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Last post Author Topic: Sandboxie lifetime license discontinued  (Read 11410 times)

Jibz

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Sandboxie lifetime license discontinued
« on: October 24, 2013, 01:47:45 AM »
I finally decided I was using (the free version of) sandboxie enough that I should probably buy a license, but when I got to the ordering page, the lifetime license option had disappeared :(.

I went to the forum and found this post:

Quote
To ensure future growth of Sandboxie, the licensing model shifts today from a lifetime licensing model to an annual licensing model.

Licenses issued in the past which did not include an expiration date will remain without expiration date, and may be used on more than one computer, per past licensing terms.

All new licenses issued starting today will expire in one year after initial activation of the product key, and are limited to one computer per one product key.

I can understand that the developer needs to make some money, but going from lifetime licenses you can run on any number of computers, to a license you have to renew every year that only runs on one single machine, with no warning or grace period for people to get the lifetime license seems slightly harsh.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 01:53:24 AM by Jibz »

Curt

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Re: Sandboxie lifetime license discontinued
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2013, 03:18:16 AM »
[deleted]
« Last Edit: October 26, 2013, 03:23:58 PM by Curt »

Jibz

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Re: Sandboxie lifetime license discontinued
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2013, 04:21:11 AM »
It's certainly not a good way to convince people like me, who can live with the free version, to pay.

When EmEditor and XYplorer decided to stop offering lifetime licenses, they both had a period after the announcement where people could buy it (and on a side note, both have gone back to offering the lifetime license again). I wonder, if he had given people a month to buy the lifetime license from the announcement, how many users of the free version would have bought it.

Are there any good alternatives? perhaps something like Shadow Defender?

Renegade

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Re: Sandboxie lifetime license discontinued
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2013, 06:02:35 AM »
I can understand why they did that.

6 years ago I wrote this:

http://renegademinds...yID/119/Default.aspx

Quote
Software Licensing - I'm on Your Side
Oct 13

Written by: Renegade
Saturday, October 13, 2007 12:00 AM

I get people asking me about my upgrade policies for Guitar & Drum Trainer every now and then. I don't have an “official policy” for upgrades posted. I suppose I really should though. The problem for me in posting one is that software licensing isn't all that easy or straight-forward. Sometimes it's just downright complicated. And that makes things tough for me to simplify.

I don't ever want to charge for upgrades. I'd like to say “free upgrades forever!” But I know that's just not possible.

There are things that I'd like to put in GDT that would cost money that I couldn't afford to not charge for. e.g. AAC support. AAC is a patented technology and bears royalties. To put that in GDT without a token fee would be very difficult and entirely not practical. It's not like some software where I could just plop down a few hundred dollars and be done with it. To start, I'd have to plop down thousands of dollars. To start...

There's one thing that I'd like to do, but dropping $25,000 on it seems a bit much. That certainly wouldn't be possible for free upgrades as I'm not independently wealthy. Let's all hope that I win a lottery because then it's not a problem at all! :)

So saying “FREE UPGRADES” is pretty much out of the question if I'm going to be honest about it. The alternative is to say “free upgrades withing a major version,” but I don't want to charge for major version upgrades.

Having ruled out both upgrade policies, how do I post a policy? Catch-22.

I suppose the way around that is to have those things that would cost too much to put in as extra “add-ins” for GDT. But that seems unnecessarily complicated and not something that I'd want to deal with as a customer.

There's still time though, as I haven't added any of those things in to GDT.

I get a good amount of email from GDT users, and really, I consider myself very lucky. They are some of the nicest people you'd ever meet. I've been very blessed with a fantastic customer base of people that love music, and find my software is something worth spending a few dollars on to help them with their music.

Some people email me and tell me that they used to use the competition software, but needed to pay for the upgrade, found mine and bought it instead. I suppose I need to thank the competition for that! :) The best part of those emails is when people tell me that they like GDT better!

At the end of the day, I suppose I'm just another sucky guitarist with a problem to solve, and a solution to that problem that I can make available to other people. My take on it is that I like to be treated well, and I should pass that on as much as possible.

So, in short, I hate being milked with upgrade fees (yes - I still have software licenses where they royally milk me for money and I keep upgrading...) and will do everything I can to not be a “software milkmaid.” :)

Upgrades are free whenever possible.

Cheers,

Ryan

My next release won't be a free upgrade. I'll be making a blog post for reasons when I'm near to release.

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MilesAhead

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Re: Sandboxie lifetime license discontinued
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2013, 09:23:28 AM »
... seems slightly harsh.

-"slightly harsh"? Suicidal, I would say!


