug fixes and support it should not evaporate once you release a new version. To that end I would like to see SGP in its current form solidified in to a non-beta full release with pretty much all the current bugs fixed. Don’t add any more features or substantially change the way things are done. Just get it rock solid. Then anyone who does not want to upgrade, and they are insane not to, they at least have a solid stable SGP that they can use until they decide to upgrade.
Having dealt with Bisque on this same issue I was left with a very sour taste in my mouth after spending so much money on their software with bugs and then my subscription ran out and I still have bugs. So now I don’t get daily builds to fix them unless I pay another years subscription.
Having said that, I fully intend to buy the new version of SGP. SGP is a steal at twice the price in my opinion. So anything under $99.00 I feel like I am ripping you off.
Many of my friends have been saying this all along. You are under priced. Heck, I paid more for focusing software that doesn’t work near as good as SGP.
I’d be inclined to spend some time now to make SGP 2.6 as bullet proof as possible, even remove doubtful functionality to do so.
Then announce no further support for it. None at all, no matter what. Not even looking at it. No support from the developers on this forum, users are encouraged to help.
There will still be bugs, especially with edge cases and with hardware with doubtful interfaces but the vast bulk of users will be happy.
That will free up Ken and Jared to get on with new developments and also allow them to manage expectations for SGP 2.6. Saying critical bugs will be fixed will inevitably upset people when they discover that “their” bug isn’t critical. If you say nothing then if something is done it’s a bonus.
Agreed. You can’t be expected to fully support every piece of hard ware out there and some of them behave in weird ways that require work-arounds.
If there are however bugs that affect everyone it would be nice to squash those.
I think the problem here is that that we’ve come to expect new beta features all the time. And with new beta features inevitably come new bugs, and as we’ve experienced, occasionally loss of previous stable functionality (at least temporarily). This is not a sustainable approach to software releases. I, and I suspect others, loved the buy-once-and-get-new features-and-support-for-life model, but it does make the issue of bug fixes for prior releases problematic. The reasonable solution seems to me to be to stop the interim new feature additions and focus development efforts on the next version, and fixing bugs in the current release. After 6-12 months of a version release, all bugs relevant to 99% of users will have been found and there should be little need to worry about bug fixes for prior releases. I’ll miss the frequent beta releases and new features (and bugs), but I also see the new release/features once per year and pay-to-upgrade model as the only viable approach to ensure SGP is well supported for the long term. Like others, I don’t really use or need some of the new features and, like I did for years with Adobe products, will likely only upgrade if there’s a very compelling reason to do so, and probably not at every release, but many will upgrade more often and I will too at some point. I fully support the new business model.
By the way, I don’t see the above as meaning betas with new features can’t be made available to some or all - field testing
new ideas is valuable. But perhaps the model will require those beta releases to be time limited or have some other limiting feature.
I am supportive of this change in model as outlined and discussed, i.e. a discounted price for prompt significant version upgrades, critical core bug fixes rolled back. I echo the many constructive comments in this thread.
Assuming the proposed pricing model remains competitive and doesn’t drift ever upwards of course: one aspect of SGP’s success is its quality and price point vs that of competitors.
This strategic change will ensure a sustainable approach for Ken & Jared and a vibrant SGP for the future.
I have noticed that the number of advisory/help comments from and between users to resolve issues has been steadily increasing and this can only help in speedy resolution of straightforward and common issues that newer users experience. It is important that this continues as the user base grows and will allow the developers to focus on functionality, critical bugs in new modules etc.
Here’s to Ken and Jared and wishing them continued success.
Judging by the amount of traffic on this one … I’m guessing we all have awful weather.
You bet: what a dreadful August in the UK
I too have no problem with a change in the pricing model, especially if it means we all get to avail of SGP for many years to come.
From a personal point of view though, I would hope that the cost of a yearly update (for those on the previous version) would be no more than about 50% of the initial price. I’m unfortunately operating on a very tight budget and SGP already does everything I really need it to (the FMW is just incredible) so I would not really have much incentive to always upgrade each year, especially if it meant having to always pay close to the full price each time. However, if the yearly fee was set at a level of about $50 ish then I think I would probably just update each time.
Keep up the good work guys!
- Great move. I am fully committed to you guys. SGP is making astronomy fun.
- Maybe … you would consider a mac version in the future ? (…runs for cover)
It’s a pretty rare event when users of a piece of software are almost volunteering to pay more. Kudos to Ken & Jared for a job well done.
I echo that upgrades to the next version are somewhat cheaper than full price.
Another alternative is to give it away for free, then make us watch a commercial every 5 images. Or add some spyware. Just kidding of course.
Again, job well done!!
SGP allowed me to cast off the dreadfully archaic, TSX “Camera Add-On” with my Paramounts.
For that benefit alone, I’m forever grateful to Ken and Jared and will support them as long as I’m in the imaging hobby.
I will wait to buy SGPro 3.0
Will it be translated into Spanish?
Thanks for your work
I think this is a good direction. I have no problems paying some extra for an upgrade. SGP is quite remarkable actually. At the same time I was testing SGP, I was also testing The Skyx and found out I had to by all these separate third-party addons to make it work. And SkyX was really difficult to navigate the screens and menus. Didn’t make a lot of sense to me. I found SGP to be the most intuitive of all. The screens, layout and menus make sense. It does everything too all in one. I took to SGP very quickly in getting it up and running. I’ve had some issues yes. I haven’t always been impressed with no reply to support questions. But I like SGP and where its going. I think careful consideration has to be taken as to the upgrade costs. Hopefully though it gets better and better with this new direction. Look forward to SGPro 3 and beyond.
To me, it simply depends on what features are added.
I’d upgrade for sure if the “selectable area for autofocus” were added: http://forum.mainsequencesoftware.com/t/selectable-area-for-autofocus/787
Its such a damned good piece of software. Pleeeease let me pay more for it.
Its a great honour to be a user of SGP, can’t wait for 3.0.
SGP changed my life, i was such a fool before.
I would like to suggest another small change while you are changing the model. I currently have used all of my three licenses and could use another. although only two of the three run systems (one local, one remote), having SGP on other PCs lets me write plans and such more conveniently.
How about a modest charge to add more PC’s to the license? That might help some folks that have multiple PCs and laptops and such.
May I suggest this model:
Minor updates (i.e. 2.1>2.2, 3.1>3.2 etc) 25% annual software maintenance fee, so $25 per year.
Major upgrades (i,e, version 2 > version 3) = 50% of original “new” cost. Publish the release notes and user can decide if they want to pay. This is on top of the minor updates annual charge.
Fixes within a major release (aka patches) free.
Craig Stark (Nebulosity) did an upgrade fee (less than full cost) for any major release if you already had a license. Updates within that release were no charge. So moving to 2.0 major release, upgrade fee. Any updates within it, 2.1 >2.3 > 2.4 etc were free. Then at 3.0, upgrade fee if you wanted to keep current. While I have no problem paying more and supporting the cause, I wouldn’t want to be paying for every minor update in between major releases. And patches should be free.
I think we should give it a break. The full price of SGP is the same as a decent 11-inch dovetail plate or a middle of the range eyepeice in the UK. I don’t understand how folks continually underestimate the value of software. Just because you can get an app for your phone for a few bucks is not the same as something like this. If that were the case, hardware would have no markup either, and you would buy a premium telescope mount for a fraction of what they sell at today.
Software is an investment along with everything else. Investing in a couple of diligent individuals such as Ken and Jared is a good thing, as it gives them the ability to continue their development and take advantage of new things, such as the recent ASCOM device observing conditions class last year.