Disclaimer: I'm not going to name the software in question, as this isn't a question of shaming and naming- just a question on policy.
So I bought a piece of software that I use infrequently. In general, I prefer another program, but it doesn't have some of the capabilities and seems to be abandoned as the developer seems non-responsive. But it works, so I use it when I can, and on those infrequent cases that I need the other capabilities, I use the other software.
It's licensed in 12 month intervals. I recently downloaded the latest latest major upgrade; it was within my 12 month period (by a couple of months). There were several major problems with it- but since there was a change in file format, I just dealt with it, and waited for a fix.
As it stands now, I'm outside of my 12 months. An update was just posted that fixed the problems in the software (which have had worsening effects, including blocking me from shutting down my computer because it wouldn't respond and there was no indication of it where I could get to the process). It's not a major upgrade... it's not even a point release. It's a minor version release, i.e. 1.2.1. I downloaded it- figuring since it was primarily a bug fix that had been around, I'd be able to patch. No dice... not without a renewal.
As a developer, that just struck me as wrong. As a consumer, that struck me as wrong. As a businessman... well, those are the terms.
But it made me appreciate version licensing more. You do work on a new version- there's a distinct cut off, and I can respect that. I'm upgrading to pay for your new work. I can't even get fixes to defects that you left in your software because you fix it in a minor update after the release?
I was able to roll back- mostly because of my backup strategy than anything else. The new content I'd put in there was backed up elsewhere, so I was able to roll back to a working version, and add in the stuff I've done since that ill fated major release.
But, I think I'm done with strict yearly licensed software in general, and this in particular. Sell a service if you're going to use time as a scale. Time licensed software in many cases is trying to sell a service, but trying to make it seem like it's not a service. Especially in the case of fixing of defects.
Just wanted to get other thoughts?