Even prior to this it switched to a mechanism that called home.  It gave the author the ability to kill your license at will. At any rate I stayed with the last "self contained" license key version. I just didn't like the idea.  I got out of the habit of using it after a while.

MilesAhead

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Re: Sandboxie lifetime license discontinued
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2013, 09:30:26 AM »

Are there any good alternatives? perhaps something like Shadow Defender?

It's my impression that the "rollback" type utilities give you greater protection against yourself than really nasty malware.  Afaik they depend on reverting to a known system state on boot.  But a really nasty malware may hose the boot mechanism entirely.  I'm not sure how W8 secure boot figures into it.  I just got a machine with W8 and I haven't read up on secure boot details.  Supposedly it's more resistant to rootkits is all I've heard.

wraith808

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Re: Sandboxie lifetime license discontinued
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2013, 12:45:39 PM »
My next release won't be a free upgrade. I'll be making a blog post for reasons when I'm near to release.

That's a bit different from what they are doing.  I understand paying for an upgrade- that's fine.  But when you have to pay every year in order to keep using the software that you paid for?  That's SaaS by another name.

40hz

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Re: Sandboxie lifetime license discontinued
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2013, 03:44:24 PM »
Probably mostly moot at this point. With the advent and improvements in VM implementations for the desktop, I'm thinking traditional sandboxing's days as a viable (if kludgey) technology are numbered.


Vurbal

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Re: Sandboxie lifetime license discontinued
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2013, 08:06:49 PM »
As appealing as they are from a short or even medium term consumer perspective it seems to me that lifetime upgrade licenses introduce a challenge that typically isn't given enough thought by developers who adopt them. At some point any program will reach some sort of saturation point where sales growth slows, eventually to the point where revenue from new customers is not enough to cover development costs. Possibly at that same point, but potentially either sooner or later, it simply won't make sense for the program to continue at all.

A developer cannot possibly hope to predict what that cycle will look like when a new program is introduced. In fact I would argue more often than not it will be difficult to predict at all and may only be apparent in hindsight. Lifetime licenses, particularly the ones you sell right before you realize revenue, technology, or both are adversely affecting your business, create pressure on developers to make decisions which are unhealthy for your business in the long term.

That doesn't mean they shouldn't be considered or used at all. It does mean they almost always cause more problems than they solve unless used sparingly and carefully to achieve specific and limited goals. Typically the reason for offering a lifetime license is to build either a completely new market or market share for a relatively unknown brand or product. There's nothing wrong with that so long as you don't plan to make it the standard licensing model forever and you are honest and upfront

I don't need hindsight to know that licensing model never has and never will be sustainable indefinitely. If that's your choice then your calculations better take the inevitable product lifecycle - including its eventual end - into account. That had better include either regular and continuous release of new products with the same license or a slate of other products with slower development cycles but sustainable licensing.

Otherwise you should resign yourself to eventually either cutting off a bunch of angry customers or ruining yourself financially by putting it off as long as possible. We, and as someone whose job is increasingly promoting other people's software I include myself, need to find ways to help developers avoid suicidal decisions. Simply as a consumer I want developers to thrive so they can create new and better software for me to use.

It's probably more important today than ever as smaller developers and cheaper, more specialized software has become the backbone of the industry. It's actually something mouser and I have discussed at length and our conversations have definitely helped clarify my vision for a successful future. The future I envision and intend to be proactive in building is one where groups of "little guys," developers and media outlets together, work together to create a sort of infrastructure that benefits all of us.

Microsoft, Google, and Apple leverage the strengths inherent to their size and we need to do the same. They just don't happen to be the same strengths. They throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. They add every feature they can think of and decide what to keep after the returns are in. But we can get direct feedback from individuals and adjust on the fly. They can attract followers but we can build communities. We will fail frequently and repeatedly but we can learn from our failures and make the adjustments millions of shareholders wouldn't stand for.
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Jibz

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Re: Sandboxie lifetime license discontinued
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2013, 07:18:07 AM »
That was a great post Vurbal, and it reflects many of my thoughts on licensing as well :Thmbsup:.

As I wrote, I can understand his need to make money, and lifetime licenses are a short-term solution in many cases. My concerns were with the way he implemented the change -- someone on the forum even called it a coup.

Like you say, lifetime licenses are sometimes used to get into a market. I think they can also work for some more mature products, if you sell them at a high enough premium that you feel reasonably confident they cover a large part of what revenue you could have realistically expected from one customer through regular paid upgrades (2.5-3 times the normal price seems to be a popular level).

Paid upgrades have the drawback that you have to periodically actually make enough useful changes that your users see justification in paying again. As you described, most software reaches a level of maturity where this becomes harder to achieve.

For many products, the ideal solution for the developer seems to be subscription based licenses, where you are guaranteed a steady stream of income, as long as you (at least appear to) continue updates.

The problem from a user perspective, is if the software stops working when you cancel your subscription. The order page and FAQ do not seem to clearly indicate if this is the case.

Also, by restricting the license to a single machine, you all of a sudden force people who have a desktop, a laptop for travels, and perhaps a work computer, to have 2-3 subscriptions running.

Basically, what I reacted to, was that it feels like a big shift, from one end of the licensing spectrum to the other, with no warning. But of course I do not have all the facts. (And to be honest, I am a little annoyed I did not decide to buy a license a couple of weeks earlier, I would have been happy to buy the lifetime license if I had been told the option was going away soon).

Vurbal

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Re: Sandboxie lifetime license discontinued
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2013, 08:26:43 AM »
That was a great post Vurbal, and it reflects many of my thoughts on licensing as well :Thmbsup:.

As I wrote, I can understand his need to make money, and lifetime licenses are a short-term solution in many cases. My concerns were with the way he implemented the change -- someone on the forum even called it a coup.

Like you say, lifetime licenses are sometimes used to get into a market. I think they can also work for some more mature products, if you sell them at a high enough premium that you feel reasonably confident they cover a large part of what revenue you could have realistically expected from one customer through regular paid upgrades (2.5-3 times the normal price seems to be a popular level).

Paid upgrades have the drawback that you have to periodically actually make enough useful changes that your users see justification in paying again. As you described, most software reaches a level of maturity where this becomes harder to achieve.

For many products, the ideal solution for the developer seems to be subscription based licenses, where you are guaranteed a steady stream of income, as long as you (at least appear to) continue updates.

You've definitely hit the nail on the head there. The issue is a lot more complex than just lifetime licenses vs periodic updates. You need to find the license - or in many cases a combination of licensing options - that best suits your product. And just as importantly you need to regularly review your strategy because the best strategy today may be catastrophic 3 months from now.

For example several years ago I bought a character generation program written for the old Hero System RPG. At the time Hero was in something of a renaissance period, having just changed ownership and released a new edition their long time fanbase had been waiting on for several years. Initially it was licensed with a simple purchase/upgrade license which made sense due to both the interest at the time and the maturity of the software.

It stayed that way through 2 major versions. After v2 though there weren't any major architectural changes in development and sales had slowed. However there were still fairly regular updates to include information from new rulebooks (including a new edition) and add minor, but still extremely useful and cool, features.

Much of the software's value is in the minor updates and it's important they become available as soon as possible. Likewise the little add-ons that were occasionally put in were more valuable for keeping existing customers happy - especially since they paid for minor upgrades as part of their purchase. The new edition of the rules was definitely a big enough change to consider a major revision but the next one won't come for years - who knows maybe not ever.

His solution was to make a clean break from the old licensing model with the new version. Rather than $45 for the initial purchase and $25 for major upgrades he switched to a straight $25 license for 2 years of updates. After 2 years if you choose not to renew your license the software still works and you still have access to all the updates through the end of your license period. If you renew again 6 months or 2 years later it's just another $25 and you get all the updates through the end of that license.

Most people who bought it were going to be upgrading anyway so he lost basically nothing off the top. There's an additional incentive to maintain your license for access to a value added character vault service where you can post writeups and download other people's creations. If you're an active player $25 every 2 years is still a bargain and if you stop playing for a couple years it's convenient and affordable to wait until it makes sense to renew.

That license wouldn't make sense for a lot of software but arguably no other license would make sense for Hero Designer.
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

hulkbuster

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Re: Sandboxie lifetime license discontinued
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2013, 10:20:49 AM »
The base principle is little different then Shadow Defender, i heard about Sandboxie, 3/4 years back, i still dont understand, why Shadow Defender is not in everyone's kit. :o
Autorun Virus Remover.V.2.3 / Look n Stop Firewall.v2.07 / Sandboxie.v4.08  / Some Sense

Jibz

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Re: Sandboxie lifetime license discontinued
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2013, 01:19:13 PM »
The problem from a user perspective, is if the software stops working when you cancel your subscription. The order page and FAQ do not seem to clearly indicate if this is the case.

Tzuk answered this question on the forum:

Quote
Sandboxie does not lock up when the time-limited license expires, it goes back to free mode.

wraith808

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Re: Sandboxie lifetime license discontinued
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2013, 02:41:36 PM »
That means it does stop working... at least as purchased.  I have problems with that kind of licensing.

mitzevo

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Re: Sandboxie lifetime license discontinued
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2013, 05:12:48 AM »
Hey guys,

I just recently wanted to purchase sandboxie, and looked for the lifetime license, as I prefer those for obvious reasons.. :D but was a little sad when I discovered they no longer offered it. I then thought about other softwares who also stopped doing lifetime licenses... and then I just thought, who cares, I can afford to support a great software program each year.. jesus. Any way, short story short I paid for a standard sandboxie license and am a happy camper since.

Moral of the story? Don't be a cheap bastard if the software is great and it helps you.

And speaking of lifetimes licenses, XYplorer lifetime licenses are back! WOOHOO.
The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.

MilesAhead

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Re: Sandboxie lifetime license discontinued
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2013, 09:19:28 AM »
Quote
I can afford to support a great software program each year

The reason I didn't upgrade to the new license scheme was not cost.  It was the nature of the new license mechanism.  If the author decided or had some algorithm decide, that your license was not valid, the next time it called home it would be invalidated on your machine.  To me that's a rude way to do business.  It seemed like a pendulum swing from handing out licenses gratis to a draconian enforcement scheme.

But as it was I stopped using it anyway.  Messing around trying to stick very large downloads into the sandbox just seemed more hassle than it was worth.

But if it fits in with how you use your machine it's a nice software. I used it for years on 32 bit Windows and for a short time on Vistax64.  But it just seemed like broadband outgrew it.


MilesAhead

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Re: Sandboxie lifetime license discontinued
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2013, 10:18:09 AM »

Innuendo

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Re: Sandboxie lifetime license discontinued
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2013, 12:45:13 PM »
I'm late to the thread here, but I have to echo 40hz's opinion which he voiced back in late October. With the evolution of virtual machine technologies like VMWare, VirtualBox, and HyperV becoming so easy to implement and use I don't see the technology used in sandboxing programs such as Sandboxie and Shadow Defender as being as necessary as they once were.

VMWare's new Workstation 10 walks the user through a simple wizard that does all the grunt work for you. It's literally a click next-next-go affair now.

mwb1100

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Re: Sandboxie lifetime license discontinued
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2013, 02:23:29 PM »
I don't want to be too negative with this news since I don't know anything about Invincea, but there was this interesting bit on the announcement page:

You’ve been running under the Invincea umbrella for some time now and we  have been working with Sandboxie Founder, Ronen Tzur, to ensure a smooth transition to new ownership

I wonder if this unannounced transition to Invincea was related  in some way to the sudden, without-warning end of the lifetime license offering.

I hope they honor the existing lifetime licenses. I have my guess as to how that will go; only time will tell.

MilesAhead

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Re: Sandboxie lifetime license discontinued
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2013, 02:52:48 PM »
Not sure about the licensing but it looks like the author is taking his marbles and going home.  They say end of Jan. 2014 he's done with it.  I sensed a change when Vistax64 came out.  There was pressure for a 64 bit Sandboxie.  I think he never wanted to go there.  At least the forums had a less happy tone when all that started.

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Sandboxie lifetime license discontinued
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2013, 09:51:26 PM »
I hope they honor the existing lifetime licenses. I have my guess as to how that will go; only time will tell.

That's why it's a fascinating thing, the "lifetime license". A "lifetime" is a long time - usually the "life of the product" is the limiting factor, but don't rule out weasel moves years later.


mwb1100

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Re: Sandboxie lifetime license discontinued
« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2013, 10:18:01 PM »
A "lifetime" is a long time - usually the "life of the product" is the limiting factor

And if I were a betting man, I'd bet that within a year or two there will no longer be a Sandboxie product - the technology will be used in some other product that Invincea introduces.

Of course, I'm just speculating; I'd like to be proven wrong.

MilesAhead

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Re: Sandboxie lifetime license discontinued
« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2013, 05:23:31 AM »
Before the subscription scheme I seem to remember a lot of licenses were for free updates within the major version number.  Like when I bought WinZip I could get all the updates to 6.x via download.  But to get to 7.x they offered a discount.  So the burn was buying just before a major version change.

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Sandboxie lifetime license discontinued
« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2013, 07:57:09 AM »
Heh there's room for a satire fiction story:
"Lifetime License!!"

(Cue dramatic music)
Punchline: The company hires assassins to kill the customers!  :P

MilesAhead

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Re: Sandboxie lifetime license discontinued
« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2013, 09:45:05 AM »
Heh there's room for a satire fiction story:
"Lifetime License!!"

(Cue dramatic music)
Punchline: The company hires assassins to kill the customers!  :P

Or the cliche where the evil computer does them in.  Like if you turn off Windows Updates the programmable thermostat gets a short at 4:00 AM and burns the house down.  :)